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Radix Phytolaccae

Shang Lu
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Shang Lu (Radix Phytolaccae)——Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong’s Herbal)

  1. Shang Lu
  2. 商陸
  3. 商陆
  4. 樟柳
  5. Zhang Liu
  6. Pokeberry Root

The Processing of Radix Phytolaccae


The root of Phytolacca acinosa Roxb. or P. americana L. of family Phytolaccaceae.


Most areas of China.


Collected from autumn to next spring.

The actual smell and taste

Light smell, slightly sweet and numbing-feeling after-taste.

Best quality

Big pieces, yellowish white.


Unprocessed or processed with vinegar.

The Effect of Radix Phytolaccae


Bitter, pungent, cold, toxic; large intestine, lung, and kidney meridians entered.


Expel water by catharsis, induce diuresis, relieve swelling and dissipate nodulation in topical application.


A. Edema, tympanites

Being bitter and cold with the tendency of descending, it can free urination and defection to discharge water, and excels in treating the excess syndrome of edema, tympanites, constipation and difficulty in micturition. It is often combined with diuresis-inducing and edema-alleviating herbs such as Ze Xie and Fu Ling Pi, as in Shu Zao Yin Zi from Ji Sheng Fang, and can also be used singly or cooked with carp and Chi Xiao Dou.

B. Sores and abscess

It has the action of relieving swelling and dissipating nodulation, and removing toxicity when being used topically. For sores and initial abscess, its fresh root is pounded with proper amount of salt and used externally.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct 5~10 g. Proper dosage is for topical administration. It should be processed with vinegar to weaken its toxins when taking orally.


It is contraindicated to pregnancy.