Home / Chinese Herb / SEMIAQUILEGIA ROOT [天葵, TIAN KUI]


Name : Semiaquilegia RootTian_kui_zi_Semiaquilegia_root_Radix_Semiaquilegia_opt

Chinese Name : 天葵

Latin Name : Radix Semiaquilegiae


This herb is the dried root of  Semiaquilegia adoxoides (DC) Mak. of the family Ranunculaceae.  It is mainly grown  in the Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, and Yunnan provinces of  China, collected in the summer, cleaned, sliced, dried, and used unprocessed. Semiaquilegia root is antipyretic, detoxicant, antimicrobial, and an antitumor agent.

Use of Semiaquilegia Root in TCM

Sweet and bitter  in taste, cool and slightly toxic, it acts on the spleen, small intestines, and bladder meridians.

Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations

  1. Antitumorous: to treat liver, breast, and acute malignant lymphatic cancers, semiaquilegia root is combined with oldenlandia and paridis in a decoction. It is used with lobilia, black nightshade, and verbena to treat bladder  cancer.For breast cancer, it is commonly prescribed with oldenlandia, paridis, fritillary bulb, and trichosanthes seed or, for lymphatic cancer, with seaweed and prunella spike.
  2. Eliminates Heat toxins and detoxifies: for the treatment of boils, carbuncles, mastitis, and similar conditions, semiaquilegia root is blended with dandelion, wild chrysanthemum, lonicera, and viola, as in Wu Wei Xiao Du.  
  3. Induces diuresis to treat strangury: this herb is used alone in a decoction or mixed with plantain seed, pyrrosia (shi wei), polygonum herb and others in a decoction.


In a decoction of 3 to 10 g.


People with Cold and stomach and spleen deficiency should not use this herb.

Side Effects and Toxicity

At suggested doses, no adverse  side  effects or toxicity were reported in classical Chinese material  medica. This herb is reported to be  slightly toxic. Do not overdose.

Chemical Constituents

Semiaquilegia root contains alkaloids, fats, organic acids, and amino acids.

Pharmacological Findings

Semiaquilegia root is antimicrobial and an antitumor agent.