Luo Bu Ma

Last Updated: September 28 2022

Apocynum venetum is a plant that potentially reduces blood pressure and depression after supplementation, though more evidence is needed to confirm these effects.

Luo Bu Ma is most often used for


Apocynum venetum, commonly known as luobuma or rafuma, is a small shrub, the leaves of which make a tea that is particularly popular in China.

Apocynum venetum is said to have cardioprotective, diuretic, and sedative properties. Apocynum venetum tea has been found to reduce blood pressure in rodent studies, but there is currently no human evidence for these effects.

Drinking Apocynum venetum tea may also have a minor anti-anxiety effect, and a mild antidepressant effect. Both of these claims are based on animal evidence, with no human evidence available at this time.

Further research is needed to determine Apocynum venetum’s main mechanism.

Though there is minimal human evidence for Apocynum venetum’s effects, it appears to be safe to drink. Apocynum venetum and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) have some similar bioactive compounds, including hyperforin. This means that Apocynum venetum may have interactions with other drugs, like St. John’s wort does, but this has not been sufficiently tested.

What else is Luo Bu Ma known as?
Note that Luo Bu Ma is also known as:
  • Luobuma
  • Dogbane
  • Chinse Dogbane
  • Herbal For Relief Of Famines
  • Rafuma
  • Apocynum Venetum
Luo Bu Ma should not be confused with:
  • Indian Hemp (Apocynum cannabinum)
  • Apocynum androsaemifolium
  • poacynum pictum
  • poacynum hendersonii
Dosage information

Further research is needed to determine the optimal dose for Apocynum venetum. Most of the benefits associated with Apocynum venetum occur in the rat dosing range of 25-100 mg/kg of bodyweight. This can be translated to the following estimated human doses:

• 270-1,100 mg for a 150lb person

• 360-1,400 mg for a 200lb person

• 450-1,800 mg for a 250lb person

Apocynum venetum is supplemented through a water extract of the leaves, which is also called tea. Apocynum venetum is a food product, since the dosages listed above are ideal for making tea, meaning non-tea supplementation is unnecessary.

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1.^Kwan CY, Zhang WB, Nishibe S, Seo SA novel in vitro endothelium-dependent vascular relaxant effect of Apocynum venetum leaf extractClin Exp Pharmacol Physiol.(2005 Sep)
3.^Butterweck V, Simbrey K, Seo S, Sasaki T, Nishibe SLong-term effects of an Apocynum venetum extract on brain monoamine levels and beta-AR density in ratsPharmacol Biochem Behav.(2003 Jun)
7.^Irie K, Sato T, Tanaka I, Nakajima J, Kawaguchi M, Himi TCardiotonic effect of Apocynum venetum L. extracts on isolated guinea pig atriumJ Nat Med.(2009 Apr)
12.^Yan SH, Zhao YY, Zeng HS, Zhang Y, Lin RC, Sun WJChemical composition and antioxidant activities of extracts from Apocyni Veneti FoliumNat Prod Res.(2012)
13.^Chen L, Du Li-jun, Ding Y, Xing DM, Wang WStudies on chemical constituents from flowers of Apocynum venetumZhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi.(2005 Sep)
14.^Butterweck V, Nishibe S, Sasaki T, Uchida MAntidepressant effects of apocynum venetum leaves in a forced swimming testBiol Pharm Bull.(2001 Jul)
16.^Grundmann O, Nakajima J, Kamata K, Seo S, Butterweck VKaempferol from the leaves of Apocynum venetum possesses anxiolytic activities in the elevated plus maze test in micePhytomedicine.(2009 Apr)
20.^Kuo CS, Kwan CY, Gong CL, Tsai MF, Nishibe S, Tatsuzaki J, Leung YMApocynum venetum leaf aqueous extract inhibits voltage-gated sodium channels of mouse neuroblastoma N2A cellsJ Ethnopharmacol.(2011 Jun 14)
21.^Kobayashi M, Saitoh H, Seo S, Butterweck V, Nishibe SApocynum venetum extract does not induce CYP3A and P-glycoprotein in ratsBiol Pharm Bull.(2004 Oct)
23.^Grundmann O, Nakajima J, Seo S, Butterweck VAnti-anxiety effects of Apocynum venetum L. in the elevated plus maze testJ Ethnopharmacol.(2007 Apr 4)
27.^Xiang J, Tang YP, Zhou ZY, Wu P, Wang Z, Mori M, Cai DFApocynum venetum leaf extract protects rat cortical neurons from injury induced by oxygen and glucose deprivation in vitroCan J Physiol Pharmacol.(2010 Sep)
29.^Tagawa C, Kagawa T, Nakazawa Y, Onizuka S, Nishibe S, Kawasaki HStudies on antihypertensive effect of Luobuma (Apocynum venetum L.) leaf extract (3)Yakugaku Zasshi.(2004 Nov)
32.^Lau YS, Kwan CY, Ku TC, Hsieh WT, Wang HD, Nishibe S, Dharmani M, Mustafa MRApocynum venetum leaf extract, an antihypertensive herb, inhibits rat aortic contraction induced by angiotensin II: a nitric oxide and superoxide connectionJ Ethnopharmacol.(2012 Sep 28)
34.^Zhou MS, Schulman IH, Raij LNitric oxide, angiotensin II, and hypertensionSemin Nephrol.(2004 Jul)
35.^Wang HD, Pagano PJ, Du Y, Cayatte AJ, Quinn MT, Brecher P, Cohen RASuperoxide anion from the adventitia of the rat thoracic aorta inactivates nitric oxideCirc Res.(1998 Apr 20)
37.^Yokozawa T, Kashiwada Y, Hattori M, Chung HYStudy on the components of luobuma with peroxynitrite-scavenging activityBiol Pharm Bull.(2002 Jun)