Softshell turtle shells (Bie Jia) Sweet wormwood herbs (Qing Hao) Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) Anemarrhena rhizomes (Zhi Mu)

Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Chinese: 青蒿鳖甲汤

Pinyin: Qīng Hāo Biē Jiǎ Tāng

Other names: Sweet Wormwood and Soft -Shelled Turtle Shell Decoction

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that clear Heat from Deficiency

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: LupusRenal tuberculosisChronic pyelonephritis and one other condition

Main actions: Nourishes the Yin and clears Heat

Contraindications: Contraindicated in the early stages of a Heat pathogen disease, when the... Contraindicated in the early stages of a Heat pathogen disease, when the pathogenic influence is still in the Exterior, and also in cases with spasms or convulsions. see more

Source date: 1798 AD

Source book: Systematic Differentiation of Warm Pathogen Diseases

Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Softshell Turtle Shells (Bie Jia) and Sweet Wormwood Herbs (Qing Hao) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat from Deficiency. Its main action is that it nourishes the Yin and clears Heat.

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 Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency or Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as lupus, chronic pyelonephritis or pulmonary tuberculosis for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the five ingredients in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang helps treat.

The five ingredients in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Bie Jia is a king ingredient in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Softshell Turtle Shells (Bie Jia)

Part used: Carapace

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Salty

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

Bie Jia directly enters the Yin to enrich it and reduce the fever from Deficiency. Unlike other more Yin-enriching herbs, this substance is able to enter the Collaterals and actively clear Heat from the deepest Yin aspect of the body.

Learn more about Softshell Turtle Shells (Bie Jia)

Qing Hao is a king ingredient in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Sweet Wormwood Herbs (Qing Hao)

Qing Hao clears the Heat and expels it from the body. It enters the Yin aspects of the body with the guidance of Bie Jia (Softshell Turtle Shell) and clears Heat there.

Learn more about Sweet Wormwood Herbs (Qing Hao)

Di Huang is a deputy ingredient in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

Part used: Prepared dried root tuber

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

In general Di Huang's main actions are as follows: "Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes."

In the context of Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, it is used because it nourishes the Yin and clears Heat from Deficiency.

Learn more about Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

Zhi Mu is a deputy ingredient in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Anemarrhena Rhizomes (Zhi Mu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: StomachKidneyLung

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

In general Zhi Mu's main actions are as follows: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Qi level. Clears Heat and Fire from the Lung and Stomach. Clears Heat and tonifies the Yin."

In the context of Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, it is used because it nourishes the Yin and clears Heat from Deficiency.

Learn more about Anemarrhena Rhizomes (Zhi Mu)

Mu Dan Pi is an assistant ingredient in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang. 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

In general Mu Dan Pi's main actions are as follows: "Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis."

In the context of Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, it is used because it drains Heat from the Yin and assists the king herbs in venting and dispersing the Heat.

Learn more about Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)

Conditions and patterns for which Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang 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 Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang 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:

Lupus Chronic pyelonephritis Pulmonary tuberculosis Renal tuberculosis

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang treats lupus" for instance. Rather, Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind lupus.

Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang.

'Heat' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Heat pattern in Chinese Medicine

Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as restlnessness, anxiety, fidgeting and insomnia. Patients with Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency typically exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red tongue with complete absence of coating.

Yin Deficiency involves the excessive consumption of Body Fluids, Essence and Blood. The main cause is overwork, which usually develops very gradually and slowly over several years. The only exception to a rapid Yin Deficiency is when Pathological Heat consumes Body Fluids and Yin very fast. 

If... read more about Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

'Heat' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Heat pattern in Chinese Medicine

Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency

Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as night fever, emaciation, tidal fever and hot palms and soles.

Learn more about Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency

Formulas similar to Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang is 40% similar to Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Qing Wei San is 40% similar to Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Di Gu Pi Yin is 33% similar to Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Qing Jing San is 29% similar to Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang is 25% similar to Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Zhu Yu Zhi Xue Tang is 25% similar to Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang