Notopterygium root, Notopterygium incisum, is perennial herb native to China. Its root and rhizome parts of the plant have long been used for their medicinal properties.



  • The plant has numerous medical uses, yet its main use is in the traditional Chinese medicine “qiang huo.”
  • The roots and rhizome of the plant are used in herbal preparations for a series of symptoms from the common cold, chills, fever, rheumatoid arthritis, and general limb or body aches and pains.
  • The herb finds use in traditional medicine to relieve discomfort due to aching in the limbs and joints, especially in the upper part of the body


  • Both notopterygium root and Angelica Root (Du Huo) can clear wind-damp and improve joint pain and stiffness. But they have their own strengths and weaknesses respectively. The former is with stronger nature and flavor, which makes it possess better antipyretic effect through sweating and ascending potency. For that reason, it is an ideal herb for spinal diseases and pain in the upper body and the back of the head. In comparison, angelica root is with descending potency, which endows it with a better healing power on rheumatism of lower body and joint pain in foot, lower back, leg, and shin. As a result, they are often used in pair medicinally since they are highly complementary.
  • Both notopterygium and Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi) are good at expelling wind and removing cold. But that former prefers the wind-damp in head, neck, and back while Gui Zhi is better to deal with wind-damp in shoulders, arms, and fingers.
  • Bothe notopterygium and Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae) are specialized at expelling wind. But the former has a stronger effect than Fang Feng.


  • Taking too much notopterygium root may cause nausea and vomiting. Also, notopterygium root should not be used during pregnancy.


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Other names

Latin name: Rhizome et radix notopterygii, Notopterygium incisum
Chinese name: qiang huo


Source: AskDrMao,



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