Mulberry leaves (Sang Ye) Chrysanthemum flowers (Ju Hua) Forsythia fruits (Lian Qiao) Wild mint (Bo He) Platycodon roots (Jie Geng) Apricot seeds (Xing Ren) Common reed rhizomes (Lu Gen) Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Sang Ju Yin

Chinese: 桑菊饮

Pinyin: Sāng Jú Yǐn

Other names: Mulberry Leaf and Chrysanthemum Drink, Morus and Chrysanthemum Combination

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that clear Wind-Heat

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: InfluenzaPneumoniaBronchitis and three other conditions

  1. Disperses Wind
  2. Stops coughing by invigorating Lung Qi
  3. Clears Heat

Source date: 1798 AD

Source book: Systematic Differentiation of Warm Pathogen Diseases

Sang Ju Yin is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Mulberry Leaves (Sang Ye) and Chrysanthemum Flowers (Ju Hua) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Wind-Heat. Its main actions are: 1) disperses Wind and 2) stops coughing by invigorating Lung 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 Sang Ju Yin is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Wind-Heat or Toxic-Heat. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as common cold, influenza or bronchitis for instance.

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

The eight ingredients in Sang Ju Yin

Sang Ye is a king ingredient in Sang Ju Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Mulberry Leaves (Sang Ye)

Part used: Dried leaves

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: LiverLung

Category: Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Sang Ye is cool and light. Its flavor is bitter and sweet. It can clear Heat from the Exterior. It helps stop coughing by removing the Lung Heat.

Learn more about Mulberry Leaves (Sang Ye)

Ju Hua is a king ingredient in Sang Ju Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. 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."

In the context of Sang Ju Yin, it is used because it disperses Wind Heat in the Upper Burner, including the eyes affecting one.

Learn more about Chrysanthemum Flowers (Ju Hua)

Lian Qiao is a deputy ingredient in Sang Ju Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. 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

In general Lian Qiao's main actions are as follows: "Expels Heat and toxicity from the Blood. Dispels External Wind-Heat. Reduces lumps, swollen lymph nodes and sores of a Heated nature."

In the context of Sang Ju Yin, it is used because it assists the formula in releasing the Exterior.

Learn more about Forsythia Fruits (Lian Qiao)

Bo He is a deputy ingredient in Sang Ju Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Wild Mint (Bo He)

Part used: Dried aerial parts

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: LiverLung

Category: Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

In general Bo He's main actions are as follows: "Relieves the Exterior and disperses Wind-Heat. Clears Wind-Heat from the head, eyes and throat. Allows the release of toxins from the skin. Moves Stagnant Liver Qi"

In the context of Sang Ju Yin, it is used because it assists the formula in releasing the Exterior.

Learn more about Wild Mint (Bo He)

Jie Geng is a deputy ingredient in Sang Ju Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. Platycodon Roots (Jie Geng)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: Lung

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Jie Geng helps the two key herbs in invigorating the Lung Qi and stopping coughing by directing the Qi upwards.

Learn more about Platycodon Roots (Jie Geng)

Xing Ren is a deputy ingredient in Sang Ju Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

6. Apricot Seeds (Xing Ren)

Part used: Dried ripe seeds

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: Large intestineLung

Category: Herbs that relieve coughing and wheezing

Xing Ren helps the two key herbs in invigorating the Lung Qi and stopping coughing by directing the Qi downwards.

Learn more about Apricot Seeds (Xing Ren)

Lu Gen is an assistant ingredient in Sang Ju Yin. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Common Reed Rhizomes (Lu Gen)

Part used: Fresh or dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: StomachLung

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

In general Lu Gen's main actions are as follows: "Clears Heat and promotes the generation of Fluids. Dispels Lung Heat. Dispels Stomach Heat. Promotes urination and clears Heat in the urinary tract. Calm the minds and stop vomiting."

In the context of Sang Ju Yin, it is used because it clears Heat and generates Body Fluids so as to reduce thirst.

Learn more about Common Reed Rhizomes (Lu Gen)

Gan Cao is an envoy ingredient in Sang Ju Yin. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

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 Sang Ju Yin, it is used because it helps clear the Heat and harmonizes the actions of the other herbs.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Conditions and patterns for which Sang Ju Yin 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 Sang Ju Yin 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:

Common cold Influenza Bronchitis Pneumonia Tonsillitis Conjunctivitis

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Sang Ju Yin treats common cold" for instance. Rather, Sang Ju Yin is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind common cold.

Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Sang Ju Yin.

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

Wind-Heat

Sang Ju Yin is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Wind-Heat. This pattern leads to symptoms such as chills, headaches, fear of wind and blocked nose. Patients with Wind-Heat typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or floating (Fu) pulses.

Within the Four-Levels theory, Wind-Heat is the first level of invasion of External Pathogens, when it still resides in the body's Exterior.

This pattern is similar to Wind-Cold, but the Wind is together with Heat rather than Cold. The common symptoms are aversion to cold, sneezing, coughing, runny... read more about Wind-Heat

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

Toxic-Heat

Sang Ju Yin is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Toxic-Heat. This pattern leads to symptoms such as thirst, dark urine, constipation and coughing. Patients with Toxic-Heat typically exhibit rapid (Shu) pulses.

There are two types of Toxic-Heat. One type is called Toxic-Heat Stagnation, which mainly happens in Channels or other surfaces like skins, throat, lymph or mouth. The symptoms include pain, redness and swollen in throat as well as skin pustule and rush. Acne during teenage time is mainly due to... read more about Toxic-Heat

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