English: Stove earth

Chinese: 灶心土

Parts used: The earth

TCM category: Herbs that stop bleeding

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): Sour

Organ affinity: Spleen Stomach

Scientific name:

Other names: Ignited yellow earth, Fu Long Dan

Use of Zao Xin Tu (stove earth) 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: Collect the earth from the old stove, remove impurities and dry.

Dosage: 15-90g or 90-120g decocted first in a separately bag.

Main actions according to TCM*: Warms the Blood and stop bleeding. Warms and harmonizes the Stomach and the Middle Burner so as to stop vomiting. Stops diarrhea.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Zao Xin Tu may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Morning sickness Diarrhea Vomiting blood Blood in stools

Contraindications*: Contraindicated for patients with bleeding symptoms due to Yin Deficiency with Empty Heat,

Common TCM formulas in which Zao Xin Tu is used*

Huang Tu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Formula key actions: Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Nourishes the Blood. Stops bleeding.

Conditions targeted*: Chronic hemorrhagic gastritisPeptic ulcers and others

Zao Xin Tu is a king ingredient in Huang Tu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

In Huang Tu Tang, Zao Xin Tu is acrid, warm, and astringent. It warms the Middle Burner, gathers and binds, and stops the bleeding.

Read more about Huang Tu Tang

Key TCM concepts behind Zao Xin Tu's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Zao Xin Tu belongs to the 'Herbs that stop bleeding' category. Like the name indicates these herbs tend to have hemostatic properties, meaning that they help stop various types of hemorrhages and echymosis. Unlike other herbs they often tend to be used externally.

Furthermore Zao Xin Tu is Warm in nature. This means that Zao Xin Tu 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 Zao Xin Tu can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Zao Xin Tu also tastes Sour. 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. Sour ingredients like Zao Xin Tu helps with digestion and restrain abnormal discharges of Fluids from the body, such as diarrhea or heavy sweating.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Zao Xin Tu is thought to target the Spleen and the Stomach. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body. The Stomach on the other hand is responsible for receiving and ripening ingested food and fluids. It is also tasked with descending the digested elements downwards to the Small Intestine.