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Long-term use of herbs


Some herbs are deemed “toxic” or “slightly toxic,” but this usually implies long-term use. Long-term use can be widely interpreted, but most will agree that it constitutes drinking decoctions or taking powdered forms longer than one month.

Please feel free to list off some of the herbs you may understand (via research and/or clinical practice) to be safe and/or harmful for use (a) longer than one month, (b) longer than three months, and © longer than six months. Also when applicable, please reference your findings via providing a link(s).


I gree with U, toxic herb cant used for
long term, but some herb which doesnt include toxic group are cant use for long term because of caracteristic and it depending the formula to, Chen pi is one of non toxic herb that cannot used for long term because can injure the premial Qi

There are some toxic herb as I know :

  1. Ba Dau (Croton Fructus)- very toxic
  2. Bai Guo (Ginko semen) - Slightly toxic
  3. Bai Hua She (Agkistrodon) - toxic
  4. Ban Mao (Mylabris) - toxic
  5. Chang Er zi (Xanthii Fructus) - Toxic
  6. Chan Su (Bufonis Venenum) - Toxic
  7. Chang Shan (Dichroae Radix) - Toxic
  8. Chuan Lian Zi (Toosendan fructus) Slightly Toxic
  9. Da Feng zi (Hydnocarpi Semen) - Toxic
  10. Da ji (Knoxiae/Euphoriae Radix) - Toxic
  11. Feng Fang (Vespae Nidus) - Toxic
  12. Gan Qi (Toxicodendri Resina) - Slighly Toxic
  13. Gan Sui (Kansui Radix) - Toxic
  14. Guan Di (Melo Pedicellus) - Slightly Toxic
  15. He Shi (Carpesii Abrontinoidis Fructus) - Slightly Toxic
  16. Hua Jiao (Zanthoxyli Pericarpium) - Slightly Toxic
  17. Jin Qian Bai Hua She (Bungarus Parvus) - Toxic
  18. Jing Da Ji (Euphorbiae Pekinensis Radix) - Toxic
  19. Ku Lian Pi (Meliae Cortex) - Toxic
  20. Lei Wan (Omphalia) - Slightly Toxic
  21. Li lu (Veratri nigri Radix et Rhizoma) - Toxic
  22. Liu Huang (sulphur) - Toxic
  23. Ma Qian Zi (Strychni semen) - Toxic
    Meng Chong (Tabanus) - Toxic
  24. Mi Tuo Seng (Lithargyrum) - Toxic
  25. Mu Bie Zi (Momordicae Semen) - Toxic
  26. Qian Dan (Minium) - Toxic
  27. Qian Niu Zi (Pharbitidis Semen) - Slightly Toxic
  28. Qing fen (Calomelas) - VERY TOXIC
  29. Quan Xie (Scorpio) - Toxic
  30. Shang Lu (Phytolaccae Radix) - Toxic
  31. She Chuang Zi (Cnidii Fructus) - Slightly Toxic
  32. Shi Liu Pi (Granati Pericarpium) - Toxic
  33. Shui Zhi (Hirudo) - Slightly Toxic
  34. Tu Bie Chong (Eupolyphaga/Steleophage) - Slightly Toxic
  35. Wu Gong (Scolopendra) - Toxic
  36. Wu Zhu Yu (Evodiae Fructus) - Slightly Toxic
  37. Xian Mao (Curculiginis Rhizoma) - Toxic
  38. Xiang jia pi (Periplocae Cortex) - Toxic
  39. Xing Ren (Armeniacae Semen) - Slightly Toxic
  40. Xiong Huang (Realgar) - Toxic
  41. Ya Dan Zi (Brucae fructus) - Toxic
  42. Ying Su ke (Papaveris Pericarpium) - Toxic
  43. Yuan Hua (Genkwa Flox) - Toxic
  44. Zao Xiu (Rhizoma Paridis) - toxic
  45. Zhang Nao (Camphora) - Toxic
  46. Zhi Bai fu Zi (Typhonii Rhizoma Preparatum) - Toxic
  47. Zhi Ban Xia (Pinelliae Rhizoma Perparatum) - Toxic
  48. Zhi Cao Wu (Aconiti kusnezoffi Radix preparata) - VERY TOXIC
  49. Zhi Chuan Wu (Aconiti radix preparata) - VERY TOXIC
  50. Zhi fu zi (Aconiti Radix Lateralis Preparata) - Toxic
  51. Zhi Tian Nan Xing (Arisaematis Rhizoma Preparatum) - Toxic
  52. Zhu Sha (Cinnabaris) Toxic


I would also like to add a very handy link I’ve stumbled upon from a small university project in Hong Kong, useful in digressing herbal toxicities, pharmacological contraindications and precautions, as well as discussing long-term use of certain substances which aren’t necessarily deemed toxic by TCM.


你是華人嗎? 會講中文呢?還有什麼藥物可能假如長期使用讓不利又有毒呢?

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