Summary: Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners having been taking advantage of salvia miltiorrhiza extract benefits for a very long time. In this article, the pharmacological effects of Salvia miltiorrhiza extract on ischemic conditions such as ischemic cerebral infarction and its other health benefits have been presented. All information is accompanied by evidence that suggests that taking salvia miltiorrhiza extract can prove to be effective in the cases mentioned in this article.

Salvia miltiorrhiza extract is extracted from the dried root of the red sage, also known as danshen, which traditional Chinese medical practitioners have been using for the treatment of vascular diseases for ages. Chinese medicine theory claims that danshen or salvia miltiorrhiza improves the flow of blood and treats blood stasis, two benefits that are now also offered by salvia miltiorrhiza extract. The medicinal uses of salvia miltiorrhiza extract have widened due to its potential health benefits, and it is now being used for things like coronary artery disease, fibrosis, glaucoma, ischemic diseases, and even to help people quit alcohol.

Alleviates Hypertension

It has already been proven that cerebral tends to occur as a result of hypertension. It has also been proven that ischemic cerebral infarction can be prevented and treated if it is ensured that blood pressure always remains within the ideal range. In the animal study “Anti-hypertensive effect …,” salvia miltiorrhiza extract was given to rats and it alleviated hypertension in them. It also minimized the activity of the peptide hormone, aldosterone that is responsible for vasoconstriction and indirectly increases blood pressure. Thus, blood pressure can be potentially lowered and/or maintained by taking salvia miltiorrhiza extract.

Controls Excessive Alcohol Consumption

In the article “Reducing effect of the …” a series of four animal trials have been mentioned that were conducted in Italy. These experiments led to the discovery that the gastrointestinal tract absorbs less alcohol after salvia root extract has been consumed. Subsequently, this resulted in the reduction of alcohol levels in the blood and cravings for alcohol. Researchers reached the conclusion that if medicines derived from salvia miltiorrhiza extract are used, alcoholics could control and even quit their consumption of alcohol.

Inhibits Fibrosis

In the The experimental study of the …,” which was an animal study, not only did salvia miltiorrhiza extract hinder fibrosis, which is basically the formation of scar tissue. Similarly, when liver fibrosis was chemically induced in the mice, salvia miltiorrhiza extract safeguarded the liver from it. In fact, the study “Salvia miltiorrhiza reduces …” even concluded that fibrosis may even be reversed by taking salvia miltiorrhiza extract. Based on these studies, it is evident that salvia miltiorrhiza extract could even help prevent and treat liver cirrhosis.

Protects The Optic Nerve

It has been evidenced that the optic nerve can sustain structure damage when under intra-ocular hypertension and ocular stress, and taking salvia miltiorrhiza extract can guard it from such damage. Researchers that conducted the study “Evidence of compromised circulation” reached the conclusion that micro-circulation was improved in the optic nerve and the retinal ganglion cells after the application of salvia miltiorrhiza extract, which is how it protected the optic nerve from getting damaged

Relieves Coronary Artery Disease

In the article “The treatment of gastro-intestinal …,” it is mentioned that a study was conducted that involved patients suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD), who were given a formula based on salvia miltiorrhiza extract. According to the reports of a little over 80% of those patients, they experienced positive health benefits, while more than 50% of those potential claims that their EEG came out normal after taking the formula.


Overall, the use of salvia miltiorrhiza extract is safe and will not result in serious side effects, but taking it when on anticoagulant medications, especially Wayfarin, should be avoided. In rare cases, taking salvia miltiorrhiza extract may lead to excessive bruising due to too much thinning of blood, which can be relieved by lowering the typical dose of 1 to 4 grams a day, or stopping its use entirely. Overall, while the benefits of taking salvia miltiorrhiza extract may not seem as important as that of other similar herbal remedies, it is still worth taking for the prevention and treatment of vascular diseases and the other conditions mentioned above.


  1. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. Anti-Hypertensive Effect of Water Extract of Danshen on Renovascular Hypertension Through Inhibition of the Renin Angiotensin System.
  2. Phytother Res. Reducing effect of Salvia miltiorrhiza extracts on alcohol intake: influence of vehicle.
  3. Zhongguo Xiu Fu Chong Jian Wai Ke Za Zhi. The experimental study of the effect of insulin and danshen on culture of fibroblast in vitro.
  4. J Hepatol. Salvia miltiorrhiza reduces experimentally-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats.
  5. Chin Med J. Evidence of compromised circulation in the pathogenesis of optic nerve damage in chronic glaucomatous rabbit.
  6. Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon. The treatment of gastro-intestinal cancers with Chinese medicine.