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Chicken egg yolks (Ji Zi Huang) in Chinese Medicine

Chicken egg yolks

Chinese: 鸡子黄

Pinyin: Jī Zi Huáng

Parts used: The egg yolk, raw or cooked

TCM category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): Sweet

Organ affinity: Heart Kidney

Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus ovum

Use of chicken egg yolks (Ji Zi Huang) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Extract the yolk from the egg and consume raw or cooked

Dosage: 10g-100g

Main actions according to TCM*: Nourishes Yin and moisturizes Dryness. Nourishes blood and dispels Wind.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which chicken egg yolks may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Restlessness Insomnia Indigestion Dysentery Hematochezia Eczema Convulsions Scalds Hemoptysis Furuncles

Contraindications*: Contraindicated for those with hypertension, coronary heart disease and atherosis.

Common TCM formulas in which chicken egg yolks (Ji Zi Huang) are used*

E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang

Source date: the Qing dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Formula key actions: Nourishes Yin. Nourishes Blood. Calms the Liver. Extinguishes Wind.

Conditions targeted*: EncephalitisMeningitis and others

Ji Zi Huang is a king ingredient in E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

In E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang, Ji Zi Huang has a thick flavor. Like E Jiao (the other king ingredient here) it nourishes the Yin and Blood, expels Wind and sedates the Yang.

Read more about E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang

Huang Lian E Jiao Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Formula key actions: Enriches the Yin. Causes Fire to descend. Eliminates irritability. Calms the spirit.

Conditions targeted*: Nervous exhaustionAutonomic dystonia and others

Ji Zi Huang is an assistant ingredient in Huang Lian E Jiao Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

In Huang Lian E Jiao Tang, Ji Zi Huang enters the Heart and Kidneys, tonifies the Yin and Blood, and resolves Heat toxicity

Read more about Huang Lian E Jiao Tang

Key TCM concepts behind chicken egg yolks (Ji Zi Huang)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chicken egg yolks are plants that belong to the 'Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency' category. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Yin tonics have a heavy, moist nature. They either nourish the Kidneys and Liver or moisten the Lungs and Stomach. Extreme Yin Deficiency often translates into a 'burn-out', unfortunately more and more common among people today. It is worth mentioning that another great remedy against Yin Deficiency is a lot of rest and sleep; no herb will ever be able to replace this!

Furthermore chicken egg yolks are plants that are Neutral in nature. This means that chicken egg yolks typically don't affect the balance in your body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many "Hot" (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang Excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Cold" (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin Excess. The Neutral nature of chicken egg yolks means that you don't have to worry about that!

Chicken egg yolks also taste Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sweet ingredients like chicken egg yolks tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such chicken egg yolks are thought to target the Heart and the Kidney. In addition to regulating Blood flow, in TCM the Heart is believed to be the store of the 'Mind' which basically refers to someone's vitality. The Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body.

Use of chicken egg yolks (Ji Zi Huang) as food

Chicken egg yolks are also eaten as food.