The All-Purpose Blood-Activating and Toxin-Dispelling Herb - Celastrus orbiculatus

Commonly known as the "All-Purpose Herb" or "Qingming Herb," Celastrus orbiculatus is also called "Climbing Dragon Grass." During spring and summer, it blooms with purple flowers in spiral clusters, arranged along the stems, creating a beautiful sight reminiscent of the dragon pillars found in temples. Hence, it is also known as the "Red Dragon Embracing the Pillar" or "Climbing Dragon Participant." In the eyes of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, this herb is highly treasured.


[Botanical Name]: Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb

[English Name]: Celastrus orbiculatus

[Family]: Celastraceae

[Other Names]: Southern Snake Vine, Guoshan Maple, Hanging Whip, Fragrant Dragon Grass, Guoshan Dragon (Jiangxi Materia Medica), Large Southern Snake, Old Dragon Skin (Hunan Materia Medica), Piercing Mountain Dragon (Quanzhou Materia Medica), Old Ox Tendon, Yellow Fruit Vine, One-Piece Dragon (Kinmen Island).

Distribution and Morphology:

[Distribution]: Northeast, North China, Northwest, East China, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, and Taiwan.

[Morphology]: A deciduous climbing shrub with round or oblong leaves, having a wavy margin with dull serrations. The branches are round and ashy-brown or dark-brown. The leaves are alternate; leaf blades are nearly round, broadly inverted ovate, or elliptical-inverted ovate, with dull serrated edges. The petiole is 1 to 2 cm long. It bears short clusters of flowers in the axils. The calyx has 5 lobes and is ovate; the petals are 5 and ovoid-elliptical in shape. The female flowers have 5 stamens and 1 pistil, with the ovary superior and nearly spherical, and the stigma is 3-lobed. The male flowers have slightly longer stamens, and the pistil is degenerated. The fruit is spherical, with a diameter of 7 to 8 mm. The seeds are ovate to elliptical, with a reddish fleshy pseudo-aril. It flowers from April to May and fruits mature from September to October.

Functions and Indications:

Celastrus orbiculatus has the functions of dispelling wind and dampness, promoting blood circulation, and detoxifying. It is used to treat conditions such as rheumatic joint pain, numbness of limbs, paralysis, headaches, toothaches, hernias, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, convulsions in children, sprains, contusions, dysentery, heatstroke, and herpes zoster.

Source: Illustrated Handbook of Commonly Used Medicinal Plants in Taiwan, Volume III.

Cheng Kuang

Founded in 1970, Cheng Kuang Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. has a history spanning over half a century. With the self-ascribed title of "Experts in Alleviating Pain," the company has been dedicated to the innovation, research and development, manufacturing, service, and quality enhancement of topical herbal medicines.