English: Rice bran

Chinese: 米皮糠

Parts used: The rice bran

TCM category: Herbs that regulate Qi

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): PungentSweet

Organ affinity: Stomach Large intestine

Scientific name: Oryza sativa

Other names: Chu Tou Kang,

Use of Mi Pi Kang (rice bran) 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: When processing the rice, collect the rice bran and dry.

Dosage: 9-30g

Main actions according to TCM*: Descends the Rebellious Stomach Qi and improve appetite. Remove Stagnation from the Intestines

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Mi Pi Kang may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Nausea Beriberi Swallow difficulties Loss of appetite

Common TCM formulas in which Mi Pi Kang is used*

Qi Ge San

Source date: 1732 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula key actions: Regulates Qi and removes Stagnation. Moistens Dryness. Transforms Phlegm.

Conditions targeted*: EsophagitisEsophageal diverticulum and others

Mi Pi Kang is an assistant ingredient in Qi Ge San. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

In Qi Ge San, Mi Pi Kang opens the Stomach, directs the Qi downward, and is a specific herb for the treatment of occlusion.

Together, all the assistant herbs effectively facilitate the
downward-directing of turbid Phlegm and support the ascent of the clear Yang to unblock the Qi dynamic and eliminate Excess Pernicious Factors without causing further Dryness.

Read more about Qi Ge San

Key TCM concepts behind Mi Pi Kang's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Mi Pi Kang belongs to the 'Herbs that regulate Qi' category. Herbs in this category typically treat a TCM condition called 'Qi Stagnation'. Concretely it means that Qi is blocked in the body's Organs and Meridians, most typically the Stomach, Liver, and to a lesser extent, the Lungs. In modern medicine terms, Qi Stagnation often translates into psychological consequences such as depression, irritability or mood swings. It's also frequently associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopausal symptoms, the development of breast swellings as well as various digestive disorders.

Furthermore Mi Pi Kang is Warm in nature. This means that Mi Pi Kang 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 Mi Pi Kang can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Mi Pi Kang also tastes Pungent 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. Pungent ingredients like Mi Pi Kang 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. 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 Mi Pi Kang is thought to target the Stomach and the Large intestine. In TCM 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. The Large Intestine on the other hand receives the "impure" parts of the digested food from the Small Intestine, absorbs the remaining fluids and excrete the remainder as feces.