Milkvetch seeds (Sha Yuan Zi) Lotus seeds (Lian Zi) Lotus stamens  (Lian Xu) Foxnut seeds (Qian Shi)

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan

Chinese: 金锁固精丸

Pinyin: Jīn Suǒ Gù Jīng Wán

Other names: Metal Lock Pill to Stabilize the Essence

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that secure Essence and stop enuresis

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

  1. Stabilizes the Kidneys
  2. Binds up the semen

Contraindications: Contraindicated in cases of Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner

Source date: 1682 AD

Source book: Medical Formulas Collected and Analyzed

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Milkvetch Seeds (Sha Yuan Zi) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1682 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that secure Essence and stop enuresis. Its main actions are: 1) stabilizes the Kidneys and 2) binds up the semen.

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 Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Kidney Qi not Firm. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as sexual dysfunction, chyluria or chronic prostatitis for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the six ingredients in Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan helps treat.

The six ingredients in Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan

Sha Yuan Zi is a king ingredient in Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Milkvetch Seeds (Sha Yuan Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe seeds

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

Sha Yuan Zi provides both of the fundamental actions of this formula: it tonifies the Kidneys and benefits the Essence, and stops the leakage of semen by stabilizing the gate of Essence.

Learn more about Milkvetch Seeds (Sha Yuan Zi)

Lian Zi is a deputy ingredient in Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Lotus Seeds (Lian Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe seed

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): SourSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidney

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

Lian Zi works together with the other deputies in this formula (Lian Xu - Lotus Stamens - and Qian Shi - Foxnut seeds) to assist the key ingredient (Milkvetch seeds) in stabilizing the gate of Essence and stopping the leakage of semen. Lotus stamens and Foxnut seeds also tonify the postnatal Essence via the Spleen. Lotus seeds and stamens also nourish the Heart to calm the Mind (Shen).

Learn more about Lotus Seeds (Lian Zi)

Lian Xu is a deputy ingredient in Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Lotus Stamens (Lian Xu)

Part used: Dried stamens

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidney

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

In general Lian Xu's main actions are as follows: "Strengthens the kidney and relieves spermatorrhea. Reduces vaginal discharge and reduces urination."

Learn more about Lotus Stamens (Lian Xu)

Qian Shi is a deputy ingredient in Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Foxnut Seeds (Qian Shi)

Part used: Dried kernels of ripe seeds

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): SourSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidney

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

In general Qian Shi's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Spleen and stops diarrhea. Strengthens the Kidneys and restrains Essence. Dispels Dampness and relieves leukorrhea."

Learn more about Foxnut Seeds (Qian Shi)

Long Gu is an assistant ingredient in Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. 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

Long Gu works together with Oyster shells (Mu Li Ke), another assistant ingredient here, to bind the semen and prevent it from leaking. Heavy in nature, they also calm the Liver and subdue the Yang, assisting in the prevention of spermatorrhea from yet another direction.

Learn more about Dragon Bones (Long Gu)

Mu Li ke is an assistant ingredient in Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. 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,"

Learn more about Oyster Shells (Mu Li ke)

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan is used to treat Kidney Qi not Firm

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 Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan is mostly used to treat the pattern "Kidney Qi not Firm" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Kidney Qi not Firm here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Sexual dysfunction Chyluria Chronic prostatitis Spermatocystitis Postpartum incontinence Nervous exhaustion Diabetes Myasthenia gravis

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan treats sexual dysfunction" for instance. Rather, Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan is used to treat Kidney Qi not Firm, which is sometimes the root cause behind sexual dysfunction.

Now let's look at Kidney Qi not Firm, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan.

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

Kidney Qi not Firm

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidney Qi not Firm. This pattern leads to symptoms such as back pain, dribbling after urination, vaginal discharge and uterus prolapse. Patients with Kidney Qi not Firm typically exhibit deep (Chen) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

This pattern is also called ‘Lower Original Qi (元气 Yuan Qi) not Firm’, to show that it is also caused by a shortage of the Original Qi. When Original Qi is weak in the Lower Burner, Qi cannot hold Body Fluids and sperm which leads to many 'leaking' symptoms. This is one of the two typical... read more about Kidney Qi not Firm

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