Goji tree root bark (Di Gu Pi) Mudan peony bark (Mu Dan Pi) Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) Dong quai (Dang Gui)

Di Gu Pi Yin

Chinese: 地骨皮饮

Pinyin: De Gǔ Pí Yǐn

Other names: Cortex Lycii Decoction

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that nourish Yin and tonify

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: Early menstruationAbnormal uterine bleeding

  1. Clears Heat
  2. Stops bleeding

Source date: 1742 AD

Source book: Golden Mirror of Medicine

Di Gu Pi Yin is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Goji Tree Root Bark (Di Gu Pi) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1742 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify. Its main actions are: 1) clears Heat and 2) stops bleeding.

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 Di Gu Pi Yin is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Heat in the Blood. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as early menstruation or abnormal uterine bleeding for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the six ingredients in Di Gu Pi Yin, we review the patterns and conditions that Di Gu Pi Yin helps treat.

The six ingredients in Di Gu Pi Yin

Di Gu Pi is a king ingredient in Di Gu Pi Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Goji Tree Root Bark (Di Gu Pi)

Part used: Dried root bark

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiverLung

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

In general Di Gu Pi's main actions are as follows: "Clears Yin Deficient Heat;. Clears Lung Heat and stops cough. Cools the Blood when there is reckless movement of Blood. Drains Fire when Kidney Water is unable to control Fire."

In the context of Di Gu Pi Yin, it is used because it clears Empty Heat and cools Blood.

Learn more about Goji Tree Root Bark (Di Gu Pi)

2. Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)

Part used: Root barks

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

In general Mu Dan Pi's main actions are as follows: "Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis."

In the context of Di Gu Pi Yin, it is used because it clears Heat and cools Blood.

Learn more about Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)

3. Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

Part used: Prepared dried root tuber

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

In general Di Huang's main actions are as follows: "Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes."

In the context of Di Gu Pi Yin, it is used because it cools and calms Blood and stops bleeding.

Learn more about Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

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 Di Gu Pi Yin, it is used because it enters the Liver and Heart to tonify and invigorate the Blood.

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

Chuan Xiong facilitates the flow of Blood through the vessels and alleviates symptoms such as headache, dizziness, blurred vision and pain

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

Bai Shao helps reduce the muscle spasms caused by Blood-Deficiency and it is particularly well-suited to treat abdominal pain. Together with Di Huangit has a strong tonifying effect on the Blood.

Learn more about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Di Gu Pi Yin is used to treat Heat in the Blood

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 Di Gu Pi Yin is mostly used to treat the pattern "Heat in the Blood" which we describe below.

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

Early menstruation Abnormal uterine bleeding

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Di Gu Pi Yin treats early menstruation" for instance. Rather, Di Gu Pi Yin is used to treat Heat in the Blood, which is sometimes the root cause behind early menstruation.

Now let's look at Heat in the Blood, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Di Gu Pi Yin.

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

Heat in the Blood

Di Gu Pi Yin is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Heat in the Blood. This pattern leads to symptoms such as frequent bleeding episodes, fever, feeling of heat and red skin eruptions. Patients with Heat in the Blood typically exhibit rapid (Shu) pulses as well as a red tongue.

The most common cause of Heat in the Blood is a Heat Pernicious Influence that has invaded the body and agitates the Blood. This results in accelerated blood flow which manifests itself in a rapid pulse, expanded and damaged Blood vessels and often heavy bleeding. The Blood will be fresh red or... read more about Heat in the Blood

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