Oxidized iron filings (Sheng Tie Luo) Cinnabar (Zhu Sha) Arisaema with bile (Dan Nan Xing) Fritillary bulbs (Chuan Bei Mu) Ningpo figwort roots (Xuan Shen) Forsythia fruits (Lian Qiao) Gambir stems and thorns (Gou Teng) Red sage roots (Dan Shen)

Chinese: 生铁落饮

Pinyin: Shēng Tiě Luò Yǐn

Other names: Iron Filings Drink

Number of ingredients: 15 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that sedate and calm the Mind

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

  1. Sedates the Heart
  2. Clears Phlegm
  3. Clears Fire
  4. Calms the Mind

Source date: 1732 AD

Source book: Awakening of the Mind in Medical Studies

Sheng Tie Luo Yin is a 15-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Oxidized Iron Filings (Sheng Tie Luo) and Cinnabar (Zhu Sha) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1732 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that sedate and calm the Mind. Its main actions are: 1) sedates the Heart and 2) clears Phlegm.

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 Sheng Tie Luo Yin is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as epilepsy, bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the fifteen ingredients in Sheng Tie Luo Yin, we review the patterns and conditions that Sheng Tie Luo Yin helps treat.

The fifteen ingredients in Sheng Tie Luo Yin

Sheng Tie Luo is a king ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Oxidized Iron Filings (Sheng Tie Luo)

Part used: The mineral

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: HeartLiver

Category: Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit

In general Sheng Tie Luo's main actions are as follows: "Calms the Liver Fire and sedates the Mind. "

In the context of Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it enters the Liver Channel to treat anger and mania. It strongly anchors and calms the Mind.

Learn more about Oxidized Iron Filings (Sheng Tie Luo)

Zhu Sha is a king ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Cinnabar (Zhu Sha)

Part used: The mineral itself

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: Heart

Category: Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit

In general Zhu Sha's main actions are as follows: "Calms the spirit and Heart. Stops convulsions. Clears Heat and toxins."

In the context of Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it enters the Heart and strongly anchors and calms the
Mind.

Learn more about Cinnabar (Zhu Sha)

Dan Nan Xing is a deputy ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Arisaema With Bile (Dan Nan Xing)

Part used: The rhizome

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenLiverLung

Category: Cool herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

In general Dan Nan Xing's main actions are as follows: "To clear Heat and resolve Phlegm, dispel Wind and stop convulsions"

In the context of Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it is bitter and cooling. It dispels Wind-Phlegm and treating seizures.

Learn more about Arisaema With Bile (Dan Nan Xing)

Chuan Bei Mu is a deputy ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Fritillary Bulbs (Chuan Bei Mu)

Part used: Dried bulb

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLung

Category: Cool herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Chuan Bei Mu is bitter, sweet, and cooling. It enters the Upper Burner to clear Heart Fire and clear Lung stagnation.

Learn more about Fritillary Bulbs (Chuan Bei Mu)

Xuan Shen is a deputy ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: Large intestineLiverStomach

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

Xuan Shen is bitter, sweet, salty, and cooling. It enters the Kidneys and clears floating Heat.  It treats mania characterized by extreme confusion and the inability to recognize people.

Learn more about Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen)

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

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

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 Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it is bitter and slightly cooling. It is also light and opens Stagnation in the Upper Burner.

Learn more about Forsythia Fruits (Lian Qiao)

Gou Teng is a deputy ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

7. Gambir Stems And Thorns (Gou Teng)

Part used: Dried stems and thorns from the branches

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: LiverPericardium

Category: Herbs that pacify Internal Liver Wind and stop Tremors

In general Gou Teng's main actions are as follows: "Calms Liver Wind and relieves spasms. Clears Liver Heat and sedates Liver Yang."

In the context of Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it is sweet and slightly cooling. It dispels Wind-Heat and settles fright.

Learn more about Gambir Stems And Thorns (Gou Teng)

Dan Shen is a deputy ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

8. 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

In general Dan Shen's main actions are as follows: "Invigorates the Blood, breaks up Stasis and eases pain. Clears Heat and calms restlessness."

In the context of Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it is bitter and slightly cooling. It clears the Blood Heat and prevents Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Red Sage Roots (Dan Shen)

Fu Shen is a deputy ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

9. Host-Wood Poria (Fu Shen)

Part used: The part of the mushroom that is attached to the host-wood, dried

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeart

Category: Herbs that nourish the Heart and calm the Spirit

In general Fu Shen's main actions are as follows: "Calms the Mind (Shen) and promote urination."

In the context of Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it is bland and sweet. It clears Dampness and thereby deprives Phlegm of its source.

Learn more about Host-Wood Poria (Fu Shen)

Shi Chang Pu is a deputy ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

10. Sweetflag Rhizomes (Shi Chang Pu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartLiver

Category: Herbs that open the Orifices

Shi Chang Pu is acrid and slightly warming. It direct Qi downward and thus works well together with acrid, bitter, and slightly warming Chinese senega root.

Learn more about Sweetflag Rhizomes (Shi Chang Pu)

Yuan Zhi is a deputy ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

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

In general Yuan Zhi's main actions are as follows: "Calms the spirit. Expels Phlegm from the Heart orifices. Expels Phlegm from the Lungs. Diminishes abscesses."

In the context of Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it is acrid, bitter, and slightly warming. It lifts the Qi.

Learn more about Chinese Senega Roots (Yuan Zhi)

Tian Men Dong is an assistant ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

12. Chinese Asparagus Tubers (Tian Men Dong)

Part used: The dry tuber

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

In general Tian Men Dong's main actions are as follows: "Nourishes Yin of the Lungs and Kidneys. Expectorates Phlegm."

In the context of Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it nourishes the Yin to replenish the physiological Body Fluids.

Learn more about Chinese Asparagus Tubers (Tian Men Dong)

Mai Dong is an assistant ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

13. Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Part used: Dried root tuber

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLungStomach

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 Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it nourishes the Yin to replenish the physiological Body Fluids.

Learn more about Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Fu Ling is an assistant ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

14. Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Part used: Dried sclerotium

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLungSpleen

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 Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it treats Phlegm at its source by improving the function of the Spleen and Qi.

Learn more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Chen Pi is an assistant ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

15. Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

Part used: Dried pericarp of the ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: LungSpleen

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Chen Pi's main actions are as follows: "Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs."

In the context of Sheng Tie Luo Yin, it is used because it treats Phlegm at its source by improving the function of the Spleen and Qi.

Learn more about Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

Sheng Tie Luo Yin is used to treat Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart

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 Sheng Tie Luo Yin is mostly used to treat the pattern "Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Epilepsy Bi-Polar disorder Schizophrenia Mania depression Mania

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Sheng Tie Luo Yin treats epilepsy" for instance. Rather, Sheng Tie Luo Yin is used to treat Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart, which is sometimes the root cause behind epilepsy.

Now let's look at Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Sheng Tie Luo Yin.

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

Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart

Sheng Tie Luo Yin is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart. This pattern leads to symptoms such as palpitations, red face, bitter taste in the mouth and rattling sound in the throat. Patients with Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart typically exhibit overflowing (Hong), rapid (Shu), slippery (Hua), wiry (Xian) or full (Shi) pulses.

This is an Excess pattern and all the mental symptoms are caused by Phlegm obstructing the Heart so that the Mind (Shen) is disturbed and lose its residence at the Heart. This obstruction can lead to the loss of insight , manic depression, extreme mental instability or even brain injury. 

All the... read more about Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart

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