What Is Gao Ben (Rhizoma Ligustici)

Gao Ben is also called Rhizoma Ligustici and is the root and rhizome of Ligusticum, which is a perennial plant belonging to the family Umbelliferae. It has a medicinal history of more than 2,000 years.

This plant mainly grows in the north of China with an altitude of 1,000-2,700 meters. After the stems and leaves of Gao Ben wither every year, people pick their roots and rhizomes, remove their impurities, cut them into big pieces, dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbs.

The best Gao Ben is light in weight and brittle and has a strong fragrance. Its section is yellow or yellow-white.

According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Gao Ben is relatively warm, with a pungent, bitter and slight numb taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the bladder meridian.

In Chinese medicine, it is used to treat wind-cold, rheumatic arthritis, influenza, and neurodermatitis.

There are about 30 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine formulas containing Gao Ben, such as Nujin wan, Xin Yi San, and Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang.

Health benefits of Gao Ben

  • Inhibiting the central nervous system and having potent sedation and analgesic effects.
  • Reducing oxygen consumption and enhancing tissue tolerance to hypoxia.
  • Relaxing tracheal smooth muscles and relieving asthma.
  • Relaxing intestinal smooth muscle and uterine smooth muscle and inhibiting intestinal and uterine contractions.
  • Treating fever, headache, pain in the top of the head, and toothache caused by wind-cold, rhinitis, and sinusitis.
  • Treating influenza and rheumatic arthritis, relieving joint pain.
  • Treating abdominal pain and diarrhea caused by spleen and stomach disorders caused by cold and dampness.
  • Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Treating neurodermatitis, scabies, pigmentation, itching of the skin.

Gao Ben is used with other Chinese herbs

  • Gao Ben with Wu Zhu Yu (Fructus Evodiae) and Xiao Hui Xiang (Fructus Foeniculi) can treat abdominal pain and hernia caused by wind-cold.
  • Gao Ben with Qiang Huo (Notopterygium Root), Bai Zhi (Angelica Dahurica), and Xi Xin (Asarum) can treat headache, pain in the top of the head, and toothache caused by wind-cold.
  • Gao Ben with Cang Zhu (Black Atractylodes Rhizome) and Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae) can treat early rheumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout.
  • Gao Ben with Cang Zhu (Black Atractylodes Rhizome), Xiang Fu (Rhizoma Cyperi), and Sheng Jiang (Fresh Ginger Rhizome) can treat hypersalivation, anorexia, stomachache, and dysentery.
  • Gao Ben with Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong), Xi Xin (Asarum), Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae), Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can treat headache in the middle of the head, nasal obstruction, recurrent headache, ringworm, and numbness of hands and feet.
  • Gao Ben with Bai Zhi (Angelica Dahurica) are ground into powder for external use to treat herpes, acne, and scalp scaling.

Gao Ben with green tea can dispel cold and remove dampness of the body, and treat headache and diarrhea caused by wind-cold.

Side effects of Gao Ben

It has been in clinical use for many years with almost no side effects.

A small number of people taking it may cause itchy skin, redness of the skin, and allergic urticaria.

Precautions of Gao Ben

  • The dosage of Gao Ben should be controlled at 2-10g.
  • It contains volatile oil, so it is not suitable for long-term decocting. It can be made into tea.
  • It needs to be ground into powder for external use.
  • It cannot be used to treat headaches caused by heat disease.
  • Pregnant women should not take it.
  • People with blood deficiency, yin deficiency, and liver yang rising should not take it.
  • Postpartum headache is mostly caused by blood deficiency, so women with postpartum headache should not take it.