Dong quai (Dang Gui) Ginseng (Ren Shen) Milkvetch roots (Huang Qi) Szechuan lovage roots (Chuan Xiong)

Sheng Yu Tang

Chinese: 圣愈汤

Pinyin: Shèng Yù Tāng

Other names: Sage-like Healing Decoction

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that tonify Blood

Mother formula: Si Wu Tang

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: Menstrual cramps

  1. Tonifies Qi and Blood
  2. Preserves the Blood

Source date: 1336 AD

Source book: Secrets from the Orchid Chamber

Sheng Yu Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Dong Quai (Dang Gui) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1336 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Blood. Its main actions are: 1) tonifies Qi and Blood and 2) preserves the Blood.

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 Yu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Blood and Qi Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as menstrual cramps for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the six ingredients in Sheng Yu Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Sheng Yu Tang helps treat.

The six ingredients in Sheng Yu Tang

Dang Gui is a king ingredient in Sheng Yu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Dang Gui is warming and moistening. It enters the Liver and Heart to tonify and invigorate the Blood. It also moistens the Intestines and regulates the dynamic between the Liver (movement) and Kidneys (storage).

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

2. Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Ren Shen's main actions are as follows: "Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit)."

In the context of Sheng Yu Tang, it is used because it tonifies Qi.

Learn more about Ginseng (Ren Shen)

3. 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 Sheng Yu Tang, it is used because it tonifies Qi.

Learn more about Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

4. Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLiverPericardium

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

Chuan Xiong invigorates the Blood and promote Qi movement. The combination of Dong quai and Chuan Xiong facilitates the production of Blood.

Learn more about Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

5. 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 Sheng Yu Tang, it is used because it nourishes and invigorates Blood.

Learn more about Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

6. 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 Sheng Yu Tang, it is used because it preserve Yin from other herbs' harm such as Szechuan lovage root and Dong quai.

Learn more about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Sheng Yu Tang is used to treat Blood and Qi Deficiency

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 Yu Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Blood and Qi Deficiency" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Blood and Qi Deficiency it is worth mentioning that it is often associated with the condition "menstrual cramps". Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Sheng Yu Tang treats menstrual cramps". Rather, Sheng Yu Tang is used to treat Blood and Qi Deficiency, which is sometimes the root cause behind menstrual cramps.

Now let's look at Blood and Qi Deficiency, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Sheng Yu Tang.

Formulas similar to Sheng Yu Tang

Ren Shen Zi Xie Tang is 71% similar to Sheng Yu Tang

Si Wu Tang is 67% similar to Sheng Yu Tang

Tao Hong Si Wu Tang is 67% similar to Sheng Yu Tang

Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang is 67% similar to Sheng Yu Tang

Ren Shen Dang Gui Tang is 67% similar to Sheng Yu Tang

Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is 60% similar to Sheng Yu Tang