Chinese Medical Herbology and PharmacologyPinyin Name: Hong Qu Alternate Chinese Names: Hong Mi, Chi Qu Original Source: Yin Shan Zheng Yao (Correct Guide to English Name: red yeast rice Botanical Name: Monascus purpureus Went. Pharmaceutical Name: Monascus Properties: sweet, acrid, warm Channels Entered: Spleen, Liver, Large Intestine
powder and pill forms. It is ground into powder for top-
Promotes Digestion Indigestion: Hong Qu (Monascus) strengthens the Spleen
and Stomach and promotes digestion to treat indigestion
• Use Hong Qu with caution in cases of Spleen and
in which there is undigested food in the stool.
Stomach deficiency, or individuals who do not have any
• Indigestion: use Hong Qu with Shan Zha (Fructus
Crataegi) and Mai Ya (Fructus Hordei Germinatus).
• Hong Qu is contraindicated in individuals with active
• Food stagnation due to Spleen deficiency: add Bai Zhu
(Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae) and Dang Shen(Radix Codonopsis).
Monascidin, monascolin I (lovastatin, mevinolin),
2. Invigorates Blood Circulation, Eliminates
monascolin II (β-hydroxy acid), monascin, starch, fatty
Blood stasis: Hong Qu activates blood circulation to treat blood stasis in postpartum women, individuals with traumatic injuries, external injuries, and abdominal pain caused by blood stasis.
• Blood stasis in the upper body: use this herb with JiangXiang (Lignum Dalbergiae Odoriferae), Tong Cao(Medulla Tetrapanacis), and Mo Yao (Myrrha).
• Pain due to trauma and injuries: combine it with Yan HuSuo (Rhizoma Corydalis), Dang Gui (Radicis Angelicae
Sinensis), Hong Hua (Flos Carthami), Niu Xi (RadixCyathulae seu Achyranthis), Mo Yao (Myrrha) and Ru
• Antihyperlipidemic: Following ingestion, monascolin I
• Abdominal pain or postpartum blood stasis: incorporate
(lovastatin) is converted in the body to β-hydroxy acid,
Hong Qu with Ze Lan (Herba Lycopi), Niu Xi (Radix
which is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor. This com-
Cyathulae seu Achyranthis), Sheng Di Huang (Radix
pound then inhibits cholesterol biosynthesis, leading to
Rehmanniae), Xu Duan (Radix Dipsaci), Pu Huang
reduced levels of plasma total cholesterol, low-density
(Pollen Typhae), and Chi Shao (Radix Paeoniae Rubrae).
lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), very-low-densitylipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), and triglycerides. In
addition, it may produce a slight increase in high-densi-
6 to 12 grams in decoction. Hong Qu is also used in
Copyright 2004 Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology by John Chen & Tina Chen. Art of Medicine Press. www.AOMpress.com Chapter 9 – Digestive Herbs
• Hyperlipidemia: In one multi-center, randomized, sin- Hong Qu is rice that has been fermented with yeast
gle-blind trial, 502 patients with hyperlipidemia were
Monascus purpureus. The fermentation process changes
treated with 600 mg of Hong Qu twice daily (1200 mg
the color of rice from white to red, thereby giving it the
total per day). After four weeks of treatment, the study
name “red yeast rice.” For centuries, Hong Qu has been
reported 17% reduction in total cholesterol levels, 24.6%
used in China as both food and herbal medicine. It has
reduction in LDL-cholesterol, 19.8% decrease in triglyc-
also been used as a coloring agent to prepare fish, fish
erides, and a 12.8% increase in HDL-cholesterol. After 8
sauce, fish paste, rice wine, and red soybean curd. In the
weeks of treatment, the study reported 22.7% reduction
late 1990s, it was introduced and used in the US as a
in total cholesterol levels, 30.9% reduction in LDL-cho-
dietary supplement to promote healthy cholesterol levels.
lesterol, 34.1% decrease in triglycerides, and a 19.9%
Most medical journals attribute the hypolipidemic effect
of Hong Qu to one single component, lovastatin. Thisexplanation, however, is not sufficient nor entirely accurate.
The therapeutic dose of Hong Qu delivers approximately
Listed below are interactions that have been document-
7.2 mg of lovastatin, while the synthetic drug lovastatin
ed between pharmaceuticals and lovastatin, a constituent
(Mevacor) contains from 10 to 40 mg of lovastatin. Yet,
despite the lower dose of the supposed active component,
• Liver metabolism: Lovastatin is metabolized primarily
the hypolipidemic effects of Hong Qu are much greater than
by CYP3A4, and may interact with CYP3A4 inhibitors.
the synthetic drug lovastatin. Thus, it is clear that lovastatin
• Azole antifungals: Concurrent use of itraconazole and
is not the only active component, and more research needs
ketoconazole increased lovastatin levels twenty fold in
to be done on Hong Qu as an herbal medicine, not just on
health volunteers, as well as increased the risk of myopathy.
• Bile acid sequestrants: Co-administration of cholestyra-
mine decreases the bioavailability of lovastatin. To avoid
this interaction, lovastatin should be taken 1 hour before
1. Plant Physiol, 1977; 60(4):578) (J Food Sci, 1981; 46(2):589
2. The Merck Index 12th edition, Chapman & Hall/CRCnetBASE/Merck,
or 4 hours after bile acid sequestrants.
• Fibric acid derivatives: Avoid concurrent use of gemfi-
3. PDR for Nutritional Supplements 1st Edition, Medical Economics, 2001
brozil and lovastatin, as severe myopathy and rhabdomy-
5. Facts and Comparison, Jan. 2000. Drug Facts and Comparison. A
• Isradipine: Isradipine increases hepatic blood flow, and
may increase the clearance of lovastatin and its metabolites.
• Warfarin: Bleeding and increased prothrombin time
have been reported with concomitant use of lovastatinand warfarin.
Copyright 2004. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology by John K Chen and Tina T Chen. Art of Medicine Press, Inc. www.AOMpress.com
Seit über 3000 Jahren kennen Chinesen, Japaner und Koreaner, Völker also, welche in der Regel ein hohes Alter erreichen, eine Pflanze, deren Wurzeln sie die "Göttliche", "Wurzeln der Lebenskraft", "Kraut der ewigen Jugend" nennen - die Ginseng-Wurzel. Kaiser Shen-Nung ließ 2700 v. Chr. das erste chinesische Kräuterbuch zusammenstellen. Im Jahre 300 v. Chr. beschrieb de
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