Quisqualis fruits (Shi Jun Zi) Areca nuts (Bing Lang) Goldthread rhizomes (Huang Lian) Nutmeg (Rou Dou Kou) Medicated leaven (Shen Qu) Malt (Mai Ya) Costus roots (Mu Xiang) Pig galls (Zhu Dan)

Chinese: 肥儿丸

Pinyin: Féi Er Wán

Other names: Fat Baby Pill

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that reduce food accumulation and transform Stagnation

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: HookwormAscariasisChronic indigestion in children

  1. Kills parasites
  2. Reduces accumulation
  3. Strengthens the Spleen
  4. Clears Heat

Contraindications: This formula should be used only for primarily excessive types of childhood... This formula should be used only for primarily excessive types of childhood nutritional impairment, as it has no significant tonifying actions. Its name should not mislead one into using it as a general tonic or everyday supplement. see more

Source date: 1156 AD

Source book: Comprehensive and Subtle Discussion of Children's Health

Fei Er Wan is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Quisqualis Fruits (Shi Jun Zi) and Areca Nuts (Bing Lang) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1156 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that reduce food accumulation and transform Stagnation. Its main actions are: 1) kills parasites and 2) reduces accumulation.

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 Fei Er Wan is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Stomach Heat or Fire or Spleen Qi Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as ascariasis, hookworm or chronic indigestion in children for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the eight ingredients in Fei Er Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that Fei Er Wan helps treat.

The eight ingredients in Fei Er Wan

Shi Jun Zi is a king ingredient in Fei Er Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Quisqualis Fruits (Shi Jun Zi)

Part used: The fluits

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that expel parasites

In general Shi Jun Zi's main actions are as follows: "Kills parasites. Improves children's digestion"

In the context of Fei Er Wan, it is used because it has a strong effect on killing parasites.

Learn more about Quisqualis Fruits (Shi Jun Zi)

Bing Lang is a king ingredient in Fei Er Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Areca Nuts (Bing Lang)

Part used: Dried ripe seed

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: Large intestineStomach

Category: Herbs that expel parasites

In general Bing Lang's main actions are as follows: "Destroys parasites. Regulates Qi circulation. Promotes urination."

In the context of Fei Er Wan, it is used because it has a strong effect on killing parasites.

Learn more about Areca Nuts (Bing Lang)

Huang Lian is a deputy ingredient in Fei Er Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderHeartLarge intestineLiverSpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness

Huang Lian clears Heat. It also assists the key ingredients in directing the parasites downward.  The combination of Nutmeg and Goldthread rhizome treats Spleen Deficiency due to accumulation with accompanying Heat.

Learn more about Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Rou Dou Kou is a deputy ingredient in Fei Er Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Nutmeg (Rou Dou Kou)

Part used: Dried kernel

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: Large intestineSpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

Rou Dou Kou strengthens the Spleen.  The combination of Nutmeg and Goldthread rhizome treats Spleen Deficiency due to accumulation with accompanying Heat.

Learn more about Nutmeg (Rou Dou Kou)

Shen Qu is an assistant ingredient in Fei Er Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. Medicated Leaven (Shen Qu)

Part used: This is a fermented combination of wheat flour, Artemisia annua, Xanthium, Polygonum hydropiper and other herbs.

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that relieve Food Stagnation

In general Shen Qu's main actions are as follows: "Assists the Stomach in removing Food Stagnation. Harmonizes the Earth element and improves digestion."

In the context of Fei Er Wan, it is used because it directly reduce Food Stagnation.

Learn more about Medicated Leaven (Shen Qu)

Mai Ya is an assistant ingredient in Fei Er Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. Malt (Mai Ya)

Part used: Dried germinated ripe fruit

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that relieve Food Stagnation

In general Mai Ya's main actions are as follows: "Assists the Stomach to move Food Stagnation. Strengthens the Spleen. Stops the flow of mother's milk. Assists in the smooth flow of Liver Qi."

In the context of Fei Er Wan, it is used because it directly reduce Food Stagnation.

Learn more about Malt (Mai Ya)

Mu Xiang is an assistant ingredient in Fei Er Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Costus Roots (Mu Xiang)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLarge intestineLiverLungSpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Mu Xiang's main actions are as follows: "Relieves the Stagnation of Qi of the digestion in the Spleen, Stomach and Intestines. Relieves Qi Stagnation of the Liver and Gallbladder. Strengthens the Spleen and is used with tonifying herbs to prevent their potential cloying effects."

In the context of Fei Er Wan, it is used because it promotes the Qi movement in the Middle Burner..

Learn more about Costus Roots (Mu Xiang)

Zhu Dan is an envoy ingredient in Fei Er Wan. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

8. Pig Galls (Zhu Dan)

Part used: The pig gall often in the form of bile or bile powder

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLarge intestineLiverLung

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity

Zhu Dan , when combined Goldthread rhizome, it drains accumulated Stomach Heat, and conducts the actions of the other ingredients into the Stomach.

Learn more about Pig Galls (Zhu Dan)

Conditions and patterns for which Fei Er Wan 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 Fei Er Wan 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:

Ascariasis Hookworm Chronic indigestion in children

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Fei Er Wan treats ascariasis" for instance. Rather, Fei Er Wan is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind ascariasis.

Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Fei Er Wan.

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

Stomach Heat or Fire

Fei Er Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Stomach Heat or Fire. This pattern leads to symptoms such as burning epigastric pain, intense thirst, desire for cold drinks and restlnessness. Patients with Stomach Heat or Fire typically exhibit rapid (Shu), slippery (Hua) or full (Shi) pulses as well as Red in the center with a dry thick yellow or dark yellow coating.

Stomach Fire indicates a true Excess of Heat in the Stomach, creating symptoms such as mouth ulcers, bad breath, intense thirst as well as strong desire for cold drinks and foods. The Blood in the Stomach Channel get rebellious due to the extreme Heat or Fire, so that it leaks out of vessels and... read more about Stomach Heat or Fire

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

Spleen Qi Deficiency

Fei Er Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Spleen Qi Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as slight abdominal distension after eating, lassitude, desire to lie down and slight abdominal pain. Patients with Spleen Qi Deficiency typically exhibit empty (Xu) pulses as well as Pale or normal tongue with thin white coating. Possible swollen with tooth marks on sides and transverse cracks.

Spleen Qi Deficiency is one of the most commonly seen disharmony. The three most common causes for this pattern are unhealthy diet, emotional stress and mental-excertion as they can largely harm the transformation and transportation function of the Spleen. This pattern gives rise to various... read more about Spleen Qi Deficiency

Formulas similar to Fei Er Wan

Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan is 25% similar to Fei Er Wan

Wu Yao Tang is 22% similar to Fei Er Wan

Zhou Che Wan is 20% similar to Fei Er Wan

Dang Gui Long Hui Wan is 18% similar to Fei Er Wan

Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan is 12% similar to Fei Er Wan

Xiao Xian Xiong Tang is 12% similar to Fei Er Wan