Jing Da Ji (Radix Euphorbiae Pekinensis)

Jing Da Ji commonly known as Radix Euphorbiae Pekinensis is the root of Euphorbia pekinensis, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is a commonly used laxative, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (about 100 BC).

This plant likes a warm and humid environment and is cold and drought tolerant. It often grows on hillsides, shrubs, roadsides, wastelands, grasses, forest edges, or sparse forests at an altitude of 200-3,000 meters. It is distributed in China, North Korea, Japan and has now been artificially grown.

In the autumn and winter of each year, people gather the roots of Euphorbia pekinensis, wash them with water, remove their impurities, cut them into slices, dry them in the sun, use them directly, or stir fry them with vinegar, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Jing Da Ji contains geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, euphpekinensin, 12-O-diacetyl-7-O-benzoyl-8-methoxyingol, ingol-12-acetate, ingol, isoeuphpekinensin, euphol, tirucallol, lanosterol, obtusifoliol, flavonoids, tannins, volatile oils, organic acids, resins, daucosterol, and stigmasterol.

According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal property of Jing Da Ji is relatively cold, with toxicity and a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung, spleen, and kidney meridians.

The medicinal properties of Jing Da Ji are similar to that of Hong Da Ji (Knoxia Root), but the latter has a better effect on alleviating swelling and dissipating indurated mass.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Jing Da Ji is often used to remove water retention, alleviate swelling and dissipate indurated mass, treat difficulty in urination and defecation, skin ulcers and abscesses, scrofula, subcutaneous nodules, acute nephritis edema, chronic nephritis edema, advanced schistosomiasis, and liver cirrhosis ascites, pleurisy, pericarditis, endocarditis, and schizophrenia.

There are about 30 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Kong Xian Dan, Shi Zao Tang, and Yu Shu Dan.

Health benefits of Jing Da Ji

  • Anti-virus, inhibiting the activity of HIV-1 integrase.
  • Anti-inflammation, alleviating carrageenan-induced edema of the mouse foot, and inhibiting xylene-induced edema of the mouse ear.
  • Exciting the uterus and dilating capillaries.
  • Antagonizing the increase in blood pressure caused by adrenaline.
  • Stimulating the intestines and stomach, promoting bowel movement, and inducing diuresis and excretion.
  • Enhancing the absorption of water in the intestines, treating tympanites, ascites, and pleural effusion.
  • Reducing swelling, treating carbuncles and sores caused by heat toxins.
  • Dissipating nodulation and treating scrofula and subcutaneous nodules caused by the coagulation of phlegm-fire.
  • Inhibiting the growth of human head and neck squamous cell line AGZY-973 and human liver cancer cell HepG2.
  • Inducing apoptosis of human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell KB, human promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL-60, and human liver cancer cell line SMMC-7721.

Jing Da Ji is used with other Chinese herbs

  • It with Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis), Bai Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae), and Ban Xia (Pinellia Rhizome) can treat abscesses and deep-rooted carbuncles of the neck.
  • It with Gan Sui (Radix Kansui), Yuan Hua (Genkwa Flos), and Da Zao (Fructus Jujubae) can treat pleural effusion, ascites, and systemic edema.
  • It with Teng Huang (Gamboge), Tian Zhu Huang (Bamboo Sugar), Liu Ji Nu (Artemisia Anomala), and Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis) can reduce swelling, relieve pain, and treat traumatic injuries.
  • It with Da Huang (Radix et Rhizoma Rhei), Gan Sui (Radix Kansui), Yuan Hua (Genkwa Flos), Chen Pi (Tangerine Peel), and Qian Niu Zi (Semen Pharbitidis) can treat ascites caused by liver cirrhosis.
  • It with Shan Ci Gu (Pseudobulbus Cremastrae seu Pleiones), Qian Jin Zi (Semen Euphorbiae Lathyridis), Wu Bei Zi (Galla Chinensis), She Xiang (Moschus), Xiong Huang (Realgar), and Zhu Sha (Cinnabaris) can alleviate abdominal distension, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Side effects of Jing Da Ji

Jing Da Ji is poisonous, and its mechanism of toxic action may be related to its ability to alter the permeability of intracellular mitochondrial membranes. Changes in permeability can lead to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.

It has some irritant effects on the skin and gastrointestinal tract. Skin contact with it may cause engorgement or peeling. Taking it may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, or blood in the stool.

Overdose may cause swelling and congestion of the throat, vomiting, dizziness, headache, palpitations, or drop in blood pressure.

In severe cases, it may cause dehydration, coma, cramps, collapse, weak pulse, drop in body temperature, difficulty breathing, or death.

Precautions of Jing Da Ji

  • The dosage of Jing Da Ji should be controlled at 1.5-3g.
  • It can be made into pills, powder, or ground for external use.
  • Stir-frying it with vinegar can weaken its toxicity and cathartic effect.
  • It should not be used with Gan Cao (Licorice Root).
  • Weak people should not take it.
  • Pregnant women should not take it.