English Name: dichroa root
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Dichroae
Medica Category: Emetic Herbs
Properties: Chang Shan enters the Lung, Heart, and Liver channels; it is acrid and bitter in nature and cold in temperature. Its purpose is to induce vomiting and thus according to TCM is considered toxic.
The Chinese Herb Chang Shan is the dried root of a shrub native to Nepal and China (mainly south of the Yangtze river) commonly known as blue evergreen hydrangea or Chinese quinine (Dichroa febrifuga Lour.). It blooms with white and blue flowers which give way to blue berries in the summer. In the autumn, the roots are harvested, cleaned, and dried to be used as medicine. The fresh herb is used to induce vomiting; to treat malaria, the herb is processed in grain-based liquor.
Chang Shan (fresh) induces vomiting. It is used to expel phlegm that is obstructing the proper flow of qi in the chest and abdomen.
Chang Shan (soaked in grain-based liquor) is used to address malarial disorders with alternating fever and chills. Bing Lang (areca nut) is usually given at the same time to relieve vomiting.
In general, emetic herbs are extremely toxic, irritating, and potent and must be used only when necessary, according to appropriate guidelines, and with extreme caution. We recommend using them only under the supervision of a trained TCM professional.
Chang Shan should be used with caution in weak or deficient persons as it has a strong emetic function and may injure the qi.