The Power of Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae (as Danshen)

Author: Courtney Conner MS, RD, LD 

Posted: June 29, 2022

Radix Salviae 

Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae, also known as DanShen, is one of the most popular traditional Chinese medicines. Over the previous few decades, the popularity of DanShen has risen due to its remarkable bioactivities and benefits for heart health. Dan Shen can be used alone, or in combination with other herbal ingredients. DanShen is can be used in the treatment of coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, renal deficiency, liver cirrhosis, cancer, and bone loss. However, its use in coronary artery disease is most widely used and clinically studied. 

Benefits of DanShen on the cardiovascular system are as follows: 

  1. Antioxidant and cardiac protectionDanShen has been shown to provide protective benefits on the heart by having antioxidant properties that fight off free radicals. Free radicals are unstable particles that can damage cells, leading to disease and illness. Antioxidants work against these free radicals and help to protect the heart from disease. 
  2. Inhibition of platelet aggregation – Platelets are pieces of larger cells that help to form blood clots to slow or stop bleeding and to help wounds heal. However, when these platelets exist in large amounts, it can lead to an increased risk for heart attacks. DanShen works to help reduce the number of platelets and their accumulation that lead to blood clots and eventually heart attacks.
  3. Vasorelaxation – Vasorelaxation means that the vessels going to the heart are larger to allow for smoother blood flow and reduced platelet accumulation.
  4. Prevention of atherosclerosis – Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries characterized by the accumulation of plaque and fatty materials on the walls of the arteries. DanShen has been shown to help prevent this accumulation of plaques and fatty acids that lead to atherosclerosis. 

In addition to the above main benefits, clinical trials have shown additional health benefits. In a meta analysis, it was found that DanShen could significantly reduce the recurrence of angina pectoris, incidence of arrhythmia, heart failure, and revascularization than that of Western medicine treatment alone. In another clinical trial looking at ischemic heart failure, morality and emergency hospitalization due to heart failure were lower at 6 months with DanShen compounds than with a placebo. 

Danshen in CardioSupport 

CardioSupport by NatureKue uses a proprietary blend of herbs (T101) that includes Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae (DanShen) as an ingredient. In the T101 blend, Dan Shen is combined with Radix Notoginseng (as Tienchi Ginseng) and Lignum Dalbergiae Odoriferae (as Jiang Xiang). This combination of traditional Chinese herbs work together synergistically to help improve cardiovascular function. This patented formula has gone through clinical trials and has been shown to help improve blood flow to and from the heart, enhances heart healthy energy, improves exercise tolerance, helps to maintain a normal blood pressure level, and helps reduce inflammation. Dan Shen contributes to these benefits seen in T101, but when combined with the other traditional Chinese herbs, it provides additional and more powerful heart benefits. The synergism of these herbs is based on the principle of Chinese Herbal Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine that plays an important role in disease delaying and disease prevention. When combining herbs, it is shown that benefits and pharmacological properties are improved. 

Conclusion

Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae, or DanShen, is a herb that when combined with other ingredients synergistically, creates a formula that has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Benefits can include improved blood flow, improved energy, reduced inflammation, and improved exercise tolerance. This combination of herbals is a principle that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many decades. This beneficial blend of herbs can be found in CardioSupport (T101) from NatureKue. 

References: 

1. Su X, Yao Z, Li S, Sun H. Synergism of Chinese Herbal Medicine: Illustrated by Danshen Compound. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:7279361. doi: 10.1155/2016/7279361. Epub 2016 Apr 13. PMID: 27190537; PMCID: PMC4846759.

2. Tsung O. Cheng. Cardiovascular effects of Danshen. 2007. International Journal of Cardiology. Volume 121, Issue 1. Pages 9-22. ISSN 0167-5273. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2007.01.004.

3. Pang H, Wu L, Tang Y, Zhou G, Qu C, Duan JA. Chemical Analysis of the Herbal Medicine Salviae miltiorrhizae Radix et Rhizoma (Danshen). Molecules. 2016 Jan 5;21(1):51. doi: 10.3390/molecules21010051. PMID: 26742026; PMCID: PMC6273254.


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