Sophora flavescens

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Other Names:

Historical Use of Sophora flavescens

Sophora flavescens in Traditional Chinese Medicine


Chinese Name (pinyin): Kushen

Chinese Name  :

Common Name  :Flavescent Sophora Root

Specific Name  : Radix sophorae flavescentis

Scientific Name:
Collection  : The drug is collected in spring and autumn, removed from root stock and rootlet, wash clean and dried or slice while fresh and dried.

Description  : Long cylindrical, usually branched in lower part, 10 - 30 cm long, 1 - 2 cm in diameter. Externally greyish brown or brownish yellow. Exhibiting longitudinal wrinkles and transverse elongated lenticles. Outer bark thin, mostly broken and recurved, easily exfoliated. The exposed surface appearing yellow and smooth. Texture hard, uneasily broken, fracture fibrous. Slices 3 - 6 mm thick, transversely cut surface yellowish white with radial lines and cracks, some exhibiting concentric striations. Odour slight, taste bitter.

Identification  : 1.To a transverse section of the drug add several drops of sodium hydroxide TS, an orange red color is produced in the cork and gradually becomes blood red and lasting for a long time, no color reaction is produced in the xylem.2.Heat under reflux 1 g of the coarse powder with 20 ml of ethanol containing 0.5% hydrochloric acid for 1 hour and filter. Neutralize the filtrate with ammonia TS, evaporate to dryness. Dissolve the residue in 10 ml of 1% hydrochloric acid solution and filter. Transfer the filtrate to three test tube, to one tube add 1drop of potassium iodobismuthate TS, a reddish brown precipitate is produced, to 1 tube add 1 drop of mercuric potassium iodide TS. A yellowish white precipitate is produced. To another tube add 1 drop of potassium iodide TS, a brown precipitate is produced.3. Heat under reflux 0.5g of the powder with 10 ml of methanol for 10 minutes and filter. Transfer 1 ml of the filtrate to a test tube, add a small quantity of magnesium powder and 3 - 4 drops of hydrochloric acid, heat, a red colour is produced. Apply 5 µl of the filtrate on filter paper, spray with 5% solution of aluminum chloride in ethanol, dry in the air and examine under ultra violet light (254 nm), a yellowish green fluore4scence is produced. 4.To 0.5 g of the powder add 25 ml of chloroform and 0.3 ml of concentrated ammonia TS, allow to stand over night and filter. Evaporate the filtrate and dissolve the residue in 0.5 ml of chloroform, used as the test solution. Dissolve oxymatrine CRS and sophoridine CRS in ethanol to produce a mixture containing 0.2 mg of each per ml as the reference solution. Carry out the method for thin layer chromatography (Appendix Vl B) using silica gel G prepared with 2% sodium hydroxide solution as the coating substance and benzene-acetone-methanol (8:3:0.5) as the mobile phase. Apply separately to the plate 4 µl of each of the two solutions. After developing to ascend about 8 cm above the base line and removal of the plate, dry it in the air, then using toluene-ethyl acetate-methanol-water (2:4:2:1) as the mobile phase to develop again. After developing to the same distance and removal of the plate, dry it in the air. Spray with potassium iodobismuthate TS and ethanolic sodium nitrite TS successively. The two brown spots in the chromatogram obtained with the test solution correspond in position and color to the spot in the chromatogram obtained with the test solution.Total ash: Not more than 6.0% (Appendix lX K)Acid-Insoluble ash: Not more than 1.5% (Appendix lX K)Assay: Weigh accurately about 0.5g of the powder sifted through no. 3 sieve to a stopper conical flask add accurately 25 ml of chloroform and 0.3 ml of concentrated ammonia TS, weigh and mix well. Allow to stand over 16 hours at room temperature, weigh again, replenish the loss of solvent and mix well, allow to stand and filter through the filter paper. Evaporate 10 ml of the filtrate accurately measured on a water bath to dryness. Dissolve the residue in 3 ml of neutral ethanol, neutral to methyl red IS and evaporate to dryness. Dissolve the residue in 5 ml of ether, add 10 ml of sulfuric acid (0.01 mol/L) VS, accurately measured, mix well, heat on a water bath to dissolve the residue and removed ether completely and allow to cool. Add 15 ml of freshly boiled and cooled water and 2 drops of methyl red IS and titrate with sodium hydroxide (0.02 mol/L) VS until the color turns to yellow. Each ml of sulfuric acid (0.01 mol/L) VS is equivalent to 4,967 mg of C15H24N2O. It contains not less than 2.0% of alkaloids, calculated as matrine (C15H24N2O)

Processing  : Remove the remains of root stocks, grade according to size, wash clean, soak briefly, soften thoroughly, cut into thick slices and dry.

Action  : To remove heat and damp, to kill parasites, and to cause diuresis.

Indication  : acute dysentery with bloody stools; jaundice with oliguria; bloody and purulent leukorrhea; pudendal swelling and itching; eczema, sores with exudation, itching of the skin, scabies, leprosy external: trichomonas vaginitis

Precautions  : Incompatible with Rhizoma et Radix Veratri.

Dosage  : 4.5 to 9 g; for external use, appropriate quntity to be decocted for washing.

Storage  : Preserve in a dry place.

Synonymns for Sophora flavescens

Patent Medicines and Medicines with Multiple Ingredients that include Sophora flavescens

Pharmaceutical Information

Chemical Constituents

Evidence or the Use of Sophora flavescens in the Treatment of Epilepesy

Basic Science

Animal Studies

Cohort, Case-Control and Non-Randomized Trials

Randomized Controlled Trials


1st Five Results: pubmed search

Xiao-Bin Huang, Luo-Wei Yuan, Jing Shao, Yan Yang, Yi Liu, Jin-Jian Lu, Lei Chen
Nat. Prod. Res.: 2020;1-6
[PubMed:31928368] [] [DOI] (I a)

Li Liang, Jun Wu, Jie Luo, Li Wang, Zu Xuan Chen, Cheng Long Han, Ting Qing Gan, Jie An Huang, Zheng Wen Cai
Oncol Lett: 2020, 19(1);519-526
[PubMed:31897166] [] [DOI] (P p)

Jinjing Wang, Fanghua Qi, Zhixue Wang, Zhikun Zhang, Ni Pan, Lei Huai, Shuyu Qu, Lin Zhao
A review of traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of glioblastoma.
Biosci Trends: 2020, 13(6);476-487
[PubMed:31866614] [] [DOI] (I p)

Xiaoting Hong, Linhai Zhong, Yurou Xie, Kaifeng Zheng, Jinglong Pang, Yesen Li, Yifan Yang, Xiaolin Xu, Panying Mi, Hanwei Cao, Wenqing Zhang, Tianhui Hu, Gang Song, Daxuan Wang, Yan-Yan Zhan
Front Pharmacol: 2019, 10;1437
[PubMed:31849679] [] [DOI] (P e)

Hao Chen, Jie Yang, Ji Hao, Yibing Lv, Lu Chen, Qinxiong Lin, Jingquan Yuan, Xinzhou Yang
Molecules: 2019, 24(24);
[PubMed:31817093] [] [DOI] (I e)



Side Effect and Warnings

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Adverse Effects