Milkvetch roots (Huang Qi) Ginseng (Ren Shen) Atractylodes rhizomes (Bai Zhu) Prepared rehmannia (Shu Di Huang)

Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang

Chinese: 固本止崩汤

Pinyin: Gù Běn Zhǐ Bēng Tāng

Other names: Consolidating the Root and Stopping Flooding Decoction

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that tonify Qi and Blood

Mother formula: Gui Pi Tang

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: Intermenstrual bleedingAbnormal uterine bleeding

Main actions: Tonifies Qi and Yang

Source date: 1826 AD

Source book: Fu Qing Zhu's Gynecology

Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi), Ginseng (Ren Shen) and Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1826 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi and Blood. Its main action is that it tonifies Qi and 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 Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Qi Deficiency or Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as abnormal uterine bleeding or intermenstrual bleeding for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the six ingredients in Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang helps treat.

The six ingredients in Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang

Huang Qi is a king ingredient in Gu Ben Zhi Beng 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: SpleenLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Huang Qi's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Wei Qi and stops perspiration. Tonifies the Spleen Qi and the Yang Qi of the Earth Element. Tonifies the Qi and Blood. Expels pus and assists in the healing of wounds. Helps to regulate water metabolism in the body and reduce edema."

In the context of Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang, it is used because it tonifies and raise Qi.

Learn more about Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Ren Shen is a king ingredient in Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Ren Shen's main actions are as follows: "Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit)."

In the context of Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang, it is used because it tonifies and raise Qi.

Learn more about Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Bai Zhu is a king ingredient in Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

3. Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Bai Zhu's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Fortifies the Spleen Yang and dispels Damp through urination. Tonifies Qi and stops sweating. Calms restless fetus when due to Deficiency of Spleen Qi."

In the context of Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang, it is used because it tonifies and raise Qi.

Learn more about Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

4. Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Part used: Prepared dried root tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Shu Di huang nourishes Blood and strengthen Qi. Shu Di huang and Dang Gui together make sure that all ingredients enter the Blood to stop bleeding.

Learn more about Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

5. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Dang Gui nourishes Blood and strengthen Qi. It also calms Blood. Together with Shu Di huang it helps all ingredients enter the Blood to stop bleeding.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

6. Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Hot

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that warm the Interior and/or expel Cold

In general Gan Jiang's main actions are as follows: "Warms the Spleen and expels Cold. Restores collapse of Yang and expels Interior Cold. Warms the Lungs and assists expectoration of Cold Phlegm. Stops chronic bleeding caused by Cold."

In the context of Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang, it is used because it warms the Channels and stops bleeding.

Learn more about Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang)

Conditions and patterns for which Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang 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 Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang 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:

Abnormal uterine bleeding Intermenstrual bleeding

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang treats abnormal uterine bleeding" for instance. Rather, Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind abnormal uterine bleeding.

Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang.

Qi is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Qi in Chinese Medicine

Qi Deficiency

Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Qi Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as shortness of breath, weak voice, spontaneous sweating and poor appetite. Patients with Qi Deficiency typically exhibit empty (Xu) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

When Qi is Deficient, it typically appears as tiredness or weakness in the body. Since Qi is lacking, it is unable to perform any of its functions. Some of the symptoms for Qi Deficiency also commonly apply for other conditions. The overall differentiating symptoms for Qi Deficiency, however, is... read more about Qi Deficiency

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

Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency

Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as abdominal pain that worsens with cold, urinary difficulty, deep aching and heaviness in the extremities and dizziness. Patients with Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency typically exhibit deep (Chen) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Learn more about Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency

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