Red Sage root
Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, also known as red sage or Danshen (or Dan Shen), is a perennial plant in the mint family, like common sage. It’s native to China and Japan, and the dried red roots of the plant are used for medicine.
In TCM, its Danshen are known as “super grade herbs” because they lack observable toxicity and have been used for over 2,000 years to treat a range of health conditions.
In the textbooks of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Danshen was described as a common drug for promoting blood circulation. It has also been used for treating heart disease, including conditions like atherosclerosis, thrombosis and hypertension.
- Supports Heart Health
A summary of literature published in Current Pharmaceutical Design analyzed 39 clinical trials that involved the use of red sage alone or with other herbs for the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease.
Researchers found that more than 200 individual compounds have been isolated from Danshen and exhibited various pharmacological activities for the treatment of heart disease, both in animal and cell models.
Studies suggest that it’s able to promote blood circulation and coronary blood flow, reduce risk of heart attack, and improve symptoms of stroke and angina. More research is needed, however, to understand the role of red sage in humans, as most studies involve animals or cell models.
- Works as an Antioxidant
Research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that Danshen is an effective free radical scavenger and promotes cellular defense activity in the protection against peroxynitrite, a free radial that’s involved in the formation of disease.
- May Improve Osteoporosis
Clinical trials involving red sage show that it has successfully targeted osteoporosis. It’s believed that the herb provides potent compounds targeting specific pathways in bone resorption and bone formation.
- Has Neuroprotective Effects
Research published in Cell Medicine displays that acute treatment with herbal extracts containing red sage and cacao have neuroprotective effects in stroke models.
When stroke animals received red sage and cacao extracts, they displayed a significant reduction in ischemic cell death and better performance in routine motor and neurological tasks.
- May Improve Diabetic Retinopathy
Research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine concludes that a Danshen dripping pill may be safe and efficacious for treating or delaying diabetic retinopathy — and may improve vision or delay vision loss in diabetic patients.
Dietary retinopathy is an eye disease that affects people with diabetes. It occurs when high blood sugar starts to damage the blood vessels in the retina.