Milkvetch roots (Huang Qi) Dong quai (Dang Gui)

Chinese: 当归补血汤

Pinyin: Dāng Guī Bǔ Xiě Tāng

Other names: Tangkuei Decoction to Tonify the Blood

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that tonify Blood

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: AnemiaLeukopeniaPostpartum fever and four other conditions

  1. Tonifies the Qi
  2. Generates Blood

Contraindications: Use with caution in cases with tidal fever from Yin Deficiency.

Source date: 1247 AD

Source book: Clarifying Doubts about Injury from Internal and External Causes

Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang is a 2-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1247 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Blood. Its main actions are: 1) tonifies the Qi and 2) generates 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 Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Blood Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as postpartum fever, perimenstrual fevers or urinary dysfunction for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the two ingredients in Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang helps treat.

The two ingredients in Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang

Huang Qi is a king ingredient in Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: LungSpleen

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Huang Qi not only strongly tonifies the original Qi of the Spleen, but also secures the Exterior. It reaches directly to the Exterior skin and muscle, securing the Protective Yang and amply filling the Exterior level. These are its specific strengths, so it is really marvelous for all disorders involving Exterior Deficiency. Turning this Qi inward will, in turn, facilitate the production of Blood, which is produced by the Qi transformations of the Middle Burner. Furthermore, augmenting Qi also supports movement and transformation, and thereby reinforces the generation of Blood on a second level

Learn more about Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Dang Gui is a deputy ingredient in Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLiverSpleen

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Dang Gui invigorates the Blood. In a related manner, it also replenishes the 'Qi of the Blood' and therefore works particularly well in conjunction with Milkvetch root, which indirectly tonifies the Blood by tonifying the Qi , as previously explained.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang is used to treat Blood Deficiency

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 Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Blood Deficiency" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Blood Deficiency here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Postpartum fever Perimenstrual fevers Urinary dysfunction Anemia Thrombocytopenic purpura Leukopenia Nonhealing ulcers

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang treats postpartum fever" for instance. Rather, Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang is used to treat Blood Deficiency, which is sometimes the root cause behind postpartum fever.

Now let's look at Blood Deficiency, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang.

Blood (Xue) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Blood in Chinese Medicine

Blood Deficiency

Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Blood Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as dizziness, scanty periods, amenorrhea and dull white shallow face. Patients with Blood Deficiency typically exhibit choppy (Se) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as Pale, thin and slightly tongue .

A Deficiency of Blood occurs when their entire body, a part of body or a particular Organ is insufficiently nourished by Blood. This can be caused by a loss of blood, insufficient Spleen Qi to produce Blood or congealed Blood which prevents new Blood from forming.

The Organs most likely to be... read more about Blood Deficiency

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