Fennel seeds (Xiao Hui Xiang) Cinnamon bark (Rou Gui) Dong quai (Dang Gui) Goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) Lindera roots (Wu Yao) Agarwood (Chen Xiang) Poria-cocos mushrooms (Fu Ling) Fresh ginger (Sheng Jiang)

Nuan Gan Jian

Chinese: 暖肝煎

Pinyin: Nuǎn Gān Jiān

Other names: Warm the Liver Decoction

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that promote Qi movement

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: HydroceleVaricoceleInguinal hernia

  1. Warms the Liver and Kidneys
  2. Promotes the movement of Qi
  3. Alleviates pain

Contraindications: Contraindicated in patients with heat, redness, swelling, and pain of the... Contraindicated in patients with heat, redness, swelling, and pain of the scrotum due to Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. see more

Source date: 1624 AD

Source book: Collected Treatises of[ Zhang} ]ing-Yue

Nuan Gan Jian is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Fennel Seeds (Xiao Hui Xiang) and Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement. Its main actions are: 1) warms the Liver and Kidneys and 2) promotes the movement of Qi.

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 Nuan Gan Jian is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as varicocele, hydrocele or inguinal hernia for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the eight ingredients in Nuan Gan Jian, we review the patterns and conditions that Nuan Gan Jian helps treat.

The eight ingredients in Nuan Gan Jian

Xiao Hui Xiang is a king ingredient in Nuan Gan Jian. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Fennel Seeds (Xiao Hui Xiang)

Part used: Dried ripe fruits

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that warm the Interior and/or expel Cold

In general Xiao Hui Xiang's main actions are as follows: "Expels Cold and relieves pain. Regulates Qi of the Stomach."

In the context of Nuan Gan Jian, it is used because it warms the Liver and disperses Cold from the lower abdomen.

Learn more about Fennel Seeds (Xiao Hui Xiang)

Rou Gui is a king ingredient in Nuan Gan Jian. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Part used: Dried stem bark

Nature: Hot

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that warm the Interior and/or expel Cold

Rou Gui is acrid, sweet, and very warming, entering the Liver, Kidneys and gate of vitality to generate the production of Yang at its
source.

Learn more about Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Dang Gui is a deputy ingredient in Nuan Gan Jian. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

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 Nuan Gan Jian, it is used because it nourishes Blood, tonifies the Liver and augment the Kidneys.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Gou Qi Zi is a deputy ingredient in Nuan Gan Jian. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

In general Gou Qi Zi's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Yin of the Liver and Yin of the Kidneys. Brightens the eyes. Moistens the Lungs."

In the context of Nuan Gan Jian, it is used because it nourishes Blood, tonifies the Liver and augment the Kidneys.

Learn more about Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)

Wu Yao is a deputy ingredient in Nuan Gan Jian. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. Lindera Roots (Wu Yao)

Part used: Dried root tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: BladderSpleenKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

Wu Yao enhances the actions of the key herbs by promoting the movement of Qi and alleviating pain, especially in the lower abdomen.

Learn more about Lindera Roots (Wu Yao)

Chen Xiang is a deputy ingredient in Nuan Gan Jian. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

6. Agarwood (Chen Xiang)

Part used: Wood shavings

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

Chen Xiang enhances the actions of the key herbs by promoting the movement of Qi and alleviating pain, especially in the lower abdomen.

Learn more about Agarwood (Chen Xiang)

Fu Ling is an assistant ingredient in Nuan Gan Jian. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Part used: Dried sclerotium

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

Fu Ling leaches out Dampness and strengthens the Spleen to eliminate the Yin Excess that invariably accompanies Yang Deficiency.

Learn more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

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

8. 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 Nuan Gan Jian, it is used because it scatters Cold and harmonizes the Stomach. It also helps treat nausea and loss of appetite.

Learn more about Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

Nuan Gan Jian is used to treat Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel

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 Nuan Gan Jian is mostly used to treat the pattern "Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Varicocele Hydrocele Inguinal hernia

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Nuan Gan Jian treats varicocele" for instance. Rather, Nuan Gan Jian is used to treat Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel, which is sometimes the root cause behind varicocele.

Now let's look at Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Nuan Gan Jian.

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

Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel

Nuan Gan Jian is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel. This pattern leads to symptoms such as hypochondrial fullness and distention with pain alleviated by warmth, testicular pain, contraction of the scrotum and vertical headaches. Patients with Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel typically exhibit deep (Chen), slow (Chi) or wiry (Xian) pulses.

This is caused by invasion of the Liver Channel by Cold, from the Exterior.

The Liver Channel flows around the genitalia and Cold contracts. This explains the pain and contraction in the scrotum (primarily) as well as the testicules/vagina.

read more about Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel

Formulas similar to Nuan Gan Jian

Da Ying Jian is 38% similar to Nuan Gan Jian

Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang is 38% similar to Nuan Gan Jian

Jia Wei Xiao Yao San is 30% similar to Nuan Gan Jian

You Gui Wan is 30% similar to Nuan Gan Jian

Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang is 30% similar to Nuan Gan Jian

Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is 30% similar to Nuan Gan Jian