Desert-living cistanches (Rou Cong Rong) Dong quai (Dang Gui) Achyranthes roots (Niu Xi) Water plantain (Ze Xie)

Chinese: 济川煎

Pinyin: Jì Chuān Jiān

Other names: Benefit the River Decoction

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that moisten Intestines and unblock bowels

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: ConstipationHabitual constipationPostpartum constipation and one other condition

  1. Warms the Kidneys
  2. Nourishes the Blood
  3. Strengthens the Essence
  4. Moistens the Intestines
  5. Unblocks bowels

Source date: 1624 AD

Source book: Collected Treatises of Zhang Jing-Yue

Ji Chuan Jian is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Desert-Living Cistanches (Rou Cong Rong) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that moisten Intestines and unblock bowels. Its main actions are: 1) warms the Kidneys and 2) nourishes the 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.

From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as constipation, constipation in the elderly or habitual constipation for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the six ingredients in Ji Chuan Jian, we review the patterns and conditions that Ji Chuan Jian helps treat.

The six ingredients in Ji Chuan Jian

Rou Cong Rong is a king ingredient in Ji Chuan Jian. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Desert-Living Cistanches (Rou Cong Rong)

Part used: Dried stem

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): SaltySweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLarge intestine

Category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

Rou Cong Rong warms and tonifies the Kidney Yang, warms the lower back, and moistens the Intestines to unblock the bowels.

Learn more about Desert-Living Cistanches (Rou Cong Rong)

Dang Gui is a deputy ingredient in Ji Chuan Jian. 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

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 Ji Chuan Jian, it is used because it nourishes and harmonizes the Blood and moistens the Intestines.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Niu Xi is a deputy ingredient in Ji Chuan Jian. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Achyranthes Roots (Niu Xi)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

Niu Xi strengthens the lower back and the Kidneys. It also has a descending nature that focuses the
actions of the formula on the Lower Burner.

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Ze Xie is an assistant ingredient in Ji Chuan Jian. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

4. Water Plantain (Ze Xie)

Part used: Dried tuber

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: BladderKidney

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

Ze Xie has a descending nature that drains turbidity from the Kidneys. Together with Achyranthes root, it facilitates movement and guides the actions of the other herbs downward. It also prevents the moistening property of the key herb from causing Stagnation.

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Zhi Ke is an envoy ingredient in Ji Chuan Jian. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

5. Bitter Oranges (Zhi Ke)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungentSour

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Zhi Ke's main actions are as follows: "To regulate the flow of Qi, remove its stagnation, and alleviate distension."

In the context of Ji Chuan Jian, it is used because it relaxes the Intestines and directs the Qi downward, thus helping to unblock the bowels.

Learn more about Bitter Oranges (Zhi Ke)

Sheng Ma is an envoy ingredient in Ji Chuan Jian. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

6. Bugbane Rhizomes (Sheng Ma)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: Large intestineLungSpleenStomach

Category: Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Sheng Ma raises the clear Yang as a subtle inducement to the descent of the turbid Yin. In combination with Bitter orange, one ascending and the other descending, they enhance the Kidney Qi circulation.

Learn more about Bugbane Rhizomes (Sheng Ma)

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