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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Great Burnet, Di Yu

(Sanguisorba Officinalis, Radix Sanguisorbae

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  • Bloodwort Herbal Description
  • Bloodwort Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Bloodwort Dosage Information
  • Bloodwort Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Bloodwort Supplements & Products

  • bloodwort (di yu) plant


    Bloodwort Root (Sanguisorba Officinalis; Radix Sanguisorbae) is also known as Great Burnet and Di Yu. It is a Traditional Chinese Medicine remedy employed mainly for its astringent action, being used to slow or arrest blood flow.

    It is said to cool the blood and stop bleeding and for bleeding due to blood-heat, mainly used for hematemesis, hematuria, hemorrhoids, also for hemoptysis, metrorrhagia, etc. It is used to clear away heat and toxic materials, for diarrhea and dysentery of dampness-heat type. Recently also used for typhoid fever. Topical application may be adopted for burn, skin infection, eczema, skin erosion. It is a hemostatic and inhibits the growth of various pathogenic bacteria.

    Sanguisorba officinalis is well known for its incredible performance on stopping bleeding in herbal remedies. Li Shizhen, the famous pharmacologist in the Ming dynasty, ever gave it a high recognition for its amazing medicinal value – a pound of Di Yu (radix Sanguisorbae) is better that the equivalent of precious pearl. This is a to-the-point comment simply because this herb has what it takes to live up to its fame being the Peal of Hemostatics in TCM clinical practice. This article is aiming to make a brief summary on its chemical composition, pharmacological effects and clinical applications, for the sake of providing a reference for the further research on this herb.

    This is a plant belonging to Sanguisorba genus in the family Rosaceae. Other common names include garden burnet, bloodwort, and great burnet. But when it comes to TCM, it largely means the dried root of Sanguisorba officinalis L. or Sanguisorba officinalis L. var. longifolia (Bertol) Yu et Li. The best quality roots used medicinally are hard, big with pink cross-section. For better medicinal value, the best harvest time is in spring when they are about to sprout or in autumn when the plants withered. After that, the fibrous roots have to be removed and the root needs to be washed, dried, or sliced before being dried in the sun, unprocessed or stir-baked into charcoal.

    Sanguisorba officinalis is distributed in the north temperate zone of Asia, throughout Europe and China. This plant grows in area at altitude of 30 meters to 3,000 meters. Wild habitats include bushwood, hillside meadow, prairie, meadow and woodland. Now it is also introduced and cultivated artificially. This is a perennial herb, 30 to 120cm in height. Root is stout, mostly fusiform, and rarely cylindrical. Root surface is brown or purple-brown, with longitudinal wrinkles, transverse cracks, and yellowish white or aubergine smooth transection. Stems are erect, carinal, and glabrous or with sparse hairs on base. Basal leaves are pinnate, with 4 to 6 pairs of leaflets, glabrous petiole or base with sparse hairs. Spica is oval, cylindrical or ovoid, erect, usually 1 to 4cm long, 0.5 to 1cm in diameter, and flowering from the top to bottom. Fruits are concealed in the persistent calyx tube and with edges outside. And it blooms and fruits during July to October. The actual smell is light, with a slightly bitter and astringent taste.

    Main chemical constituents in sanguisorba officinalis root are Ziyu-Glycoside I, II, A, B, E, phenolic acid compound, and a small amount of vitamin A. Main component for stopping bleeding is the tannin. Its properties are bitter, sour, astringent, liver and large intestine meridians entered. Actions are cool blood to stop bleeding, relieve toxicity andn heal wound.

    bloodwort flower


  • Bleeding caused by blood heat: This herb is cold and bitter, entering the blood system. Thus it can cool blood to stop bleeding. In addition, being sour and astringent it is indicated for different kinds of bleeding caused by blood heat. And its descending and lowering property makes it suitable for bleeding of lower energizer. For hematochezia due to exuberant heat, it is usually combined with other heat-clearing and blood-cooling hemostatics. For instance it is combined with Sheng Di Huang, Huang Qin, Huai Hua and so on in Yue Ying Jian from Jing Yue Quan Shu. For bloody hemorrhoid with bright red color, it is combined with heat-clearing, descending and purging herbs. For instance it is combined with Huai Jiao, Huang Qin] and Zhi Qiao in Huai Jiao Wan from Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fang. For red profuse vaginal bleeding of metrorrhagia and metrostaxis due to blood heat accompanied by dry mouth and lips, it is combined with heat-clearing and blood-cooling hemostatics. For instance there is an empirical formula in treating severe metrorrhagia from Nu Ke Yao Zhi (Essentials of Gynecology) and it is combined with heng Di Huang, Huang Qin and Mu Dan Pi.

