Tangerine peel (Chen Pi) Bamboo shavings (Zhu Ru) Ginseng (Ren Shen) Fresh ginger (Sheng Jiang)

Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang

Chinese: 橘皮竹茹汤

Pinyin: Jú Pí Zhú Rú Tāng

Other names: Citrus–Bambusa Decoction, Tangerine Peel and Bamboo Shavings Decoction

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Formula category: Formulas for a rebellious Qi

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: HiccupsGastritisMorning sickness and one other condition

  1. Directs rebellious Qi downward
  2. Stops hiccup
  3. Augments Qi
  4. Clears heat

Contraindications: Contraindicated in cases of Heat from Excess or Cold from Deficiency.

Source date: Essentials from the Golden Cabinet

Source book: 220 AD

Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi) and Bamboo Shavings (Zhu Ru) as principal ingredients.

Invented in Essentials from the Golden Cabinet, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi. Its main actions are: 1) directs rebellious Qi downward and 2) stops hiccup.

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 Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as morning sickness, incomplete pyloric obstruction or gastritis for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the six ingredients in Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang helps treat.

The six ingredients in Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang

Chen Pi is a king ingredient in Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

Part used: Dried pericarp of the ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenLung

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Chen Pi's main actions are as follows: "Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs."

In the context of Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang, it is used because it harmonizes the Stomach and stops hiccup.

Learn more about Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

Zhu Ru is a king ingredient in Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Bamboo Shavings (Zhu Ru)

Part used: Dried middle shavings

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: GallbladderStomachLung

Category: Cool herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

In general Zhu Ru's main actions are as follows: "Clears Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs. Clears Heat in the Stomach and stops vomiting. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding."

In the context of Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang, it is used because it clears Heat, calms the Stomach, and stops hiccup.

Learn more about Bamboo Shavings (Zhu Ru)

Ren Shen is a deputy ingredient in Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. 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 Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang, it is used because it tonifies Qi to complement the key herbs' regulation effects.

Learn more about Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Sheng Jiang is a deputy ingredient in Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

Part used: Fresh root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLung

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

In general Sheng Jiang's main actions are as follows: "Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Warms and circulates Qi in the Middle Burner. Calms a restless fetus and treats morning sickness. Treats seafood poisoning."

In the context of Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang, it is used because it is very effective in harmonizing the functions of the Stomach and stopping vomiting.

Learn more about Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

Gan Cao is an assistant ingredient in Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Gan Cao assists Ren Shen in augmenting the Qi and harmonizes the various actions of the other herbs in the formula

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Da Zao is an assistant ingredient in Ju Pi Zhu Ru 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."

In the context of Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang, it is used because it assists Ren Shen in augmenting the Qi.

Learn more about Jujube Dates (Da Zao)

Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang is used to treat Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

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 Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Morning sickness Incomplete pyloric obstruction Gastritis Hiccups

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang treats morning sickness" for instance. Rather, Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang is used to treat Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach, which is sometimes the root cause behind morning sickness.

Now let's look at Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang.

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

Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach. This pattern leads to symptoms such as irritability, epigastric pain, epigastric distension and hypochondrial pain. Patients with Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach typically exhibit weak (Ruo) or wiry (Xian) pulses.

Liver Qi is said to be rebellious when its horizontal movement is accentuated. This interferes with the descending of Stomach Qi, making it ascend instead. Hence the symptoms of belching, nausea and vomiting.

Rebellious Liver Qi also impairs the Stomach's function of rotting and ripening of food,... read more about Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

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