Pinyin: Niú Huáng Qīng Xīn Wán
Other names: Wan's Cattle Gallstone Pill to Clear the Heart, Wan Shi Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan
Number of ingredients: 6 herbs
Formula category: Formulas that clear Heat and open sensory orifices
Conditions for which it may be prescribed: PertussisMeningitisAphthous ulcers and one other condition
Contraindications: Contraindicated for long-term use due to the intense bitter and cold nature of... Contraindicated for long-term use due to the intense bitter and cold nature of this formula. see more
Source date: 1568 AD
Source book: Essential Teachings about Pox and Rashes Passed down in Medical Lineages
The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ox Gallstones (Niu Huang) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 1568 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and open sensory orifices. Its main actions are: 1) clears Heat and resolves Toxicity and 2) calms the Mind.
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 Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Heat invading the Pericardium. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as viral encephalitis, meningitis or pertussis for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the six ingredients in Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan helps treat.
Niu Huang is a king ingredient in Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Gallstones (hardened deposits of bile that form in the ox's gallbladder)
Category: Herbs that cool the Blood
Niu Huang excels at clearing intense Heat from the Heart and Liver while also removing pathogens from the Pericardium. At the same time, this ingredient is very adapted to dislodge Phlegm, to open the orifices, to extinguish Wind, and to stop tremors.
Huang Lian is a deputy ingredient in Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried rhizome
Meridian affinity: GallbladderHeartLarge intestineLiverSpleenStomach
Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness
Huang Lian , together with Baikal skullcap root (Huang Qin) and Cape jasmine fruit (Zhi Zi), other deputies in this formula, is good at clearing Heat, draining Fire, and resolving toxicity. They are used here to help the Ox gallstone in clearing Heat from the Heart and resolving toxicity. Indeed, according to authoritative Chinese Medicine literature, Huang Lian "enters the Heart and Pericardium where it is the ultimate at draining fire. It is also able to enter the Liver. While it can guide into both of these Meridians, it is especially entrusted [to guide other herbs] to enter the Heart".
Huang Qin is a deputy ingredient in Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried root
Meridian affinity: GallbladderHeartLarge intestineLungSmall intestineSpleen
Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness
In general Huang Qin's main actions are as follows: "Expels Heat and Dampness. Clears Upper Burner Heat, especially of the Lung. Clears Heat and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears pathogenic Heat which is upsetting the fetus. Cools the Liver, reducing Liver Yang rising syndrome."
Zhi Zi is a deputy ingredient in Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried ripe fruit
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."
Yu Jin is a deputy ingredient in Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried root tuber
Meridian affinity: HeartLiverLung
Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood
Yu Jin enters the Heart and Liver Meridians to cool the Blood, clears the Heat, promotes proper movement of Qi, and releases areas of stagnation. It helps Ox gallstone (Niu Huang) to clear the Heart and open the orifices.
Part used: The mineral itself
Meridian affinity: Heart
Category: Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit
In general Zhu Sha's main actions are as follows: "Calms the spirit and Heart. Stops convulsions. Clears Heat and toxins."
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 Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan is mostly used to treat the pattern "Heat invading the Pericardium" which we describe below.
But before we delve into Heat invading the Pericardium here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:
Viral encephalitis Meningitis Pertussis Aphthous ulcers
Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan treats viral encephalitis" for instance. Rather, Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan is used to treat Heat invading the Pericardium, which is sometimes the root cause behind viral encephalitis.
Now let's look at Heat invading the Pericardium, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan.
The Pericardium is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Pericardium in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi), Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue color: Reddish-Purple
Symptoms: Fever Irritability Restlnessness Delirious speech Impaired consciousness General sensation of unease
Niu Huang Qing Xin Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Heat invading the Pericardium. This pattern leads to symptoms such as fever, irritability, restlnessness and general sensation of unease. Patients with Heat invading the Pericardium typically exhibit fine (Xi), rapid (Shu) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a reddish-purple tongue.
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