Cinnamon bark (Rou Gui) White peony roots (Bai Shao) Dragon bones (Long Gu) Oyster shells (Mu Li Ke)

Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang

Chinese: 桂枝加龍骨牡蠣湯

Pinyin: Guì Zhī Jiā Lóng Gǔ Mǔ Lì Tāng

Other names: Cinnamon D Formula, Cinnamon and Dragon Bone Combination, Cinnamon Twig Decoction plus Dragon Bone and Oyster Shell

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that tonify Yin and Yang

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: EnuresisNeurosisNeurasthenia and five other conditions

  1. Rectifies relationship between Yin and Yang
  2. Harmonizes Heart and Kidney
  3. Stabilizes and secures Essence

Contraindications: This formula is contraindicated in Excess conditions. Do not use with... This formula is contraindicated in Excess conditions. Do not use with constrained Heat or Cold in the Interior. see more

Source date: 220 AD

Source book: Essentials from the Golden Cabinet

Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui) and White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Yin and Yang. Its main actions are: 1) rectifies relationship between Yin and Yang and 2) harmonizes Heart and Kidney.

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 Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Heart Yang Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as enuresis, urinary incontinence or premature ejaculation for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the seven ingredients in Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang helps treat.

The seven ingredients in Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang

Rou Gui is a king ingredient in Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Part used: Dried stem bark

Nature: Hot

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidneyLiver

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

In general Rou Gui's main actions are as follows: "Warms the Spleen and Kidneys and tonifies the Yang. Expels Cold, Warms the meridians, promotes circulation of Qi and Blood and relieves pain. Used with tonics to assist in the generation of Qi and Blood."

Learn more about Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Bai Shao is a king ingredient in Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: SpleenLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

In general Bai Shao's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain."

Learn more about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Long Gu is a deputy ingredient in Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Dragon Bones (Long Gu)

Part used: The fossilized bone or vertebrae

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit

In general Long Gu's main actions are as follows: "Calms the spirit. Anchors ascendant Liver Yang. Stops leakage of Bodily Fluids."

In the context of Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang, it is used because it pulls the action of the formula into the Interior, particularly the Kidneys.

Learn more about Dragon Bones (Long Gu)

Mu Li ke is a deputy ingredient in Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Oyster Shells (Mu Li ke)

In general Mu Li ke's main actions are as follows: "Calms and anchors the spirit. Moistens Dryness. Softens and removes lumps. Nourish the Yin and subdues the overflowing of the Yang,"

In the context of Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang, it is used because it pulls the action of the formula into the Interior, particularly the Heart.

Learn more about Oyster Shells (Mu Li ke)

Gan Jiang is an assistant ingredient in Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. 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."

Learn more about Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang)

Da Zao is an assistant ingredient in Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. Jujube Dates (Da Zao)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Da Zao's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach Qi. Tonifies the Blood. Calms the Shen (spirit). Moderates the actions of other herbs in formula."

Learn more about Jujube Dates (Da Zao)

Gan Cao is an envoy ingredient in Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

7. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Gan Cao's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs."

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang is used to treat Heart Yang 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 Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Heart Yang Deficiency" which we describe below.

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

Enuresis Urinary incontinence Premature ejaculation Nocturnal emission Spermatorrhea Neurasthenia Neurosis Perimenopausal syndrome

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang treats enuresis" for instance. Rather, Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang is used to treat Heart Yang Deficiency, which is sometimes the root cause behind enuresis.

Now let's look at Heart Yang Deficiency, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang.

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

Heart Yang Deficiency

Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Heart Yang Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath on exertion, fatigue and spontaneous sweating. Patients with Heart Yang Deficiency typically exhibit deep (Chen), knotted (Jie) or weak (Ruo) pulses.

Some of the symptoms are the same as for Heart Qi Deficiency (palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, sweating and pale face): this is because Heart Qi Deficiency could be considered as included within Heart Yang deficiency. In other words, it is not possible to have a Deficiency of Yang... read more about Heart Yang Deficiency

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