  • This herb clears heat and relieves toxicity, cools blood and astringes intestine to stop dysentery: So it is good at treating blood lingering dysentery. For instance it is combined with Gan Cao in Di Yu Tang from Shen Ji Zong Lu.

  • Empyrosis, eczema, sores, abscess and carbuncle: Being bitter and cold with actions of purging fire and relieving toxicities, sour and astringent with action of healing wound it is a key herb in treating empyrosis. Because is not only clears heat and cools blood, but relieves toxicity and eliminates swelling, it is indicated for sores, abscess and carbuncle before and after pus is formed. Its powder can be mixed with sesame oil and applied externally or combined with the powder of fire-purging and toxicity-relieving herbs externally used, such as Da Huang and Huang Lian. Besides, for eczema and cutaneous ulceration, it is applied externally by washing the affected area with its concentrated decoction, or putting its decoction infused gauze on the area, or casting the mixed powder on the area with wound-healing and tissue regeneration-promoting herbs, such as calcined Shi Gao and Ku Fan, etc. For sores, abscess and carbuncle, before pus formed, its decoction is washed or applied on the affected area. When pus is formed, use its paste pounded or mixed paste with other heat-clearing and toxicity-relieving herbs on the affected area.

  • bloodwort (di yu) roots


    Sanguisorba, its Latin scientific name, means blood sucking literally. In Middle Ages people tended to judge plants with their appearance. As a result, its crimson inflorescence convinced people that it had some kind of hemostatic effect. This conclusion happens to be the striking echo from the ancient Chinese.


    1. Its decoction significantly shortens the bleeding and clotting time. And fresh one performs better than charred one.

    2. Experiments show that this herb has amazing healing effect on fire burn, scald, and wound. It lowers capillary permeability, reduces exudate, and relieves tissue edema. This herb can form a protective layer on the wound, which promotes the healing, reduces skin abrasions, and prevents infection. Hence it helps avoid shock during early stage in fire burn and scald and reduce mortality rate.

    3. In vitro experiments showed that its water decoction inhibited typhoid bacillus, meningococcus, Leptospira, and so on. Besides, it is especially true to the Shigella.


    Decoct 10 to 15 grams, large dose of 30 grams. Proper dose is applied in pills and powder externally. Use the herb stir-baked into charcoal to stop bleeding and the unprocessed to relieve toxicity and heal wound.


    TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner believes that Sanguisorba officinalis root is bitter, sour, astringent, and slightly cold in properties. It covers 4 meridians, like liver, lung, kidney, and large intestine. Its basic functions are cooling blood and hemostasis and healing wounds by detoxification. Main Sanguisorba uses and indications include blood in the stool, hemorrhoids, bloody diarrhea, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, fire burns and scalds, boils, and more. Recommended dosage is from 9 to 15 grams.

  • Yue Ying Jian: Yue Ying Jian comes from Jing-Yue Quan Shu (Jing-Yue's Complete Compendium). This formula is mainly formulated for blood in the stool due to excessive heat. Other main herbal ingredients are Sheng Di Huang (Rehmannia), Bai Shao (White Peony Root), Huang Qin (Scutellaria), Huai Hua Mi (Pagoda Tree Bud), and so on.

  • Huai Jiao Wan: Huai Jiao Wan comes from He Ji Ju Fang (Formulas of the Peaceful Benevolent Dispensary). This prescription is exclusively designed for bleeding due to hemorrhoids. Other basic herbs include Huai Jiao (Sophora fruit), Fang Feng (Ledebouriella Root), Scutellaria, Zhi Ke (Ripe Fruit of Zhi Shi), and more.

