Jin Bu Huan


Chemical information

Jin Bu Huan


Jin bu huan is a traditional Chinese remedy used as a sedative and analgesic and variously stated to contain Lycopodium serratum or Polygala chinensis. Adverse effects including CNS depression and acute hepatotoxicity have been attributed to its alkaloidal content of L-tetrahydropalmatine.

Adverse effects.

Acute hepatitis has been reported in 7 previously healthy patients after taking jin bu huan; symptoms occurred again in 2 after re-use.1 It was noted that the content of plant material did not seem to correspond to the labelled species. Hepatitis and extreme fatigue have also been reported in 3 adults after taking jin bu huan for periods ranging from 6 days to 6 months.2 Accidental ingestion of jin bu huan by 3 children2 produced profound lethargy and muscle weakness. Two of the children also developed respiratory depression and bradycardia.
1. Woolf GM, et al. Acute hepatitis associated with the Chinese herbal product jin bu huan. Ann Intern Med 1994; 121: 729–35
2. Horowitz RS, et al. The clinical spectrum of jin bu huan toxicity. Arch Intern Med 1996; 156: 899–903.
Published May 08, 2019.