Di Yu

Botanical name: Sanguisorba officinalis
Common name: Sanguisorba, Burnet-bloodwort root

Family: Rosaceae, rose family
Part used in Chinese medicine:  root

Major Chinese medicine actions:
Cools blood, stops bleeding, resolves toxin, astringes and restrains

Di Yu

Photo Credits: (top to bottom)
Photo 1: Sanguisorba officinalis; 06/2008; author C. Micleu; permission Jade Institute

Sanguisorba officinalis is a rhizomatous perennial that grows by forming clumps. A related species, Sanguisorba minor, is also known as “salad burnet” and is commonly grown in Western herb gardens. The delicate edible leaves are added to salads for their nice cucumber flavor.

Growing and Propagation

The plant does best in damp meadow areas but will generally grow in any moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil that it not allowed to dry out. It thrives in full sun or partial shade, growing to 4 feet high and 2 feet wide. Small red-brown to maroon flowers blossom from early summer to mid-fall. It is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8.

Plants are easily propagated by seed sown in the spring, or by plant division in spring or autumn.

Harvesting and Preparation

For medicinal use, good quality Di Yu consists of solid roots that are thick and hard, with a reddish-white cross section.