Athamanta crithmoides Lapeyr.
Athamanta daucifolia Host
Athamanta pyrenaica Jacq.
Cicuta monnieri (L.) Crantz
Cicuta sinensis Zuccagni
Cnidium confertum Moench
Cnidium formosanum Y.Yabe
Cnidium microcarpum Turcz. ex Steud.
Cnidium mongolicum H.Wolff
Ligusticopsis mongolica (H.Wolff) Leute
Ligusticum minus Lam.
Ligusticum monnieri (L.) Calest.
Pinasgelon monnieri (L.) Raf.
Selinum densiflorum Salisb.
Selinum monnieri L.
Seseli daucifolium C.B.Clarke
Common Name: She Chuang Zi
Cnidium monnieri is an annual plant producing a single, usually erect stem from a thin taproot around 2 - 3mm thick; the plant usually grows 10 - 60cm tall, occasionally to 80cm[
Known as She Chuang Zi in Chinese medicine, where the plant has a long history of effective use in the treatment of skin conditions and a range of other diseases. The plant is also used as a flavouring in food. It is harvested from the wild for local use and for trade, and the plant is also cultivated both for medicinal use and as a food flavouring[
One report says that the plant is slightly toxic[
Asia - western Siberia (Krasnoyarsk) to the Russian Far East, south through Mongolia, China, Japan and Korea to India, Bangladesh and Vietnam
Field edges and the sides of ditches in China[
]. Riparian meadows and field margins in most of China[
]. Damp inundated or solonetzic meadows, shores of lakes and rivers, weeds of fields[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Judging by the plants native habitat it is likely to require a well-drained soil in a sunny position. One report says that it is an annual whilst another says that it is perennial[
The leaves are used as a condiment[
]. No further details are given, but some caution is suggested because of a report of slight toxicity.
She Chuang Zi has been used for thousands of years in Chinese herbal medicine. It is mainly used externally as a lotion, powder or ointment for treating skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm and scabies, and is also used to alleviate pain and inflammation, improve sexual potency, and to improve bone strength[
The seed is antipruritic, aphrodisiac, antirheumatic, astringent, carminative, discutient, sedative, vermifuge and vulnerary[
]. A decoction is used internally in the treatment of Trichomonas vaginitis, leucorrhoea and uterine displacement[
]. The seed is also used in the treatment of impotence, often in conjunction with Schisandra chinensis[
]. It has been shown to have an action similar to the sex hormones, prolonging and reviving the copulation period, increasing the weight of the uterus and ovary, prostate gland and testicle[
A decoction of the seed or whole plant is applied externally to skin problems including weeping eczema[
Over 300 active compounds have been isolated from this plant and the main bioactive constituents appear to be coumarins compounds[
Further research has reported the potential application of this plant for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and osteoporosis[
An extract of the fruit is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as a humectant and skin conditioner[
The powdered seed is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as an abrasive, a masking agent and a skin protector[
Seed - we have no details for this species but suggest sowing it as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Alternatively, sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.