English: Poria skin

Chinese: 茯苓皮

Parts used: Dry skin

TCM category: Herbs that drain Dampness

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): Sweet

Organ affinity: Spleen Kidney Lung

Scientific name: Wolfiporia extensa

Use of Fu Ling Pi (poria skin) 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: Peel the Poria-cocos mushroom skin and dry

Dosage: 15-30g

Main actions according to TCM*: Encourages urination and drains Dampness.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Fu Ling Pi may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Edema

Common TCM formulas in which Fu Ling Pi is used*

Shu Zao Yin Zi

Source date: 1253 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Formula key actions: Purges and drives out Water. Clears Wind. Releases from the Exterior .

Conditions targeted*: Nephritis with EdemaIncreased intracranial pressure and others

Fu Ling Pi is an assistant ingredient in Shu Zao Yin Zi. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

In Shu Zao Yin Zi, Fu Ling Pi is a diuretic herb that promotes urination and dispels Dampness through the Bladder.

Read more about Shu Zao Yin Zi

Key TCM concepts behind Fu Ling Pi's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Fu Ling 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 Fu Ling Pi is Neutral in nature. This means that Fu Ling Pi 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 Ling Pi means that you don't have to worry about that!

Fu Ling Pi 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 Ling Pi 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 Ling Pi is thought to target the Spleen, the Kidney and the Lung. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body. 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. 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.