Exploring Chuan Xiong(川芎)

Doesn’t this herb look like ginger? Well, it is not ginger, its Chuan Xiong! Chuan Xiong when sliced has a big, firm yellow and white cross-section that is similar to ginger when it is sliced.


There are 2 main types of Chuan Xiong, unprocessed Chuan Xiong(川芎)and Jiu Chuan Xiong (酒川芎)which is Chuan Xiong fried with wine. We found out that the 2 types of Chuan Xiong have their individual unique volatile chemical compounds. Using ChemoPower’s SmartDalton and MoleculeDB technology, we were able to identify and analyse the unique compounds of Chuan Xiong. An average of 116 compounds was found in each sample and we managed to identify 4 and 5 compounds that are unique to Chuan Xiong and Jiu Chuan Xiong respectively.


Chuan Xiong also known as Szechuan lovage is a plant in the family Apiaceae. It has a strong fragrance and is spicy and bitter in flavour. This herb is mainly produced in Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces in China. It is used widely in many TCM herbal formulae to treat headaches, body ache and bronchitis.

Data analysis done by Tan Ke Qi, Intern (Ngee Ann Polytechnic)

 Article written by Gilbert Goh, Intern (Singapore Polytechnic)

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