Pinellia Ternata

Last Editorial Review: 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Arisaema cochinchinense, Arum dracontium, Arum ternatum, Banha, Ban Xia, Fa Ban Xia, P. Ternata, Pinellia, Pinellia cochinchinense, Pinellia ternata tuber, Pinellia Tuber, Pinelliae Tuber, Pinellia tubiferia, Pinellia wawrae, Pinellie Ternée, Rhizoma Pinelliae, Rhizoma Pinelliae Preparata.


Pinellia ternata is a plant. An underground part called a tuber is used to make medicine.

Pinellia ternata is a common ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine combination products. Many of these products are used for morning sickness. Pinellia ternata, along with ginger, is an ingredient in the herbal formulation Xiao-Ban-Xia-Tang (XBXT), which is used to prevent vomiting. Pinellia ternata is also used in Japanese Kampo medicine. It is an ingredient in Sho-seiryu-to (SST), which is used for the flu.

Outside of Chinese Medicine, pinellia ternata is used for nausea, morning sickness, cough, birth control, influenza (flu), swine flu, and pain and swelling (inflammation).

However, since April 2004, pinellia ternata has been banned in the US because it contains chemicals called ephedrine alkaloids. These chemicals might cause serious side effects such as heart attack, stroke, or seizures.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information available to know how Pinellia ternata might work. Some chemicals in Pinellia ternata might affect the stomach and how fast food moves through it.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Pinellia ternata for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Pinellia ternata might not be safe. It contains a stimulant called ephedrine and might cause serious side effects such as heart attack, stroke, or seizures. Because of these safety concerns, this product is banned in the US.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Pinellia ternata during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of Pinellia ternata depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Pinellia ternata. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

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Chen D, Wu CF, Huang L, Ning Z. Effect of the aqueous extract of Xiao-Ban-Xia-Tang on gastric emptying in mice. Am J Chin Med 2002;30:207-14. View abstract.

Chen JH, Cui GY, Liu JY, Tan RX. Pinelloside, an antimicrobial cerebroside from Pinellia ternata. Phytochemistry 2003;64:903-6. View abstract.

FDA, HHS. Final rule declaring dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids adulterated because they present an unreasonable risk. Fed Regist 2004;69:6787-6854. View abstract.

Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Final rule declaring dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids adulterated because they present an unreasonable risk; Final rule. Fed Regist 2004;69:6787-6854. View abstract.

Kim SH, Jeong H, Kim YK, et al. IgE-mediated occupational asthma induced by herbal medicine, Bahna (Pinellia ternata). Clin Exp Allergy 2000;31:779-81. View abstract.

Maki T, Takahashi K, Shibata S. An anti-emetic principle of Pinellia ternata tuber. Planta Med 1987;53:410-4.

Nagai T, Kiyohara H, Munakata K, et al. Pinellic acid from the tuber of Pinellia ternata Breitenbach as an effective oral adjuvant for nasal influenza vaccine. Int Immunopharmacol 2002;2:1183-93. View abstract.

Oshio H, Tsukui M, Matsuoka T. Isolation of L-ephedrine from "Pinelliae Tuber." Chem Pharm Bull 1978;26:2096-7.