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.
Ci Zhu Wan is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Magnetite (Ci Shi) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 650 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that sedate and calm the Mind. Its main actions are: 1) heavily sedates and calms the Mind and 2) pacifies Rising Yang .
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 Ci Zhu Wan is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as cataracts, optic nerve atrophy or disorders of the vitreous humor for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the four ingredients in Ci Zhu Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that Ci Zhu Wan helps treat.
Ci Shi is a king ingredient in Ci Zhu Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: The mineral power
Category: Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit
Ci Shi is salty, cold, and heavy. It enters the Kidneys, anchors and calms the Mind, pacifies the Rising Yang while
nourishing the Yin, and improves the acuity of hearing and vision. Cinnabar is red and corresponds to the Fire phase, like the Heart. Magnetite is black and corresponds to the water phase, like the Kidneys. Together, they anchor the Mind and pacify the floating Heart Yang so that it can interact with the Kidneys. In this manner, the Fire in the Heart is controlled and the Essence in the Kidneys is able to rise, which gradually resolves the condition.
Zhu Sha is a deputy ingredient in Ci Zhu Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: The mineral itself
Meridian affinity: Heart
Category: Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit
Zhu Sha sedates and calms the Mind and clears Heat from the Heart. Cinnabar is red and corresponds to the Fire phase, like the Heart. Magnetite is black and corresponds to the water phase, like the Kidneys. Together, they anchor the Mind and pacify the floating Heart Yang so that it can interact with the Kidneys. In this manner, the Fire in the Heart is controlled and the Essence in the Kidneys is able to rise, which gradually resolves the condition.
Shen Qu is an assistant ingredient in Ci Zhu Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
Part used: This is a fermented combination of wheat flour, Artemisia annua, Xanthium, Polygonum hydropiper and other herbs.
Category: Herbs that relieve Food Stagnation
Shen Qu strengthens the Spleen and Stomach and aids digestion. Not only does it prevent injury to the Stomach Qi from the heavy metals, it also helps disseminate their actions throughout the body. Focusing on the Middle Burner, it also plays an active role in stabilizing the normal ascending and descending of the Essence and Fire.
Feng Mi is an assistant ingredient in Ci Zhu Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
Part used: Honey
Category: Laxative herbs that drain downward
In general Feng Mi's main actions are as follows: "Reinforces the spleen and stomach. Moistens dryness, relieves pain, and detoxifies."
In the context of Ci Zhu Wan, it is used because it serves as the filler for the pills and also tonifies the Middle Burner.
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 Ci Zhu Wan is mostly used to treat the pattern "Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency" which we describe below.
But before we delve into Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:
Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Ci Zhu Wan treats cataracts" for instance. Rather, Ci Zhu Wan is used to treat Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency, which is sometimes the root cause behind cataracts.
Now let's look at Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Ci Zhu Wan.
The Heart is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Heart in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong), Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu)
Tongue color: Red, Red tip
Tongue shape: Cracked
Ci Zhu Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as palpitations, insomnia, poor memory and night sweats. Patients with Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency typically exhibit overflowing (Hong), rapid (Shu) or empty (Xu) pulses as well as a red, red tip tongue.
Also called "Kidneys and Heart not Harmonized", this pattern occurs when Kidney Yin is Deficient and cannot nourish the Heart Yin which thus becomes Deficient. It results in a flaring up of Empty-Heat in the Heart with accompanying symptoms such as mental restlessness, insomnia, dream disturbed... read more about Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency