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: Solid glue prepared from the horn of the animal by decoction and concentration
Dosage: 5 to 10 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Yang tonification of the Kidneys and Liver, and to nourish vital Essence and Blood
Source date: 1624 AD
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Formula key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.
Lu Jiao Jiao is a king ingredient in You Gui Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Source date: 1624 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Formula key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Strengthens the Kidneys. Fills the Essence. Augments the marrow.
Lu Jiao Jiao is a deputy ingredient in Zuo Gui Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
In Zuo Gui Wan, Lu Jiao Jiao is sweet, salty, and slightly warming. It entering the Governing vessel to tonify the Essence and Blood and stimulate the Yang. It pushes the action of the formula even further toward the Essence tonification.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Lu Jiao Jiao belongs to the 'Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency' category. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Yang Tonics are generally used in combination with a small amount of Yin tonics. If Yin is deficient, neither Qi nor Yang herbs alone will be effective. The most common symptoms associated with Yang Deficiency are low libido and impotence. It is worth mentioning that another very effective remedy against Yang Deficiency is regular exercise.
Furthermore Lu Jiao Jiao is Warm in nature. This means that Lu Jiao Jiao tends to help people who have too much 'Cold' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Cold in their body are said to either have a Yin Excess (because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang Deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition Lu Jiao Jiao can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Lu Jiao Jiao also tastes Salty and 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. Salty ingredients like Lu Jiao Jiao tends to have a draining effect in the body because they clear accumulations, remove Phlegm and soften hard lumps. On the other hand Sweet ingredients 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 Lu Jiao Jiao is thought to target the Kidney and the Liver. According to TCM, 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. The Liver on the other hand is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and the Body Fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions.