Sheng Jiang Pi (Ginger peel) in Chinese Medicine

English: Ginger peel

Chinese: 生姜皮

Parts used: The dried outer peel of the rhizome

TCM category: Herbs that drain Dampness

TCM nature: Cool

TCM taste(s): Pungent

Organ affinity: Spleen Lung

Scientific name: Zingiber officinale

Use of Sheng Jiang Pi (ginger peel) 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: Wash the rhizome of the ginger, scrape the outer peel with a knife and dry it under the sun

Dosage: 2 - 6 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Promotes urination and reduces edema at its early onset. Disperses the Exterior.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Sheng Jiang Pi may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Edema Urinary difficulties Abdominal bloating Abdominal colic

Common TCM formulas in which Sheng Jiang Pi is used*

Wu Pi Yin

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Formula key actions: Reduces edema, diuretic. Regulates and strengthens Spleen Qi.

Conditions targeted*: Pre-eclampsiaProtein-deficiency edema and others

Sheng Jiang Pi is a king ingredient in Wu Pi Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

In Wu Pi Yin, Sheng Jiang Pi transforms Dampness and disperses Edema.

Read more about Wu Pi Yin

Key TCM concepts behind Sheng Jiang Pi's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Sheng Jiang Pi belongs to the 'Herbs that drain Dampness' category. These herbs are typically diuretics, meaning that they promotes the increased production of urine in order to remove Dampness that has accumulated in the body. According to TCM Dampness accumulates first in the lower limbs, causing edema and impaired movement. From there, if unchecked, it can move upward and impair digestion and eventually the respiratory system.

Furthermore Sheng Jiang Pi is Cool in nature. This means that Sheng Jiang Pi tends to help people who have too much 'Heat' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Cold in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Heat in their body are said to either have a Yang Excess (because Yang is Hot in nature) or a Yin deficiency (Yin is Cold in Nature). Depending on your condition Sheng Jiang Pi can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Sheng Jiang Pi also tastes Pungent. 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. Pungent ingredients like Sheng Jiang Pi tends to promote the circulations of Qi and Body Fluids. That's why for instance someone tends to sweat a lot when they eat spicy/pungent food.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Sheng Jiang Pi is thought to target the Spleen and the Lung. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought in TCM to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the Body Fluids that nourish the body.