Pharmaceutical Latin: Radix Sophorae Flavescentis
Common English: Sophora Root
Flavescent Sophora Root
Yellow Pagoda Tree Root
Herbs that Clean Heat: Herbs that Clear Heat and Dry Dampness
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
Urinary Bladder
Large Intestine
Small Intestine
Up to 30g when used topically
Tincture: 1-4ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Clears Heat and dries Dampness

Damp-Heat in the Lower Jiao with jaundice, diarrhea, dysenteric disorders, vaginal discharge and sores, viral hepatitis

Disperses Wind, kills parasites and stops itching

Damp-toxin skin lesions or infestations with chronic itching, scabies, seepage and bleeding (internal and topical)

Genital itching and vaginal discharge (internal and topical)

Bronchial asthma

Clears Heat and promotes urination

Damp-Heat in the Small Intestine

Painful urinary dysfunction

Hot edema

  • Contraindicated for those with Spleen and Stomach Deficiency Cold.
  • Contraindicated for those with Kidney Deficiency without fever.
  • Do not inject.
  • Incompatible with Rz. et Rx. Veratri Li Lu.
  • Antagonizes Sm. Cuscutae Chinensis Tu Si Zi.
  • Antagonizes Bul. Fritillariae Bei Mu.

Rx. Aucklandiae
Mu Xiang

Cx. Phellodendri
Huang Bai
Rx. Angelicae Dahuricae
Bai Zhi
Fr. Cnidii
She Chuang Zi

Fr. Cnidii
She Chuang Zi
Rx. Salviae Miltiorrhizae
Dan Shen

Damp-Heat dysenteric disorder.


Thick, yellow vaginal discharge with itching.

Damp skin lesions such as eczema.

Flos Sophorae
Huai Hua
Rx. Sanguisorbae
Di Yu

Periostracum Cicadae
Chan Tui
Hb. Schizonepetae
Jing Jie

Fol. Pyrrosiae
Shi Wei
Sm. Plantaginis
Che Quan Zi
(Hb. Taraxaci)
(Pu Gong Ying)

Hemafecia from Intestinal Heat, bleeding hemorrhoids.

Hematemesis from Stomach Heat.

Generalized itching.

Urinary dysfunction with burning, rough, painful urination due to Damp-Heat.

Rx. Angelicae Sinensis
Dang Gui
Bul. Fritillariae Thunbergii
Zhe Bei Mu

Fu Ling


Fr. Gardeniae
Zhi Zi
Cx. Phellodendri
Huang Bai
Rx. Gentianae
Long Dan Cao

Urinary dysfunction during pregnancy.

Edema due to hot painful urinary dysfunction.


Rx. Aucklandiae
Mu Xiang

Rx. Glycyrrhizae
Gan Cao

Cx. Phellodendri
Huang Bai
Fr. Cnidii
She Chuang Zi

Cx. Meliae
Ku Lian Pi


Yellow leukorrhea.

As an herbal wash for general itching or vaginitis due to trichomonas infection.

Hemorrhoid pain.

Cx. Phellodendri
Huang Bai
Fr. Cnidii
She Chuang Zi

Ming Fan

Sm. Plantaginis
Che Qian Zi

Cx. Dictamni
Bai Xian Pi
Rx. Paeoniae Rubra
Chi Shao
Flos Carthami
Hong Hua
Ram. Mori
Sang Zhi
Rx. Saposhnikoviae
Fang Feng
Fr. Forsythiae
Lian Qiao
Squama Manitis
Chuan Shan Jia
Spina Gleditsiae
Zao Jiao Ci
Periostracum Cicadae
Chan Tui
Periostracum Serpentis
She Tui

Skin itching with lesions and abscesses topically.

As an herbal wash for itching.


Sm. Hydnocarpi
Da Feng Zi
Fr. Xanthii
Cang Er Zi






  1. It is often used in pills, powders, tinctures and ointments.
  2. It is especially useful for lower body skin ailments.
  3. It is a major ingredient in several formulas for hot dysenteric disorders.
  4. It clears Heart/Small Intestine Heat.
  5. It can be used alone to treat diarrhea.
  6. It can be used alone as an External wash to treat general sores.
  7. It can be used alone to treat dysuria.
  8. It is used primarily when Damp-Heat disrupts the Bladder’s separation function.
  9. Some sources say that this herb is primarily known for treating knotted syndromes and masses in the chest and abdomen.
  10. This herb is said to protect the Liver.
  11. It protects against anaphylaxis.
  12. This herb has also been used to treat enterorrhagia.
  13. This herb has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  14. Ku Shen, Rx. Gentianae Long Dan Cao and Fr. Gardeniae Zhi Zi all clear and drain Damp-Heat, promote Gallbladder function and resolve jaundice. Ku Shen also expels Wind and kills parasites and is used for itchy skin and hot dysenteric disorders. Long Dan Cao is especially able to enter and clear Liver/Gallbladder Damp-Heat with swelling and expel Bladder Fire. Zhi Zi also drains Heat through the urine and resolves irritable discomfort in the chest.
  15. Both Ku Shen and Cx. Dictamni Bai Xian Pi eliminate Damp-Heat from the Lower Jiao and the skin and both promote urination Ku Shen also Expels Wind and kills parasites and therefore is better at treating itching and vaginal discharge. Bai Xian Pi is better for Wind-Damp-Bi or Damp-Bi with Heat signs.
  16. Both Ku Shen and Rz. Coptidis Huang Lian are very bitter and cold. and address problems of the Heart. Ku Shen treats Fire in the Heart channel as well as the Small Intestine. It cools the Fire and drains the Damp-Heat out through the urine. Its drying nature exceeds that of Huang Lian and thus can kill parasites related to Damp-Heat. Huang Lian primarily cools Fire in the Heart organ.
  17. Both Ku Shen and Fr. Cnidii She Chuang Zi have an excellent ability to dry Dampness, kill parasites, and stop itching when used externally and are often combined for these purposes. Ku Shen is very bitter and cold, clears Heat, dries Dampness and facilitates urination. It is used for Damp-Heat dysenteric disorders, jaundice and urinary difficulty due to clumping of Damp-Heat. She Chuang Zi is acrid, bitter and warm and strongly warms the Kidneys.
  18. Dry-fried Sophora Chao Ku Shen is less bitter and cold which helps it enter the Blood Level. It is used for those who have Spleen and Stomach Deficiencies, Heat toxin dysenteric disorders or Intestinal Wind with passage of Blood.