The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Bi Yu San is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Talc (Hua Shi) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 1172 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Summer-Heat and facilitate resolution of Dampness. Its main actions are: 1) clears Heat, cools Blood and relieves toxicity and 2) promotes urination.
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 Yu San is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as heatstroke for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the three ingredients in Bi Yu San, we review the patterns and conditions that Bi Yu San helps treat.
Hua Shi is a king ingredient in Bi Yu San. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: The mineral itself
Category: Herbs that drain Dampness
Hua Shi cold and clears Summer Heat so as to facilitate the resolution of Dampness. Its nature is heavy so as to directs downward. It is also slippery and able to facilitate passage through the apertures, be they the pores of the skin above or the urinary orifices below. It is believed to clear pathogenic Heat from the entire Triple Burner and promoting urination. Together with Liquorice, they not only promotes urination, but also generates Body Fluids, thereby enabling the formula to perform its tasks without injuring the Qi or Body Fluids.
Gan Cao is a deputy ingredient in Bi Yu San. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried root and rhizome
Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency
Gan Cao harmonizes the Middle Burner and has a mild ability to clear Heat and resolve toxicity. Together with Talc, they not only promotes urination, but also generates Body Fluids, thereby enabling the formula to perform its tasks without injuring the Qi or Body Fluids.
Part used: Dried powder or mass prepared from the leaf and/or the stem
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 Yu San is mostly used to treat the pattern "Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder" which we describe below.
But before we delve into Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder it is worth mentioning that it is often associated with the condition "heatstroke". Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Bi Yu San treats heatstroke". Rather, Bi Yu San is used to treat Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder, which is sometimes the root cause behind heatstroke.
Now let's look at Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Bi Yu San.
The Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine
Bi Yu San is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder. This pattern leads to symptoms such as .