Pharmaceutical Latin: Radix Gentianae
Common English: Chinese Gentian Root
Scabrous Gentian Root
Herbs that Clear Heat: Herbs that Clear Heat and Dry Dampness
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
Tincture: 1-3ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Drains Damp-Heat from the Liver and Gallbladder channels

Damp-Heat in the upper portion of the Gall Bladder Channel with red, swollen sore throat and eyes; swollen, painful ears or sudden deafness

Damp-Heat in the Liver/Gallbladder with jaundice, pain, swelling or dampness in the genital area or foul-smelling vaginal discharge and itching

Drains and pacifies Excess Liver Fire

Liver Fire Blazing Upward with headache or red eyes

Liver Wind-Heat with fever, spasms, convulsions or flank pain
  • Contraindicated in those with Spleen and Stomach Deficiencies with diarrhea.
  • Contraindicated in those with Qi Deficiency.
  • Contraindicated in those with Blood Deficiency.
  • Contraindicated in those with no Excess Fire.
  • Do not take on an empty Stomach.
  • Concurrent use with diuretics such as chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide, furmoside (Lasix), bumetinide (Bumex) and torsemide (Demadex) may lead to increased elimination of water and/or electrolytes.
  • Concurrent administration of this herb with sedatives such as barbiturates, antihistamines, narcotic analgesics, benzodiazepines and many others, will lead to prolonged sedation.

Rz. Coptidis
Huang Lian

Rx. et Rz. Rhei
Da Huang

Rx. Bupleuri
Chai Hu
Rx. Scutellariae
Huang Qin
(Caul. Akebiae)
(Mu Tong)

Red, swollen, painful eyes due to Excess Heat in the Liver channel. (the juice can be used as eye drops)

Rib pain, a bitter taste, red eyes, jaundice, deafness, hot dysenteric disorders, Dampness and swelling of the scrotum, vomiting, epistaxis, fright, mania and constipation due to Liver Fire.

Liver Fire or Liver and Gall Bladder Damp-Heat with eye redness, swelling and pain; stabbing pain in the chest; deafness; bitter taste in the mouth; testicular swelling and pain; and short, dark, or turbid painful urination.

Hb. Artemisiae Scopariae
Yin Chen Hao
Fr. Gardeniae
Zhi Zi
(Rx. et Rz. Rhei)
(Da Huang)

Rx. Sophorae Flavescentis
Ku Shen
Cx. Phellodendri
Huang Bai
Sm. Plantaginis
Che Qian Zi

Concha Haliotidis
Shi Jue Ming

Damp-Heat jaundice with bitter taste in the mouth and fullness and pain in the chest from Liver/Gallbladder Damp-Heat.

Genital itching, vaginal discharge, or eczema due to Damp-Heat in the Liver/Gallbladder channels.

Headache, swollen eyes and vertigo from Liver Fire or Liver Yang Rising with headache, red eyes and vertigo.

Extinguishes Liver Wind with tremors, twitches and spasms.

Calculus Bovis
Niu Huang
Ram. cum Uncis Uncariae
Gou Teng
(Rz. Coptidis)
(Huang Lian)

Flos Chrysanthemi
Ju Hua
Sm. Cassiae
Jue Ming Zi

Convulsions due to Liver Fire, especially in children.

Redness, swelling and pain of the eyes.


  1. It is most commonly used for Damp-Heat in the Lower Jiao.
  2. It is similar to Rz. Coptidis Huang Lian, Rx. Scutellariae Huang Qin, and Cx. Phellodendri Huang Bai, but is specific for the Lower Jiao.
  3. It is so bitter many people cannot drink it in tea, therefore it best to take it in pill form and extracts.
  4. It is suitable for Milky Lin.
  5. At low dosage, (less than 1g), it stimulates the Stomach to increase the production of gastric acid and improve digestion. At large dosage, it irritates the Stomach and causes nausea, vomiting and anorexia.
  6. It is said to treat limps with intolerable pain.
  7. This herb has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  8. It is said to be a "sound herb for Stomach diseases".
  9. This herb cures hematochezia due to alcohol poisoning.
  10. This herb is said that it increase bile flow.
  11. It also protects the Liver from chemical damage.
  12. It lowers blood pressure.
  13. It is said to be four to seven times stronger than aspirin.
  14. Both Long Dan Cao and Cx. Phellodendri Huang Bai clear Lower Jiao Damp-Heat. Long Dan Cao is best for draining Liver/Gallbladder Fire from Excess while Huang Bai mainly drains ministerial Fire from Deficiency.
  15. Both Long Dan Cao and Rx. Gentianae Macrophyllae Qin Jiao eliminate Dampness, reduce Heat and are used for Damp-Heat jaundice. Qin Jiao expels Wind and Dampness but is not overly drying. It is mainly used to treat Wind-Damp Bi and Steaming Bone disorder with tidal fever. Long Dan Cao is bitter and very cold, primarily draining Fire from the Liver channel, Lower Jiao Damp-Heat and Liver Fire with red eyes, vertigo, and tinnitus. it also treats cramps and spasms due to Liver Heat generating Wind, or vaginal swelling and itching due to Lower Jiao Damp-Heat.
  16. Raw Gentian Sheng Long Dan is often applied externally as eye drops in combination with water for swelling, redness and pain of the eyes.
  17. Scorched Gentian Jiao Long Dan enters the Blood Level to cool Blood and stop bleeding. It is also less bitter and does less injury to the Spleen and Stomach. It is also less drying and does less damage to Yin and Blood. It is often used for hemafecia or hematuria from alcohol poisoning or Intestinal Wind.
  18. Wine-fried Gentian Jiu Chao Long Dan Cao moves upward to clear toxic Fire in the head or face and is often used for swelling, redness and pain of the eyes, tinnitus, and bitter taste, It is less cold and less likely to cause obstruction. It is most effective for rib pain from Liver/Gallbladder Fire.