  • Zhi Beng Ji Yan Fang: Zhi Beng Ji Yan Fang is from Nu Ke Yao Zhi (The Essentials of Gynecology). It is basically used for high blood heat and a great deal of red blood due to uterine bleeding, accompanied with dry mouth and parched lips. Other major herbs are Rehmannia, Scutellaria, Mu Dan Pi (Tree Peony Root Cortex), and more.

  • Di Yu Tang: This formula, Sanguisorba root combining with Gan Cao (Licorice Root), comes from Sheng Ji Zong Lu (Complete Record of Holy Benevolence). It principally treats non-stop dysentery with bloody stool.

  • Di Yu Gan Cao Tang: This prescription is from Shen Shi Zun Sheng Shu (Master Shen’s Writings on Respecting Life). It is chiefly used for hemafecia. The other herb is Zhi Gan Cao (Honey Fried Licorice Root).


    It is cool, sour and astringent in property. Take with cautions when applying it to cold-deficiency hematochezia, alv. laxat, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, and bleeding with blood stasis. It is better not to be applied externally for those who suffer from burning of a large area so as to prevent toxic hepatitis due to lots of tannin absorption it contains.

    In an acute toxicity test, mice were given radix Sanguisorba officinalis water extract or alcohol extract by intragastric administration in the dose of 2.5g/kg, no adverse reactions were found within 7 days. And the LD50 to mice by intraperitoneal injection of water and alcohol extracts were 1.60 ± 0.29g/kg and 2.17 ± 0.49g/kg respectively, which indicated that the oral toxicity of Sanguisorba is minimal. TCM wise, Di Yu herb should not be used in cases of deficient hemorrhagic diseases, chronic ulcerative carbuncle without heat, metrorrhagia and leukorrhagia due to collapse from Qi deficiency, and more. By the way, it contradicts Mai Men Dong (Ophiopogon Tuber).


  • Bloodwort (Burnet) Herbal Products



    Bloodwort Root (Sanguisorba Officinalis; Radix Sanguisorbae), also known as Great Burnet and Di Yu, is a Traditional Chinese Medicine remedy employed mainly for its astringent action, being used to slow or arrest blood flow. It is said to cool the blood and stop bleeding and for bleeding due to blood-heat, mainly used for hematemesis, hematuria, hemorrhoids, also for hemoptysis, metrorrhagia, etc. It is used to clear away heat and toxic materials, for diarrhea and dysentery of dampness-heat type. Recently also used for typhoid fever. Topical application may be adopted for burn, skin infection, eczema, skin erosion. It is a hemostatic and inhibits the growth of various pathogenic bacteria.


    Chinese Herbs Direct: Di Yu (Sanguisorba Officinalis Root) 5:1 Extract Powder, Single Herb Brand, 100 Grams
    Chinese Herbs Direct: Di Yu (Sanguisorba Officinalis Root) Whole Herb, Single Herb Brand, 500 Grams
    Chinese Herbs Direct: Di Yu (Sanguisorba Officinalis Root) Herbal Powder, Single Herb Brand, 500 Grams


    TakeHerb: Di Yu (Sanguisorba Officinalis Root), E-Fong, 100 Grams
    TakeHerb: Di Yu Tan (Sanguisorba Officinalis Root, Charred), E-Fong, 100 Grams
    TakeHerb: Hei Di Yu (Sanguisorba Radix Chacoalted), MinTong, 100 Grams


    Kalyx: Sanguisorba Officinanlis 5:1 Single Herb Extract Powder, NuHerbs, 100 Grams: TC
    Kalyx: Sanguisorba Officinalis; Rx (Di Yu; Burnet Root) Cut & Sited, NuHerbs, 1 lb: TC
    Kalyx: Sanguisorba Officinalis; Radix (Di Yu; Sanguisorba Root), Cut & Sifted, NuHerbs, 1 lb: TC
    Kalyx: Carbonized Sanguisorba Officinalis; Radix (Di Yu Tan), Cut & Sifted, NuHerbs, 1 lb: TC

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