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Pharmacological effects of Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen) on cerebral infarction

Tsai-Hui Lin1 and Ching-Liang Hsieh123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan

2 Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan

3 Acupuncture Research Center, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan

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Chinese Medicine 2010, 5:22  doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-22

Published: 21 June 2010


Danshen, the dried root of Salvia miltiorrhiza, is a Chinese medicine used to promote blood flow and treat vascular disease. The present article reviews the pharmacological effects of Danshen on cerebral infarction and possible interactions between Danshen and Western drugs. Danshen may reduce or prolong the development of atherosclerosis and may have anti-hypertensive and anti-platelet aggregation effects, which prevent cerebral infarction. Danshen may enhance endogenous anti-oxidative enzyme activities such as the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and may scavenge oxygen free radicals. Prevention and treatment of cerebral infarction by Danshen involves multiple pathways, including anti-atherosclerosis, anti-hypertension, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects.