Senecio Scandens (Qian Li Guang)

Senecio Scandens is also known as Qian Li Guang, which is a perennial climbing herb belonging to the family Compositae. It first appeared in <Ben Cao Tu Jing> (Illustrated Canon of Herbology) in 1,061 AD.

This plant often grows in forests, shrubs, or riversides at an altitude of 50-3,200 meters. It is distributed in China, Japan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia.

In summer and autumn every year, people pick Senecio scandens, remove their impurities, cut them into sections, dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Senecio Scandens contains hyperoside, quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, caffeic acid, ethyl caffeate, p-coumaric acid, ethyl p-hydroxycinnamate, caffeic acid glyceride, chlorogenic acid, α -carotene, β-carotene, β-zeacarotene, chrysanthemaxanthin, flavoxanthin, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, alkaloids, volatile oils, terpenes and a variety of trace elements.

According to <Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi>, the medicinal property of Senecio Scandens is relatively cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on pathological changes of the lung, liver, and large intestine meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to clear heat and remove toxin, improve vision, treat bacillary dysentery, acute enteritis, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, upper respiratory tract infection, lobar pneumonia, acute appendicitis, erysipelas, cellulitis, skin ulcers, acute conjunctivitis, senile chronic bronchitis, paddy-field dermatitis, cervicitis, and burns. It is an important component of Qian Bai Bi Yan Pian.

Health benefits of Senecio Scandens

  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting xylene-induced ear shell swelling in mice.
  • Anti-oxidation, scavenge hydroxyl radicals, DPPH radicals, and superoxide anions.
  • Inhibiting parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and HIV-1 virus.
  • Reducing the damage of CCL4 to liver tissue.
  • Killing Trichomonas vaginalis, treating eczema, damp-pruritus of the scrotum, and ringworm of the hand.
  • Removing heat toxins, treating sores, and carbuncles caused by heat toxins accumulation.
  • Clearing liver and improving vision, treating redness and swelling of the eyes caused by wind-heat or the up-flaming of liver fire.
  • Clearing damp-heat in the large intestine and treating abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery with bloody purulent stool, and tenesmus.
  • Inhibiting the growth of liver cancer cell SMMC-7721, gastric cancer cell SGC-7901, and breast cancer cell MCF-7.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacterium paratyphosum A, Shigella flexneri, Shigella dysentery, and Leptospira.

Senecio Scandens is used with other Chinese herbs

Side effects of Senecio Scandens

Some studies report that it contains a variety of hepatotoxic alkaloids, which may cause liver damage and even death.

Individual patients taking it may cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, increased stool frequency, or allergic drug eruption.

Precautions of Senecio Scandens

  • The dosage of Senecio Scandens should be controlled at 9-15g.
  • When using fresh Senecio Scandens, the dose should be doubled.
  • It can be made into a decoction, lotions, or mashed for external use.
  • People with deficiency-cold in the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Pregnant women and children should not take it.