English: Host-wood Poria
Parts used: The part of the mushroom that is attached to the host-wood, dried
TCM category: Herbs that nourish the Heart and calm the Spirit
TCM nature: Neutral
TCM taste(s): Sweet
Scientific name: Wolfiporia extensa
Other names: Poria Spirit
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: Remove the mushroom from the host-wood, soak in water, wash, steam slightly and remove the outside skin. Cut into thick slices and keep those from the part where the mushroom was attached to the host wood. Dry, ideally under the sun.
Dosage: 6 - 15 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Calms the Mind (Shen) and promote urination.
Primary conditions or symptoms for which Fu Shen may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Irritability Palpitations Insomnia
Source date: 1529 AD
Number of ingredients: 12 herbs
Formula key actions: Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood. Tonifies Heart and Spleen.
Conditions targeted*: Nervous exhaustionMyasthenia gravis and others
Fu Shen is a deputy ingredient in Gui Pi Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
In Gui Pi Tang, Fu Shen works together with Jujube seeds (Suan Zao Ren), another deputy in this formula, to calm the Mind (Shen).
It also reinforces the Spleen-tonifying action of the four key herbs in this formula.
Source date: 1732 AD
Number of ingredients: 15 herbs
Formula key actions: Sedates the Heart . Clears Phlegm. Clears Fire. Calms the Mind.
Conditions targeted*: EpilepsyBi-Polar disorder and others
Fu Shen is a deputy ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
In Sheng Tie Luo Yin, Fu Shen is bland and sweet. It clears Dampness and thereby deprives Phlegm of its source.
Source date: 1132 AD
Number of ingredients: 11 herbs
Formula key actions: Nourishes the Yin and Blood . Sedates the Heart and calms the Mind . Calms the Liver. Anchors the yang.
Conditions targeted*: EpilepsyCataract and others
Fu Shen is a deputy ingredient in Zhen Zhu Mu Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
In Zhen Zhu Mu Wan, Fu Shen is sweet and bland.
The three deputy herbs, Jujube seeds, Biota seeds and Host-wood Poria are often used together. Their combination is able to nourish the Heart, regulate its physiology and calm the Mind.
They do so primarily by harmonizing the physiology and nature of the Nutritive Qi and Blood on which the Heart depends for its nourishment.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Fu Shen belongs to the 'Herbs that nourish the Heart and calm the Spirit' category. These herbs are substances that tranquilize the Mind and treat symptoms such as restlessness, palpitations, anxiety or insomnia. They tend to have sedative properties by tonifying Heart Yin and Blood as in TCM it is believed that the Heart is the store of the Mind.
Furthermore Fu Shen is Neutral in nature. This means that Fu Shen 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 Fu Shen means that you don't have to worry about that!
Fu Shen 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 Fu Shen 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 Fu Shen is thought to target the Spleen and the Heart. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body. In addition to regulating Blood flow, the Heart is believed to be the store of the 'Mind' which basically refers to someone's vitality.