Chinese Lovage Root
Chinese Lovage Root (Gao Ben)
Botanical Name: Ligusticum Sinense. L. jeholense, L. chinsense.
Chinese lovage root (Gao Ben) is used to treat headaches, cramping, colds and flu, pain, and urinary tract infections. Do not confuse it with other plants in the Ligusticum family or with lovage (Levistricum officinales, Du Huo Cao), an entirely different plant.
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Also Known As: Straw Weed, Rhizome Ligustici
Organs/Systems: Respiratory, Digestive, Nervous, Bladder
Key Actions: Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Expectorant, Antispasmodic, Diaphoretic, Antipyretic
Medicinal Uses: Respiratory infections, digestive issues, urinary tract infections, headaches, abdominal cramping, fever, congestion, sore throat, arthritis.
Pin Yin: Gao Ben (“Root of Rice Straw”)
Also Known As: Chinese Lovage Root
Meridians: Bladder, Lung
Key Actions: Expel Wind Cold and Wind Damp, Releases to the Exterior, Alleviates Pain
Medicinal Uses: Colds and flu, fevers, headaches (especially at the top of the head), acute low back pain, Bi-syndromes, abdominal cramping, arthritis, asthma, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, scabies, pigmentation, itchy skin, congestion, toothache, gout, osteoporosis, joint pain, anorexia, stomach cramping, nausea, neurodermatitis.
Basic Habitat / Botany:
All ligusticum plants are native to the cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Ligusticum sinense is native to Northern China.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Root, Rhizome
Flavors/Temps: Acrid, Bitter, Warm
Caution: Considered safe a small number of people may experience an allergic reaction.
Key Constituents: Cnidilide, Methyl eugenol, Limonene, Elemicin, Lavandulol, Myristicin
History/Folklore: There are about 30 different Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formulas that contain Chinese lovage root (Ligusticum sinense). It inhibits the central nervous system helping to sedate and relieve pain. It relaxes tracheal, intestinal, and uterine smooth muscles relieving asthma and abdominal cramping. It is especially effective for treating sinus congestion, headaches at the top of the head, and pain associated with Wind Damp and Wind Cold such as arthritis and even acute low back pain.
Combined with notopterygium (Notopterygium incisum / Qiang Huo) and Chinese angelica root (Bai Zhi / Angelica Dahuricae not to be confused with Angelica Sinensis / Dang Gui / Angelica that is commonly called the “women’s herb”) it is used to treat headaches and toothaches caused by Wind Cold. Combined with black atractylodes (Atractylodes chinensis / Cang Zhu) and ledebouriella (Fang Feng) it is used to treat arthritis, osteoporosis, and gout.
Chinese lovage root is known for being best for treating headaches at the vertex or parietal area at the top of the head. Notopterygium (Notopterygium incisum / Qiang Huo) is best for treating occipital headaches. Angelica (Angelica sinense / Dang Gui) is better for treating frontal headaches and migraines, and ligusticum (Ligusticum wallichii / Chuang Xiong) is better for treating headaches caused by Blood Stagnation. Compared to angelica, notopterygium is more strongly upward moving and inclined to cause sweating. Ligusticum (Chuan Xiong) focuses on the Liver and Gallbladder Channels, Chinese lovage root (Gao Ben) focuses on the Bladder and Du Channels clearing Wind Cold and Wind Damp from above and below (From the head to the low back, knees, and ankles).
Chinese lovage root is used in TCM as a Warm, Acrid herb that Releases to the Exterior. This category of herbs are used in the early stages of upper respiratory infections, treating coughs, congestion, earaches, headaches, red eyes, sore throat and sinuses, fevers, aching muscles, and wheezing. They release to the exterior by inducing sweating. As a spicy, pungent herb it also promotes sweating that helps to improve the circulation of Qi and Body Fluids.
Similar to all Ligusticum plants, the botanical name derives from the Italian region of Liguria, where some say one if not all the species originated. Because the section between the root and the seedlings looks like straw, it is sometimes commonly called straw weed.
Do not confuse Chinese lovage root (Ligusticum sinense) with Ligusticum wallichii (Ligusticum, Chuan Xiong) or Ligusticum porteri (Osha), plants that are also in the same genus, but that have different attributes. Ligusticum wallichii (aka Ligusticum, Szechuan Lovage Root, Chuan Xiong) is a famous blood tonic herb that also helps to relieve pain and inflammation. It is an acrid, pungent, and warming herb. Ligusticum porteri (aka Osha, Tie Da Yin Chen) is native to North America and is best known for treating bronchitis, sore throats, colds and flu, and pneumonia. Lovage (Levistricum officinales, Du Huo Cao) is also a different plant than Chinese Lovage and is best known as a digestive and bladder irrigation herb.
Due to the plant’s aromatic spicy scent, it was once used as a spice.
How to use Chinese Lovage Root (Gao Ben) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.
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