Water buffalo horns (Shui Niu Jiao) Ningpo figwort roots (Xuan Shen) Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) Dwarf lilyturf roots (Mai Dong) Honeysuckle flowers (Jin Yin Hua) Forsythia fruits (Lian Qiao) Lophatherum herbs (Dan Zhu Ye) Goldthread rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Qing Ying Tang

Chinese: 清营汤

Pinyin: Qīng Yíng Tāng

Other names: clear Nutritive Qi Level Heat.

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that clear nutritive-level Heat

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: TyphoidMeningitisSepticemia and two other conditions

  1. Clears the Nutritive level Heat
  2. Relieves Fire Toxin
  3. Removes Heat
  4. Nourishes Yin

Contraindications: contraindicated for patients with Dampness pattern which can be diagnosed by a... contraindicated for patients with Dampness pattern which can be diagnosed by a white and slippery tongue coating. see more

Source date: 1798 AD

Source book: Systematic Differentiation of Warm Pathogen Diseases

Qing Ying Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear nutritive-level Heat. Its main actions are: 1) clears the Nutritive level Heat and 2) relieves Fire Toxin.

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 Ying Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Heat in Pericardium. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as encephalitis b, meningitis or typhoid for instance.

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

The nine ingredients in Qing Ying Tang

Shui Niu Jiao is a king ingredient in Qing Ying Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao)

Part used: The horn, as a powder or as thin scrapes

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): BitterSalty

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

Shui Niu Jiao is bitter, salty, and cold. It drains Heat from the Nutritive (Ying) level and the Heart so as to relieve Fire Toxin and calms the Mind. It is cold in nature but it does not lead to obstruction, which makes it helpful in treating Exterior Heat invading Interior. It can also cool the Blood and remove Stagnation. 

Learn more about Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao)

Xuan Shen is a deputy ingredient in Qing Ying Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: StomachLarge intestineLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

In general Xuan Shen's main actions are as follows: "Expels true or Internal Heat and cools the Blood. Tonifies the Yin. Reduces inflammations and drains Fire toxicity. Reduces hard nodules, especially associated with the lymph."

In the context of Qing Ying Tang, it is used because it tonifies Yin and relieves Fire Toxin by directing it downwards.

Learn more about Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen)

Di Huang is a deputy ingredient in Qing Ying 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 Ying Tang, it is used because it cools the Blood and tonifies Yin.

Learn more about Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

Mai Dong is a deputy ingredient in Qing Ying Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Part used: Dried root tuber

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

In general Mai Dong's main actions are as follows: "Replenishes Yin Essence and promotes secretions. Lubricates and nourishes the Stomach. Soothes the Lung. Nourishes the Heart."

In the context of Qing Ying Tang, it is used because it clears Heat, tonifies Yin and Body Fluids.

Learn more about Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Jin Yin Hua is an assistant ingredient in Qing Ying Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. Honeysuckle Flowers (Jin Yin Hua)

Part used: Dried flower bud

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartLung

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity

Jin Yin Hua is fragrant, aromatic and light, like the other assistant ingredient of the formula Forsythia fruit. It clears Heat and removes Toxin by pushing pathogenic Heat outside. The key and deputy herbs of the formula dissipates this Heat from nutritive level (more severe) to the Qi level (less severe). Then Honeysuckle flowers disperses the Heat from Qi level to outside the body.

Learn more about Honeysuckle Flowers (Jin Yin Hua)

Lian Qiao is an assistant ingredient in Qing Ying Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. Forsythia Fruits (Lian Qiao)

Part used: Dried fruit

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: HeartLungSmall intestine

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity

Lian Qiao is fragrant, aromatic and light, like the other assistant ingredient of the formula Honeysuckle flowers. It clears Heat and removes Toxin by pushing pathogenic Heat outside. The key and deputy herbs of the formula dissipates this Heat from nutritive level (more severe) to the Qi level (less severe). Then Forsythia fruit disperses the Heat from Qi level to outside the body.

Learn more about Forsythia Fruits (Lian Qiao)

Dan Zhu Ye is an assistant ingredient in Qing Ying Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Lophatherum Herbs (Dan Zhu Ye)

Part used: Dried stem and leaf

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartSmall intestine

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

Dan Zhu Ye is light and it clears Heat and resolve Toxin like Honeysuckle flowers and Forsythia fruit.  On top of that, it also works with Goldthread rhizome to clear Heat from the Heart. 

Learn more about Lophatherum Herbs (Dan Zhu Ye)

Huang Lian is an assistant ingredient in Qing Ying Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

8. 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 Qing Ying Tang, it is used because it is cold and bitter and it clears and removes Heat from the Heart.

Learn more about Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Dan Shen is an assistant ingredient in Qing Ying Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

9. Red Sage Roots (Dan Shen)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: HeartLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

Dan Shen invigorates Blood and prevents Blood Stagnation, which can happen for 2 reasons: First of all, this formula's ingredients are cold with cooling action, which can slow down Blood flow. Secondly, Body Fluids is injured if there are Heat in the Blood.

Learn more about Red Sage Roots (Dan Shen)

Qing Ying Tang is used to treat Heat in Pericardium

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 Ying Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Heat in Pericardium" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Heat in Pericardium here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Encephalitis B Meningitis Typhoid Septicemia Thrombocytopenic purpura

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Qing Ying Tang treats encephalitis b" for instance. Rather, Qing Ying Tang is used to treat Heat in Pericardium, which is sometimes the root cause behind encephalitis b.

Now let's look at Heat in Pericardium, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Qing Ying Tang.

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

Heat in Pericardium

Qing Ying Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Heat in Pericardium. This pattern leads to symptoms such as aphasia, hot body, cold hands and feet and macules. Patients with Heat in Pericardium typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses.

Exterior Heat can penetrate four levels of depth in the human body: Wei (卫,the defensive Qi level), Qi (气), Ying (营,Nutritive Qi) and the deepest level Blood. The deeper Heat penetrates within the levels, the more severe the condition.

As for the pattern of Heat in Pericardium, its the Heat... read more about Heat in Pericardium

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