Motherwort herbs (Yi Mu Cao) Prepared rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) Ginseng (Ren Shen) Dong quai (Dang Gui) Szechuan lovage roots (Chuan Xiong) White peony roots (Bai Shao) Atractylodes rhizomes (Bai Zhu) Poria-cocos mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang

Chinese: 八珍益母汤

Pinyin: Bā Zhēn Yì Mǔ Tāng

Other names: Eight Treasure Leonurus Decoction, Eight-Treasure Soup to Benefit Mothers

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that tonify

Mother formula: Ba Zhen Tang

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: InfertilityMenstrual cramps

  1. Tonifies Qi and Blood
  2. Invigorates the Blood

Source date: 1624 AD

Source book: Collected Treatises of [Zhang] ling- Yue

Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Motherwort Herbs (Yi Mu Cao), Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) and Ginseng (Ren Shen) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify. Its main actions are: 1) tonifies Qi and Blood and 2) invigorates the Blood.

In Chinese Medicine health conditions are thought to arise due to "disharmonies" in the body as a system. These disharmonies are called "patterns" and the very purpose of herbal formulas is to fight them in order to restore the body's harmony.

In this case Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation or Blood and Qi Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as menstrual cramps or infertility for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the nine ingredients in Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang helps treat.

The nine ingredients in Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang

Yi Mu Cao is a king ingredient in Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Motherwort Herbs (Yi Mu Cao)

Part used: Dried aerial parts

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: HeartLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Yi Mu Cao's main actions are as follows: "Moves and regulates Blood, breaks Stasis and regulates the menses. Increases the flow of urine and reduces Stagnation of water"

In the context of Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang, it is used because it invigorates Blood and stops pain.

Learn more about Motherwort Herbs (Yi Mu Cao)

Shu Di huang is a king ingredient in Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Part used: Prepared dried root tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

In general Shu Di huang's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Blood. Tonifies the Yin of the Kidneys."

In the context of Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang, it is used because it nourishes the Blood.

Learn more about Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Ren Shen is a king ingredient in Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

3. Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Ren Shen's main actions are as follows: "Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit)."

In the context of Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang, it is used because it is warm in nature and it tonifies Qi.

Learn more about Ginseng (Ren Shen)

4. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

In general Dang Gui's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation."

In the context of Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang, it is used because it nourishes the Blood and thereby reinforces the action of Prepared rehmannia.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

5. Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLiverPericardium

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Chuan Xiong's main actions are as follows: "Regulates and moves the Blood. Relieves Wind-Cold and pain. Circulates the Qi in the Upper Burner, relieving headaches."

In the context of Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang, it is used because it invigorates the Blood and promotes the movement of Qi.

Learn more about Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

6. White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: SpleenLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

In general Bai Shao's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain."

In the context of Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang, it is used because it nourishes the Blood and thereby reinforces the action of Prepared rehmannia.

Learn more about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

7. Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Bai Zhu strengthens the Spleen and dry Dampness. Therefore it assists Ginseng in strengthening the Qi of the Spleen and Lungs.

Learn more about Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

8. Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Part used: Dried sclerotium

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

Fu Ling strengthens the Spleen and dry Dampness. Therefore it assists Ginseng in strengthening the Qi of the Spleen and Lungs.

Learn more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

9. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Gan Cao's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs."

In the context of Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang, it is used because it tonifies Qi and harmonizes the Middle Burner.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Conditions and patterns for which Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang may be prescribed

It's important to remember that herbal formulas are meant to treat patterns, not "diseases" as understood in Western Medicine. According to Chinese Medicine patterns, which are disruptions to the body as a system, are the underlying root cause for diseases and conditions.

As such Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to treat two different patterns which we describe below.

But before we delve into these patterns here is an overview of the Western conditions they're commonly associated with:

Menstrual cramps Infertility

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang treats menstrual cramps" for instance. Rather, Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind menstrual cramps.

Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang.

Qi is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Qi in Chinese Medicine

Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation

Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation. This pattern leads to symptoms such as poor appetite, weak extremities, soreness and weakness in the lower back and abdominal distension. Patients with Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation typically exhibit weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Learn more about Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation

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