Prepared rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) Cornelian cherries (Shan Zhu Yu) Yam (Shan Yao) Water plantain (Ze Xie) Mudan peony bark (Mu Dan Pi) Poria-cocos mushrooms (Fu Ling) Goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) Chrysanthemum flowers (Ju Hua)

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Chinese: 杞菊地黄丸

Pinyin: Qǐ Jú Dì Huáng Wán

Other names: Lycium Fruit Chrysanthemum and Rehmannia Pill, Rehmannia Six Combination with Lycii berries and Chrysanthemum

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that nourish Yin and tonify

Mother formula: Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: CataractGlaucomaDiabetes and eight other conditions

  1. Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin
  2. Improves vision

Contraindications: Not for a person with weak digestion or a lack of Yang

Source date: 1350 AD

Source book: Complete Treatise on Measles

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1350 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify. Its main actions are: 1) nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin and 2) improves vision.

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 Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Liver Yang Rising, Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency or Liver Yin Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as menopausal syndrome, diabetes mellitus or diabetes insipidus for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the eight ingredients in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that Qi Ju Di Huang Wan helps treat.

The eight ingredients in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Shu Di huang is a king ingredient in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Part used: Prepared dried root tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

In general Shu Di huang's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Blood. Tonifies the Yin of the Kidneys."

In the context of Qi Ju Di Huang Wan, it is used because it strongly enriches the Kidney Yin and Essence.

Learn more about Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Shan Zhu Yu is a deputy ingredient in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Cornelian Cherries (Shan Zhu Yu)

Part used: Dried ripe sarcocarp

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sour

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

Shan Zhu Yu nourishes the Liver and restrains the leakage of Essence. It performs the latter function by inhibiting the improper dispersion and drainage through the Liver, thereby enabling the Essence to build up in the Kidneys. For this to occur, a substance with the strong, Essence building properties of the key herb (Prepared rehmannia) is also required.

Learn more about Cornelian Cherries (Shan Zhu Yu)

Shan Yao is a deputy ingredient in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Yam (Shan Yao)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidneyLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Shan Yao stabilizes the Essence by tonifying the Spleen. Indeed, to reinforce Essence and improve its function, the Spleen (the source of postnatal Essence) must function properly.

Learn more about Yam (Shan Yao)

Ze Xie is an assistant ingredient in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

4. Water Plantain (Ze Xie)

Part used: Dried tuber

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: BladderKidney

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

Ze Xie clears and drains the overabundance of Kidney Fire. It is used here to prevent the rich, cloying properties of the key herb (Prepared rehmannia) from congesting the mechanisms of the Kidneys, which would induce even more Heat from Deficiency.

Learn more about Water Plantain (Ze Xie)

Mu Dan Pi is an assistant ingredient in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)

Part used: Root barks

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

Mu Dan Pi clears and drains Liver Fire and is used here to counterbalance the warm properties of Cornelian cherries (Shan Zhu Yu).

Learn more about Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)

Fu Ling is an assistant ingredient in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Part used: Dried sclerotium

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

Fu Ling is a bland herb that leaches out Dampness from the Spleen. Here it notably helps Yam (Shan Yao) strengthen the transportive functions of the Spleen. This prevents the formula from clogging up the digestive process and reinforces the Spleen's function of nourishing the body. Poria-cocos mushrooms also works together with the Water plantain (Ze Xie) to improve the metabolism of Fluids and promote urination, thereby preventing a buildup of Stagnant Fluids.

Learn more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

7. 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."

Learn more about Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)

8. Chrysanthemum Flowers (Ju Hua)

Part used: Dried capitulum

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: LiverLung

Category: Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

In general Ju Hua's main actions are as follows: "Relieves the Exterior and clears Heat. Relieves Wind-Heat from the Liver channel and clears the eyes. Cools Heat of the Liver and Kidney due to Yin Deficiency. Relieves patterns of Liver Yang rising."

Learn more about Chrysanthemum Flowers (Ju Hua)

Conditions and patterns for which Qi Ju Di Huang Wan 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 Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is used by TCM practitioners to treat five 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:

Menopausal syndrome Diabetes mellitus Diabetes insipidus Cataract Glaucoma Central retinopathy Optic nerve atrophy Optic neuritis Diabetes Ophthalmalgia Photophobia

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Qi Ju Di Huang Wan treats menopausal syndrome" for instance. Rather, Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind menopausal syndrome.

Now let's look at the five patterns commonly treated with Qi Ju Di Huang Wan.

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

Liver Yang Rising

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Liver Yang Rising. This pattern leads to symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, tinnitus and deafness. Patients with Liver Yang Rising typically exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a red tongue.

Long term Deficiency of Liver Yin, Liver Blood or Kidney Yin can cause Liver Yang rising upwards. This pattern is also called "Arrogant Liver Yang". If left unchecked it can also lead to Liver Wind Agitating Internally

The symptoms mentioned here are fairly similar to these of Stagnant Liver Qi... read more about Liver Yang Rising

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

Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus, diminished hearing and lower back pain. Patients with Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency typically exhibit empty (Xu) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

The Liver stores Blood while the Kidneys store Essence.

Liver Blood depends on Essence for nourishment, while Essence depends on Blood for replenishment. Both have a common source: Grain Qi derived from the Spleen. In terms of Five Elements, the Kidneys nourish the Liver.

A long term Liver Blood... read more about Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

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

Liver Yin Deficiency

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Liver Yin Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as dry throat, blurred vision, scanty periods and dizziness. Patients with Liver Yin Deficiency typically exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu), wiry (Xian) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red points on the sides tongue with complete absence of coating.

This is a type of Empty-Heat pattern arising out of Liver Blood Deficiency or Kidney Yin Deficiency. It shares similar symptoms as Liver Blood Deficiency, but with extra signs of Dryness and Yin-Deficient Heat.

When Liver Yin Deficiency is quite developed as a pattern, it causes Empty-Heat. The read more about Liver Yin Deficiency

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

Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising. This pattern leads to symptoms such as coma, convulsions, dizziness and tremor. Patients with Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising typically exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu), wiry (Xian), fine (Xi) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red tongue.

Liver Yang Rising can create Interior Wind if the condition is left unchecked for a long time. This pattern is normally seen among the elderly. Many reasons lead to this pattern such as excessive exercise or sex, prolonged physical exertion, chronic menorrhagia and long term emotional stress from... read more about Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising

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

Kidney Yin Deficiency

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidney Yin Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as tinnitus, vertigo, dizziness and night sweats. Patients with Kidney Yin Deficiency typically exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red tongue with complete absence of coating.

Kidney Yin Deficiency causes false Heat symptoms, such as night sweats, thirst and five palm heat. These signs are from a depletion of Body Fluids and Essence. It can also lead to an insufficient amount of Marrow to fill the Brain, causing poor memory and dizziness. Yin Deficiency of the Kidneys is... read more about Kidney Yin Deficiency

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