Redroot Gromwell Root

Source Arnebia Root is the dried root of Arnebia euchroma (Royle) Johnst. or Lithospermum erythrorhizon Sieb. et Zucc., family Boraginaceae.

Producing Areas Liaoning, Hunan, Hubei, Xinjiang, etc.

Properties Sweet, Salty, Cold

Channels Heart, Liver


  • Clears heat, cools blood, and relieves fire toxins
    For fire toxins in the skin causing very dark purple rashes. This herb encourages the rash to erupt, used when diseases (like mumps or chickenpox) are not progressing.
  • Clears damp-heat skin lesions
    Used topically for skin lesions, vaginal itching, eczema, dermatitis, or burns.
  • Unblocks the bowels and invigorates the blood
    For mild constipation caused by heat in the blood, or used to treat amenorrhoea and dysmenorrhoea.

Usage and Dosage
3 – 10g is decocted for oral use. The paste or oil extract is used externally.

Notes Contraindicated for patients with loose stools due to deficiency of the spleen.

Keep in a dry place.

Description of Quality Herb
The good one is big and thick in size, purple in colour, with thick skin.

Professional Advice

  • Xinjiang Zicao: The physical property is light and loose. There are about a dozen layers in the skin part which is slat-shaped.
  • Zicao: The surface is rough. The skin is thin and easy to exfoliate. It is hard and brittle, with a bigger wooden part.
  • Inner Mongolia Zicao: The skin is slightly thinner with several layers, easy to exfoliate. It is hard and crisp, with a bigger wooden part.

Fakes:In many areas, the whole dried herb of the rosaceous plant Chinese Cinquefoil Herb (Potentilla chinensis Ser.)is substituted for Redroot Gromwell Root.Chinese Cinquefoil Herb is cold and bitter in nature and affects the liver and large intestine channels. The stem is narrow, cylindrical or conical, curved and 0.5 – 1cm in diameter. It is dark brown or dark purplish-red in colour, with wrinkles and a thick skin that is easily exfoliated. Its texture is brittle and easily broken. The leaves are nested with feathery edges and greyish-white pubescence on the underside.It can clear toxic heat, cool the blood and relieve dysentery, and is recommended for dysentery with abdominal pain, bleeding haemorrhoids and carbuncles.