What Is Dan Zhu Ye (Lophatherum)

Dan Zhu Ye is the stem and leaf of Lophatherum gracile, which is a perennial herb belonging to the Poaceae. It has a medicinal history of more than 1,000 years.

Most of these plants are wild and rarely planted. It often grows on hillsides, woodlands, or shades by roads. It can be found in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Japan, and southern China.

Some perfumes, deodorants and air fresheners contain its extracts. Tea made from Dan Zhu Ye can relieve gum swelling and stomatitis.

Before the Lophatherum gracile blooms in late summer each year, people gather their stems and leaves, dry them in the sun, cut them into sections, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Dan Zhu Ye contains triterpenoids, such as arundoin, cylindrin, taraxerol, friedelin, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, campesterol, and taraxasterol. The pale green or yellowish-green Dan Zhu Ye with large leaves, few pedicels, no roots, and no spikes is the best.

According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal property of Dan Zhu Ye is relatively cold, with a sweet and light taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the heart, stomach and small intestine meridians.

The efficacy of Dan Zhu Ye is similar to that of Zhu Ye (Bamboo Leaf), but they are different drugs. In Chinese medicine, Dan Zhu Ye is often used to clear heat and reduce fire, promote urination, relieve irritability and thirst caused by febrile disease, and treat urinary tract infections and urinary tract calculuses.

About 50 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions contain Dan Zhu Ye, such as Yin Qiao San, Ling Yang Gan Mao Pian, and Dao Chi San.

Health benefits of Dan Zhu Ye

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-virus, and anti-tumor.
  • Eliminating active oxygen free radicals and delaying aging.
  • Lowering blood lipids and cholesterol, and raising blood sugar.
  • Enhancing the body’s anti-stress and anti-fatigue capabilities, improving immunity and memory.
  • Slightly promoting urination and increasing the excretion of chloride in the urine.
  • Relieving fever caused by acute infection, treating gum swelling and mouth ulcers caused by an exuberance of heart and stomach fire.
  • Reducing heart fire and stomach fire, relieving irritability and thirst caused by febrile disease or summer-heat.
  • Clearing heat, treating dark urine, turbid urine, difficult and painful urination caused by the heart transfers heat to the small intestine.
  • The study confirmed that its decoction can inhibit Staphylococcus aureus and hemolytic streptococcus.

Dan Zhu Ye is used with other Chinese herbs

Side effects of Dan Zhu Ye

Dan Zhu Ye has been used clinically for many years, with almost no side effects. A small number of people taking it may cause gastrointestinal reactions such as nausea and vomiting.

Precautions of Dan Zhu Ye

  • The dosage of Dan Zhu Ye should be controlled at 6-9g.
  • It can be made into decoction, medicinal liquor or tea.
  • It should not be used with diaphoretics or emetics.
  • Pregnant women should not take it.
  • People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • People with diarrhea or frequent urination should not take it.