Herb: San Qi

Latin name: Panax pseudoginseng notoginseng

Synonyms: Panax pseudo-ginseng notoginseng

Family: Araliaceae (Ginseng Family)

Medicinal use of San Qi:

San Qi is a fairly recent newcomer to Chinese herbalism, the first recorded usage dating from the sixteenth century. Nevertheless, it has attained an importance as a tonic medicine that supports the function of the adrenal glands, in particular the production of corticosteroids and male sex hormones. It also helps to improve blood flow through the coronary arteries, thus finding use as a treatment for arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and angina. The roots are said to be analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, astringent, cardiotonic, discutient, diuretic, haemostatic, hypoglycaemic, styptic, tonic and vulnerary. They are used in the treatment of contused wounds, soft tissue injuries and all kinds of bleeding, both internal and external, like haematuria, nose bleeds, haematemesis, uterine bleeding etc. They are also used in the treatment of coronary heart disease and angina pectoris. The roots can be applied externally as a poultice in order to help speed the healing of wounds and bruises. The root is harvested before flowering or after the seed has ripened. It is usually dried for later use. There is much confusion in literature over this plant and P. pseudo-ginseng. It is probable that the two can be used interchangeably but this has still to be confirmed. The following are the uses attributed to P. pseudo-ginseng:- The roots and the flowers are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cardiotonic, diuretic, haemostatic and hypoglycaemic. The root is used internally in the treatment of coronary heart disease and angina. The roots are also used both internally and externally in the treatment of nosebleeds, haemorrhages from the lungs, digestive tract and uterus, and injuries. The roots are harvested in the autumn, preferably from plants 6 - 7 years old, and can be used fresh or dried. The flowers are used to treat vertigo and dizziness.

Description of the plant:


120 cm
(4 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Forests and shrubberies, 2100 - 4300 metres in Central Nepal in the Himalayas.

Edible parts of San Qi:

The roots are chewed, used as a flavouring in liqueurs or made into a tea.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow in a shady position in a cold frame preferably as soon as it is ripe, otherwise as soon as the seed is obtained. It can be very slow and erratic to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse or frame for at least their first winter. Make sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the roots. Plant out into their permanent positions in late summer. Division in spring.

Cultivation of San Qi:

Forests and shrubberies, 2100 - 4300 metres in Central Nepal in the Himalayas.

Known hazards of Panax pseudoginseng notoginseng:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.