Goldthread rhizomes (Huang Lian) Houpu Magnolia bark (Hou Pu) Cape jasmine fruits (Zhi Zi) Fermented soybeans (Dan Dou Chi)

Lian Po Yin

Chinese: 莲朴饮

Pinyin: Lián Pǔ Yǐn

Other names: Coptis–Magnolia Decoction, Coptis and Magnolia Bark Drink

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that clear Heat and expel dampness

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: AsthmaTyphoidParatyphoid and three other conditions

  1. Clears Heat
  2. Transforms Dampness
  3. Regulates Qi
  4. Harmonizes the Middle Burner

Contraindications: Indicated only for Damp-Heat type disorders. It must not be used where the... Indicated only for Damp-Heat type disorders. It must not be used where the symptoms that characterize the disorder are due to Damp-Cold. see more

Source date: 1862 AD

Source book: Discussion of Sudden Turmoil Disorders

Lian Po Yin is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian) and Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1862 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and expel dampness. Its main actions are: 1) clears Heat and 2) transforms Dampness.

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 Lian Po Yin is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Damp-Heat invading the Spleen or Damp-Heat in the Stomach. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as gastroenteritis, typhoid or paratyphoid for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the seven ingredients in Lian Po Yin, we review the patterns and conditions that Lian Po Yin helps treat.

The seven ingredients in Lian Po Yin

Huang Lian is a king ingredient in Lian Po Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderSpleenStomachHeartLarge intestineLiver

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness

In general Huang Lian's main actions are as follows: "Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Lower Burner. Eliminates Fire toxicity especially when there is associated Dampness. Acts as a sedative by eliminating Heart Fire. Eliminates Stomach Fire. Expel parasites"

In the context of Lian Po Yin, it is used because it drains Heat and dries Dampness in the Middle-Burner.

Learn more about Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Hou Pu is a king ingredient in Lian Po Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu)

Part used: Dried stem bark, root bark or branch bark

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLung

Category: Aromatic herbs that transform Dampness

Hou Pu is one of the most effective herbs for transforming Dampness and promoting the movement of Qi, especially in the Middle Burner

Learn more about Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu)

Zhi Zi is a deputy ingredient in Lian Po Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Cape Jasmine Fruits (Zhi Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderHeartLungSanjiao

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire and/or clear Summer Heat

In general Zhi Zi's main actions are as follows: "Clears Heat and calms spirit. Drains Damp-Heat affecting the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears Heat in the Blood and stops bleeding. Anti-inflammatory."

In the context of Lian Po Yin, it is used because it clears the Heat stagnating in the chest and epigastrium.

Learn more about Cape Jasmine Fruits (Zhi Zi)

Dan Dou Chi is a deputy ingredient in Lian Po Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Fermented Soybeans (Dan Dou Chi)

Part used: Fermented preparation obtain from the ripe bean

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: StomachLung

Category: Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

In general Dan Dou Chi's main actions are as follows: "Relieves the Exterior and scatters Wind, Cold and Heat, especially when there is Yin Deficiency. Relieves stuffy sensation in the chest and irritability."

In the context of Lian Po Yin, it is used because it clears the Heat stagnating in the chest and epigastrium.

Learn more about Fermented Soybeans (Dan Dou Chi)

Shi Chang Pu is a deputy ingredient in Lian Po Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. Sweetflag Rhizomes (Shi Chang Pu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartLiver

Category: Herbs that open the Orifices

In general Shi Chang Pu's main actions are as follows: "Opens the Orifices, awakens the Mind (Shen) and expels Wind-Damp Phlegm. Harmonizes the Earth element and dispels Damp. Applied internally or externally for Wind-Cold-Damp painful obstruction."

In the context of Lian Po Yin, it is used because it transforms Dampness and revives the Spleen.

Learn more about Sweetflag Rhizomes (Shi Chang Pu)

Ban Xia is a deputy ingredient in Lian Po Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

6. Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia)

Part used: Dried rhizome and tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLung

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Ban Xia dries Dampness and is very effective in directing the Rebellious Stomach Qi downward, thereby stopping vomiting and/or nausea

Learn more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia)

Lu Gen is an assistant ingredient in Lian Po Yin. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Common Reed Rhizomes (Lu Gen)

Part used: Fresh or dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: StomachLung

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire and/or clear Summer Heat

Lu Gen clears and transforms Damp-Heat, generates Fluids, harmonizes the Stomach, and stops vomiting and/or nausea.

Learn more about Common Reed Rhizomes (Lu Gen)

Conditions and patterns for which Lian Po Yin 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 Lian Po Yin 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:

Gastroenteritis Typhoid Paratyphoid Peptic ulcers Asthma Acute viral hepatitis

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Lian Po Yin treats gastroenteritis" for instance. Rather, Lian Po Yin is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind gastroenteritis.

Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Lian Po Yin.

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

Damp-Heat invading the Spleen

Lian Po Yin is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Damp-Heat invading the Spleen. This pattern leads to symptoms such as poor appetite, feeling of heaviness, thirst without a desire to drink and nausea or vomiting. Patients with Damp-Heat invading the Spleen typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or slippery (Hua) pulses.

This pattern is essentially the same as Cold-Damp invading the Spleen except that in this case there is Heat

Many of the symptoms are due to Dampness: the feeling of fullness and heaviness, the nausea, the sticky tongue coating and the Slippery pulse.

The symptoms that indicate Heat are the foul... read more about Damp-Heat invading the Spleen

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

Damp-Heat in the Stomach

Lian Po Yin is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Damp-Heat in the Stomach. This pattern leads to symptoms such as epigastric pain, epigastrium fullness, feeling of heaviness and facial pain. Patients with Damp-Heat in the Stomach typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or slippery (Hua) pulses.

In this pattern Dampness obstructs the Stomach, which prevents the descending of Stomach Qi and causes nausea and a feeling of fullness of the epigastrium.

The Stomach Channel connects to the face so the Dampness also leads to the symptoms of facial pain, blocked nose and thick nasal discharge.... read more about Damp-Heat in the Stomach

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