8a. Ligusticum sinense var. sinense
藁本(原变种) gao ben (yuan bian zhong)
Ligusticum harrysmithii M. Hiroe; L. markgrafianum Fedde ex H. Wolff; L. pilgerianum Fedde ex H. Wolff; L. silvaticum H. Wolff.
Plants freely flowering and setting seed. Rootstock slightly swollen at nodes. Leaves ternate to 3-pinnate; ultimate segments irregularly serrate. Dorsal and intermediate fruit ribs prominent, filiform, lateral ribs narrowly winged.
Forests, grassy slopes, streamsides, also cultivated; 500–2700 m. S part of Huang He basin.
Neither Ligusticum markgrafianum, described from Hubei (A. Henry 4954, isotype, E) nor L. pilgerianum Fedde ex H. Wolff (Repert. Spec. Nov Regni Veg. 27: 322. 1930, not H. Wolff, loc. cit. 307. 1930; L. harrysmithii), described from Gansu (J. F. Rock 14590, syntype) and Shanxi (H. Smith 7112, syntype) can be separated from L. sinense var. sinense, so we here treat them in synonymy.
This is an important plant of traditional Chinese medicine, in which the roots and rootstock are used in “gao ben” (see also Ligusticum jeholense: “liao gao ben”), a common herb used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, in the treatment of heart diseases and asthma. The seedlings are also eaten as a vegetable.