English: Chicken gizzard skins

Chinese: 鸡内金

Parts used: Lining of the chicken gizzard

TCM category: Herbs that relieve Food Stagnation

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): Sweet

Organ affinity: Bladder Spleen Stomach Small intestine

Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus

Use of Ji nei jin (chicken gizzard skins) 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: Take and clean the chicken gizzard skin and dry it.

Dosage: 1.5 to 3 g and two or three times daily

Main actions according to TCM*: Improves digestion and unblocks Food Stagnation. Dissolves stones in the urinary or biliary tract.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Ji nei jin may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Night urination Vomiting Diarrhea Enuresis Nocturnal emission Urinary stones Biliary stones Gallstones Childhood malnutrition

Common TCM formulas in which Ji nei jin is used*

Tu Si Zi Wan

Source date: 1253 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Formula key actions: Warms the Kidneys. Prevents abnormal leakage such as urinary incontinence or seminal emissions.

Conditions targeted*: Urinary incontinenceSeminal emission and others

Ji nei jin is an envoy ingredient in Tu Si Zi Wan. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

In Tu Si Zi Wan, Ji nei jin treats the urinary frequency and incontinence. 

Read more about Tu Si Zi Wan

Key TCM concepts behind Ji nei jin's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ji nei jin belongs to the 'Herbs that relieve Food Stagnation' category. These herbs typically possess digestive and Food moving properties as they relate to the Stomach and Spleen. Some of these herbs are high in digestive enzymes and have varying specific abilities to help with the digestion of food.

Furthermore Ji nei jin is Neutral in nature. This means that Ji nei jin typically doesn'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 Ji nei jin means that you don't have to worry about that!

Ji nei jin also tastes 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 Ji nei jin tends 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 Ji nei jin is thought to target the Bladder, the Spleen, the Stomach and the Small intestine. In TCM the impure water collected by the Kidneys that cannot be used by the body is sent to the Bladder for storage and excretion as urine. The Spleen on the other hand assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body. The Stomach is responsible for receiving and ripening ingested food and fluids. It is also tasked with descending the digested elements downwards to the Small Intestine. Like the Stomach, the Small Intestine has a digestive role, extracting the "pure" part of what we injest to the Spleen and the "impure" down to the Large Intestine.

Research on Ji nei jin


  1. Zhou ZH, Li M, Huang LY. (2011). Study of xiaozhang recipe combined with lamivudine in treatment of 84 chronic viral hepatitis B patients with compensated liver cirrhosis. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 31(9):1220-3.