Pharmaceutical Latin: Radix Cynanchi Atrati
Common English: Swallowwort Root
Blackened Swallowwort Root
Versicolorous Swallowwort Root
Herbs that Clear Heat and Purge Fire: Herbs that Clear Deficiency Heat
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
Tincture: 2-4ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Cools the Blood and clears Deficiency Heat

Ying and Xue level Heat

Yin Deficient fever

Persistent Summertime fever in children

Postpartum fever and recovery from febrile disease (most commonly used)

Lingering fever as a result of warm febrile disease that injures Blood or Yin

Promotes urination

Hot or bloody painful urinary dysfunction, especially before or after giving birth

Relieves toxicity and treats sores

Toxic sores, swollen and painful throat and snakebite (internal or topical - weak action)

  • This has strong cardiotonic properties and can cause overdose at 30-45g.
  • Don’t use as chief or deputy.
  • Contraindicated for those with diarrhea.
  • Contraindicated for those with Spleen and Stomach Deficiency Cold.
  • Contraindicated for those with no Heat symptoms in the Blood.

Cx. Lycii
Di Gu Pi

Rx. Angelicae Sinensis
Dang Gui
Rx. Ginseng
Ren Shen

Hb. Menthae
Bo He
Rz. Polygoni Odorati
Yu Zhu
(Sm. Sojae Preparata)
(Dan Dou Chi)

Steaming bone disorder due to Blood Deficiency with intermittent fevers and chills.

Fevers, steaming bone disorder and night sweats due to Yin Deficiency Heat.

Afternoon fevers due to Heat in the Ying.

Acts as a basis for formulas to treat low-grade fevers from unidentified causes with no other symptoms.

Remnants of Heat cannot be eliminated with unremitting chronic fever and postpartum fever and irritability due to Blood Deficiency.

External Wind-Heat with underlying Yin Deficiency.

Rx. Peucedani
Qian Hu
Fol. Eriobotryae
Pi Pa Ye
(Bul. Fritillariae Thunbergii)
(Zhe Bei Mu)

Hb. Lophatheri
Dan Zhu Ye
Caulis Akebiae
Mu Tong

Rx. Paeoniae Alba
Bai Shao

Cough from Lung Heat.

Urinary dysfunction due to Yin Deficiency and Heat in the Blood.

Postpartum dysuria.

In wine for prenatal or postpartum urinary incontinence.

Cx. Lycii
Di Gu Pi

Rx. Ophiopogonis
Mai Men Dong
Rx. Rehmanniae
Sheng Di Huang

Hua Shi
Caul. Akebiae
Mu Tong
Rx. Rehmanniae
Sheng Di Huang

Sm. Plantaginis
Che Qian Zi
Hua Shi

Late-stage febrile disorders characterized by lingering fever due to Yin Deficiency.

Xue Lin. (Bloody painful urinary dysfunction)

Prostate inflammation due to Heat in the Lower Jiao.

  1. It is bitter but not drying so it directs downward.
  2. It is salty so it can enter the Blood and cold to Clear Heat without injuring the Yin.
  3. It cools both Deficiency and Excess.
  4. It is useful in prolonged low grade fever due to residual pathogenic influences.
  5. It cools the Lungs to move fluid downward.
  6. Bai Wei, Cx. Moutan Mu Dan Pi and Cx. Lycii Di Gu Pi all Cool Blood and reduce Deficiency Heat to treat Heat from Yin Deficiency with low grade fever. Mu Dan Pi and Di Gu Pi are also able to reduce Blood Heat and are used for bleeding in the upper or lower body due to Excess Heat causing chaotic movement of Blood. Mu Dan Pi dispels Blood Stasis which the others do not do and is also good for steaming bones and consumptive Heat without sweating. Di Gu Pi treats the same disorders with sweating. Bai Wei's ability to cool the Lungs is similar to that of Di Gu Pi, but Bai Wei can vent residual pathogenic Heat injuring the Yin in the later stages of a febrile disorder which the others cannot do. It can also facilitate urination.
  7. Bai Wei, Rx. Stellariae Yin Chai Hu and Hb. Artemisiae Annuae Qing Hao all clear pathogenic Heat. Qing Hao does not cool the Lungs or facilitate urination. Rx. Stellariae Yin Chai Hu does not vent Heat or vent Blood Heat outward, but only cools Blood Heat internally.
  8. Fresh Cynanchi Xian Bai Wei is better for cooling Heat toxin and reducing scrofula. It is often applied topically by itself.
  9. Honey-prepared Cynanchi Zhi Bai Wei is focused on the Lung channel to treat night sweats, recurring Heat and hemoptysis.
  10. Dry-fried Cynanchi Chao Bai Wei has a moderated cooling nature making it more appropriate for treating Yin Deficiency patients or those with Spleen and Stomach weakness.