Fish-poison yam (Bi Xie) Sharp-leaf galangal fruits (Yi Zhi Ren) Lindera roots (Wu Yao) Sweetflag rhizomes (Shi Chang Pu)

Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin

Chinese: 萆薢分清饮

Pinyin: Bì Xiè Fēn Qīng Yǐn

Other names: Dioscoreae Drink to Separate the Clear, Tokoro Drink to Separate the Clear

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that warm and transform water and Dampness

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: Dark urineCloudy urineVaginal itching and three other conditions

  1. Clears Heat
  2. Warms the Kidneys
  3. Drains Dampness
  4. Separates the clear from the turbid

Source date: 1732 AD

Source book: Awakening of the Mind in Medical Studies

Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Fish-Poison Yam (Bi Xie) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1732 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform water and Dampness. Its main actions are: 1) clears Heat and 2) warms the Kidneys.

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 Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Spleen Deficiency with Dampness or Damp-Heat in the Bladder. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as vaginal itching, vaginal discharge or cloudy urine for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the four ingredients in Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin, we review the patterns and conditions that Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin helps treat.

The four ingredients in Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin

Bi Xie is a king ingredient in Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Fish-Poison Yam (Bi Xie)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: BladderStomachLiver

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

Bi Xie enters the Bladder, Liver, and Stomach Channels and removes Dampness by separating the turbid from the pure Fluids. Then it directs the turbid fluids out the body through the Bladder. It is thus one of the most important herbs in treating cloudy urinary difficulty or vaginal discharge.

Learn more about Fish-Poison Yam (Bi Xie)

Yi Zhi Ren is a deputy ingredient in Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Sharp-Leaf Galangal Fruits (Yi Zhi Ren)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidney

Category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

Yi Zhi Ren is acrid and aromatic. It warms the Spleen and the Stomach to harmonize the Middle Burner. It also helps the Kidney Yang to secure the Lower Burner. Thus it reduces the urination frequency and stabilizes the Qi.

Learn more about Sharp-Leaf Galangal Fruits (Yi Zhi Ren)

Wu Yao is an assistant ingredient in Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

3. Lindera Roots (Wu Yao)

Part used: Dried root tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: BladderSpleenKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Wu Yao's main actions are as follows: "Warms and stimulates the flow of Qi and relieves pain. Disperses Cold and Warms the Kidneys."

In the context of Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin, it is used because it warms the Kidneys as well as supports Qi movement and water transformation.

Learn more about Lindera Roots (Wu Yao)

Shi Chang Pu is an assistant ingredient in Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

4. Sweetflag Rhizomes (Shi Chang Pu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartLiver

Category: Herbs that open the Orifices

In general Shi Chang Pu's main actions are as follows: "Opens the Orifices, awakens the Mind (Shen) and expels Wind-Damp Phlegm. Harmonizes the Earth element and dispels Damp. Applied internally or externally for Wind-Cold-Damp painful obstruction."

In the context of Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin, it is used because it is warm and acrid. It transforms turbidity as well as removes Dampness and Cold from the Bladder.

Learn more about Sweetflag Rhizomes (Shi Chang Pu)

Conditions and patterns for which Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin 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 Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin 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:

Vaginal itching Vaginal discharge Cloudy urine Dark urine Frequent urination Painful urination

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin treats vaginal itching" for instance. Rather, Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind vaginal itching.

Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin.

The Bladder is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Bladder in Chinese Medicine

Damp-Heat in the Bladder

Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Damp-Heat in the Bladder. This pattern leads to symptoms such as painful urinary dribbling, stony painful urinary dribbling, urine the color of rice water (grey and cloudy) and urinary dribbling. Patients with Damp-Heat in the Bladder typically exhibit a tongue with yellow coating

Learn more about Damp-Heat in the Bladder

Formulas similar to Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin

Si Mo Tang is 25% similar to Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin

Xiao Tiao Jing Tang is 14% similar to Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin

Lian Po Yin is 14% similar to Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin

Sang Piao Xiao San is 12% similar to Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin

Nuan Gan Jian is 12% similar to Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin

Wu Yao Tang is 11% similar to Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin