Ginseng (Ren Shen) White peony roots (Bai Shao) Atractylodes rhizomes (Bai Zhu) Milkvetch roots (Huang Qi) Dong quai (Dang Gui) Prepared rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) Poria-cocos mushrooms (Fu Ling) Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang

Chinese: 人参养荣汤

Pinyin: Rén Shēn Yǎng Róng Tāng

Other names: Ginseng Decoction to Nourish Luxuriance, Ginseng Nourishing and Flourishing Decoction

Number of ingredients: 14 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that tonify

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: AnemiaDebilityLate menstruation and four other conditions

  1. Tonifies Qi and Blood
  2. Nourishes the Heart
  3. Calms the spirit

Contraindications: Contraindicated for Qi and Blood Deficiency patterns with significant Cold.

Source date: 1174 AD

Source book: Discussion of Illnesses, Patterns, and Formulas Related to the Unification of the Three Etiologies

Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang is a 14-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ginseng (Ren Shen) and White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1174 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify. Its main actions are: 1) tonifies Qi and Blood and 2) nourishes the Heart.

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 Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Blood Deficiency, Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency or Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as late menstruation, spontaneous flow of breast milk or absence of menstruation for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the fourteen ingredients in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang helps treat.

The fourteen ingredients in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang

Ren Shen is a king ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Ren Shen strongly augments Qi, generates Body Fluids and tonifies the Spleen, Lungs, and Heart. Together with Bai Shao, these two herbs address the pathodynamic treated by this formula and harmonize all of the organs that are directly affected by it.

Learn more about Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Bai Shao is a king ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: SpleenLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

In general Bai Shao's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain."

In the context of Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang, it is used because it is sour and cooling. It enters the Spleen to nourish the Blood and restrain the Yang.

Learn more about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Bai Zhu is a deputy ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Bai Zhu's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Fortifies the Spleen Yang and dispels Damp through urination. Tonifies Qi and stops sweating. Calms restless fetus when due to Deficiency of Spleen Qi."

In the context of Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang, it is used because it helps Ginseng tonify the Qi.

Learn more about Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Huang Qi is a deputy ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Huang Qi's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Wei Qi and stops perspiration. Tonifies the Spleen Qi and the Yang Qi of the Earth Element. Tonifies the Qi and Blood. Expels pus and assists in the healing of wounds. Helps to regulate water metabolism in the body and reduce edema."

In the context of Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang, it is used because it helps Ginseng tonify the Qi.

Learn more about Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Dang Gui is a deputy ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. 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 Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang, it is used because it supports White peony root in nourishing the Blood.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Shu Di huang is a deputy ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

6. 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 Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang, it is used because it supports White peony root in nourishing the Blood.

Learn more about Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Fu Ling is a deputy ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

7. Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Part used: Dried sclerotium

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

In general Fu Ling's main actions are as follows: "Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit."

In the context of Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang, it is used because it helps Ginseng tonify the Qi and resolve Dampness.

Learn more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Gan Cao is a deputy ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

8. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Gan Cao's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs."

In the context of Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang, it is used because it helps Ginseng tonify the Qi and harmonize all ingredients.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Rou Gui is an assistant ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

9. 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

In general Rou Gui's main actions are as follows: "Warms the Spleen and Kidneys and tonifies the Yang. Expels Cold, Warms the meridians, promotes circulation of Qi and Blood and relieves pain. Used with tonics to assist in the generation of Qi and Blood."

In the context of Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang, it is used because it warms the Yang Qi to stimulate all physiological activity.

Learn more about Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Wu Wei Zi is an assistant ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

10. Schisandra Berries (Wu Wei Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe fruits

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): SourSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

Wu Wei Zi is sweet, sour, and warm. It restrains the Qi and prevents excessive sweating, ensuring that augmented Qi is not dispersed to the outside but turned toward the inside and the Blood.

Learn more about Schisandra Berries (Wu Wei Zi)

Yuan Zhi is an assistant ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

11. Chinese Senega Roots (Yuan Zhi)

Part used: The dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that nourish the Heart and calm the Spirit

Yuan Zhi is bitter, acrid, and warm.  It regulates the Heart Qi and establishes harmonious communication between the Heart and Kidneys to settle the spirit and calm palpitations.

Learn more about Chinese Senega Roots (Yuan Zhi)

Chen Pi is an assistant ingredient in Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

12. Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

Part used: Dried pericarp of the ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenLung

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

Chen Pi is acrid and warming. It enters the Lungs and Spleen to move the Qi and harmonize the Stomach, preventing the cloying characteristics of the tonifying herbs from obstructing the Qi movement.

Learn more about Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

13. Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

Part used: Fresh root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLung

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Sheng Jiang regulates the nutritive and protective Qi and harmonizes the Spleen and Stomach. It ensures that this complex formula is properly assimilated, and blend its many ingredients into a harmonious whole.

Learn more about Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

14. Jujube Dates (Da Zao)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Da Zao regulates the nutritive and protective Qi and harmonizes the Spleen and Stomach. It ensures that this complex formula is properly assimilated, and blend its many ingredients into a harmonious whole.

Learn more about Jujube Dates (Da Zao)

Conditions and patterns for which Ren Shen Yang Rong 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 Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang is used by TCM practitioners to treat four 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:

Late menstruation Spontaneous flow of breast milk Absence of menstruation Anemia Nonhealing ulcers Debility Nervous exhaustion

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang treats late menstruation" for instance. Rather, Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind late menstruation.

Now let's look at the four patterns commonly treated with Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang.

Blood (Xue) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Blood in Chinese Medicine

Blood Deficiency

Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Blood Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as amenorrhea, scanty periods, dizziness and numbness. Patients with Blood Deficiency typically exhibit choppy (Se) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

A Deficiency of Blood occurs when their entire body, a part of body or a particular Organ is insufficiently nourished by Blood. This can be caused by a loss of blood, insufficient Spleen Qi to produce Blood or congealed Blood which prevents new Blood from forming.

The Organs most likely to be... read more about Blood Deficiency

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

Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency

Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as dizziness, unsteadiness, blurred vision and deafness. Patients with Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency typically exhibit weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Learn more about Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency

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