This website discusses the benefits and side effects of various supplements, herbs and drug products, including danshen. Different people may experience different side effects and benefits of a product. Danshen has not been scientific studied thoroughly, you must consult with your doctor before use it. You are encouraged to report adverse side effects to FDA, its website is www.fda.gov., or report the adverse side effects to the manufacturer. Reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document and the information provided herein is believed to be accurate. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Danshen Information Salvia miltiorrhiza (丹參; dānshēn), also known as red sage, Chinese sage, tan shen, or danshen, is a perennial plant in the genus Salvia, highly valued for its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. Native to China and Japan, it grows at 90 to 1,200 m elevation, preferring grassy places in forests, hillsides, and along stream banks. People use the danshen root to make medicine. ________________________________________________________________________________________
Traditional Uses of Danshen Danshen has been used for treating chronic renal failure and to prevent and treat heart conditions and strokes in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The Danshen root is used with kudzu root for the treatment of coronary heart disease. Danshen is also used for treating diabetes in TCM. Some people also use danshen for menstrual disorders, chronic liver disease, rapid heartbeat, tight chest, acne, psoriasis and eczema. ________________________________________________________________________________________
Key ingredients of Danshen Danshen contains danshensu, protocatechuic aldehyde, salvianolic acid B, cryptotanshinone, tanshinone I and tanshinone IIA.  Salvianolic acid is important to danshen's protective action against cerebrovascular disorders. Tanshinone I, IIA and dihydrotanshinone may contribute the anti-cancer activities of danshen ________________________________________________________________________________________
High Blood Pressure Blood Pressure Animal studies have suggested that danshen (丹參) may have benefits of blood pressure lowering; anti- fibrinolytic activities and inhibitory effect of platelet aggregation [1,2] However, its side effects can be serious, especially if the users are overdosed. It interacts with warfarin, danshen should be avoided in patients taking blood thinning or blood pressure lowering agents. 
Inhibition of Ca(2+) influx in the vascular smooth muscle cells was found to contribute the vasorelaxant effects of danshen aqueous extract, danshensu and dihydrotanshinone and salvianolic acid B. [7, 9, 10] Kim DD and co-workers at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School found that oral tanshinone (50 microg/100 g body wt) reduced mean arterial pressure in hypertensive hamsters.  They also identified eNOS stimulation is one mechanism by which tanshinone induces vasodilation and reduces blood pressure. 
Ulcer Danshen decoction was found to accelerate the healing of ulcer induced by acetic acid, increased the content of mucus and inhibited the formation of gastric ulcer in a study of mice. 
Anti-oxidative activities Yue KK and co-workers at Hong Kong Baptist University found that oral intake of danshen improved the glutathione and malondialdehyde levels in the eyes and aorta in diabetic rats. In addition, danshen didn't alter the hyperglycemic status of the diabetic animals. Thus, that oral administration of danshen can effectively prevent the occurrence of oxidative stress in the eye and aorta of the diabetic rats, help prevent or relieve the diabetic complications. 
Lipid Profiles and Osteoporosis Zhang ZP from Guangdong Medical College found that danshen root compounds increased HDL-cholesterol and partially prevent the occurrence of osteoporosis in mice suffered from hyperlipemia-induced osteoporosis. 
Breast Cancer Danshen was found to strongly inhibit the proliferation of both breast cancer cells MCF-7 vec cells and MCF-7 HER2 cells. MCF-7 HER2 cells is related to the overexpression of HER2. HER2 is a receptor tyrosine kinase, and is involved in signal transduction pathways leading to tumor cell proliferation. And, MCF-7 HER2 cells were more resistant to the Danshen-induced inhibition of Akt phosphorylation and p27 up-regulation. 
Anti-viral activities A study from Chang Gung University suggests a danshen extract may be used as anti-enterovirus 71 agent. 
Scientific evidence for danshen benefit is insufficient, more studies are needed to prove danshen benefits. _______________________________________________________________________________________
Danshen Side Effects and Safety Danshen may lead to side effects such as itching, upset stomach, reduced appetite, drowsiness, dizziness, and thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia is any disorder in which there is an abnormally low amount of platelets. Pregnant women, and patients suffered from bleeding disorder or receiving a surgery soon should avoid danshen. Further, do not take digoxin, anticoagulant, or antiplatelet agents together with danshen. You should avoid taking danshen, if you are taking warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, warfarin and other similar medications.
Danshen may also alter the metabolism of certain drugs such as lovastatin, clarithromycin, cyclosorine, diltiazem, estrogens, indinavir, triazolam and others. Do not take danshen if you are on these medications. _______________________________________________________________________________________
Danshen Dosage Common dosage is about 20 mg/kg, 3 times daily. However, at this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for danshen. Users should consult with their doctors before taking danshen. _______________________________________________________________________________________
Research Articles  Kang DG, et al. Anti-hypertensive effect of water extract of danshen on renovascular hypertension through inhibition of the renin angiotensin system. Am J Chin Med. 2002;30(1):87-93. Zou ZW, et al. Antithrombotic and antiplatelet effects of rosmarinic acid, a water- soluble component isolated from radix Salviae miltiorrhizae (danshen) Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1993;28(4):241-5.  Chan TY. Interaction between warfarin and danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza). Ann Pharmacother. 2001 Apr;35(4):501-4.  Liu L, Zhang HQ. Effects of Danshen Decoction on experimental gastric ulcer in rats and mice, Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2005 Jan;3(1):35-8.  Yue KK, et al. Danshen prevents the occurrence of oxidative stress in the eye and aorta of diabetic rats without affecting the hyperglycemic state. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Jun 15;106(1):136-41. Epub 2006 Jan 20.  Zhou L, et al. Improved quality control method for Danshen products-- consideration of both hydrophilic and lipophilic active components. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2006 Jun 7;41(3):744-50. Epub 2006 Feb 2.  Lam FF, et al. Salvianolic acid B, an aqueous component of danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), relaxes rat coronary artery by inhibition of calcium channels. Eur J Pharmacol. 2006 Dec 28;553(1-3):240-5. Epub 2006 Sep 23.  Kim DD, et al. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase is a molecular vascular target for the Chinese herb Danshen in hypertension. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 May;292(5):H2131-7. Epub 2006 Dec 15.  Lam FF, et al. Relaxant effects of danshen aqueous extract and its constituent danshensu on rat coronary artery are mediated by inhibition of calcium channels. Vascul Pharmacol. 2007 Apr;46(4):271-7. Epub 2006 Nov 18.  Lam FF, et al. Dihydrotanshinone, a lipophilic component of Salvia miltiorrhiza (danshen), relaxes rat coronary artery by inhibition of calcium channels. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Sep 26;119(2):318-21. Epub 2008 Jul 18.  Zhang ZP, et al. Effect of Danshen root compound on blood lipid and bone biomechanics in mice with hyperlipemia-induced osteoporosis Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2008 Aug;28(9):1550-3.  Wu BW, et al. Antiviral effects of Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen) against enterovirus 71. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(1):153-68.  Yang W, et al, Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) extract inhibits proliferation of breast cancer cells via modulation of Akt activity and p27 level.Phytother Res. 2010 Feb;24(2):198-204.