Home / Chinese Herb / LYSIMACHIA [金钱草, JIN QIAN CAO]


Name : Lysimachial901977530_opt

Chinese Name : 金钱草

Latin Name : Herba Lysimachiae


This herb is the dried whole plant of Lysimachia christinae Hance of the family Primulaceae. It is grown mainly in the areas of Sichuan, Zhejiang, and other provinces of southern China. The plant produced in the Sichuan province is considered to be the best. The plant is collected in the summer, dried, cut into pieces, and used unprocessed.

Lysimachia is an antipyretic and diuretic herb. It invigorates the functions of the gallbladder and is useful for the treatment of strangury, jaundice, acute icteric hepatitis, calculi of the biliary, and urinary tract disorders.

Use of Lysimachia TCM Properties

Slightly sweet in taste, cold and neutral, it acts on the liver, gallbladder, kidney, and urinary bladder meridians.

Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations

  1. Induces diuresis and removes lithiasis: lysimachia is useful in treating strangury and lithiasis (formation of calculus) in the kidneys, urinary bladder, ureter, gallbladder, and liver. It can be used alone in a tea, which is drunk daily for a few months, or mixed with chicken gizzard membrane and lygodium (hai jin sha) in a decoction for an intensified effect.
  2. Removes Heat and Dampness in the liver and gallbladder, and relieves jaundice:
  • To treat acute icteric hepatitis, lysimachia is combined with capillaris, gardenia, and polygoni (hu zhang)
  • Lysimachia is blended with capillaris, rhubarb, scute root, curcuma, aucklandia root, and bitter orange for gallbladder or liver stone, obstructive pain in the gallbladder, and jaundice.
  1. Disperses Heat and detoxifies: fresh lysimachia is used alone as a fresh juice or combined with dandelion, wild chrysanthemum, and lonicera in a decoction to treat boils, furuncles, and other pyogenic infections on the surface of the body. The preparation can be taken internally, applied externally, or used both ways.


In a decoction of 30 to 60 g


People with jaundice not due to internal Heat and Dampness should use this herb with caution.

Side Effects and Toxicity

No side effects were observed in ten cases of cholethiasis treated with the herb at a daily dose of 150 to 200 g for over six months. No toxic reaction was observed in one case treated for 318 days. Another case given 100 g of the herb daily for seven days ureteral calcali reported no adverse reaction. Long-term use of the herb may cause dizziness or palpitations due to the excretion of large amounts of salts.

Chemical Constituents

Lysimachia contains flavones, glycosides, phenol, flavanone, amino acid, tannin, essential oil, lactones, choline, and potassium salt.

Pharmacological Findings

Lysimachia is a diuretic, increases the secretion of bile by the liver cells, removes stones in the urinary tract and gallbladder, and treat urinary infections.

  1. Choleretic lithigogic effects: daily oral administration of 5 ml of the 1:1 decoction of the herb for six weeks significantly promoted bile secretion and excretion in rats. Drainage of the human duodenum showed that it had a choleretic action. Experiments showed flow of bile from the gallbladder was greatly increased in dogs given the decoction of the herb. Bile secretion was increased by three to twenty times and the concretion components in the bile were decreased in six out of seven anesthetized dogs ten to twenty minutes after administration of the decoction.
  2. Injection of the decoction of 120 g of the herb into the duodenum of anesthetized dogs increased the ureteral peristalsis and concurrently the urine output, similar to the responses elicited by hydrochlorthiazide. An oral administration of the herb’s decoction rendered the urine acidic, promoting the dissolution of stones formed under alkaline conditions.

Clinical Findings

Three varieties of lysimachiae have been identified. They are L.christinae (jin qian cao), desmodium styracifolium ( guang dong jin qian cuo), and Glechoma longituba (lian qian cao). Based on clinical trials, all three varieties are diuretic, effective in the treatment of strangury and calculi of the urinary tract and gallbladder, antipyretic, detoxifying, and antimicrobial. However, studies indicate that jin qian cao is more effective in treating  gallbladder and liver calculus. Guang dong jin qian cao and lian qian cao are more effective in treating urinary calculus, and jin qian cao is more effective at detoxification and as  an antipyretic.

In China, food poisoning, drug poisoning, lead poisoning, and mercury poisoning were treated with the lysimachia decoction.