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

Shi Quan Da Bu Tang

Chinese: 十全大补汤

Pinyin: Shi Quan Da Bu Tang

Other names: All-Inclusive Great Tonifying Decoction

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that tonify Yin and Yang

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: AnemiaChronic urticariaNonhealing ulcers and three other conditions

  1. Warms and tonifies Qi
  2. Warms and tonifies Blood

Contraindications: Contraindicated for symptoms with a thick tongue coating or a strong and... Contraindicated for symptoms with a thick tongue coating or a strong and forceful pulse. see more

Source date: 1180 AD

Source book: Transmitted Trustworthy and Suitable Formulas

Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1180 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Yin and Yang. Its main actions are: 1) warms and tonifies Qi and 2) warms and tonifies 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 Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Kidney-Deficiency or Blood and Qi Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as scanty menstruation, absence of menstruation or anemia for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the ten ingredients in Shi Quan Da Bu Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Shi Quan Da Bu Tang helps treat.

The ten ingredients in Shi Quan Da Bu Tang

Huang Qi is a king ingredient in Shi Quan Da Bu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Huang Qi is sweet and warm.  It is considered one of the top Qi tonifying herbs in TCM. It is entirely Yang in nature and it strongly stimulates the Qi dynamic. It raises the Yang and disperses Blood and Essence throughout the entire body.

Learn more about Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

2. 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 Shi Quan Da Bu Tang, it is used because it strengthens the Spleen and dries Dampness.

Learn more about Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

3. 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 Shi Quan Da Bu Tang, it is used because it removes Dampness and assists Ginseng and Codonopsis root in strengthening the Spleen..

Learn more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

4. Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Ren Shen is a a powerful tonic for the Spleen Qi. Today however it is often substituted for Codonopsis root (Dang Shen), which plays a similar role and is significantly less expensive.

Learn more about Ginseng (Ren Shen)

5. 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 Shi Quan Da Bu Tang, it is used because it warms and regulates the Middle Burner and moderates the draining property of Poria-cocos mushrooms.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

6. 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 Shi Quan Da Bu Tang, it is used because it enters the Liver and Heart to tonify and invigorate the Blood.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

7. 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

Shu Di huang has a very strong tonifying effect on the Liver and Kidneys and is said to nourish the Yin of the Blood.

Learn more about Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

8. 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 facilitates the flow of Blood through the vessels, alleviating symptoms such as headache, dizziness, blurred vision and pain.

Learn more about Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

9. White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: SpleenLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Bai Shao helps reduce the muscle spasms caused by Blood-Deficiency and it is particularly well-suited to treat abdominal pain. Together with Prepared rehmannia (Shu Di huang)it has a strong tonifying effect on the Blood.

Learn more about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

10. 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

Rou Gui is acrid and hot. It tonifies the Fire of Gate to assist the Yang. Its warmth enters the Blood to open the vessels and facilitate the Blood movement. It also stimulates the Qi dynamic and transformation throughout the whole body.

Learn more about Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Conditions and patterns for which Shi Quan Da Bu 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 Shi Quan Da Bu Tang 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:

Scanty menstruation Absence of menstruation Anemia Nervous exhaustion Chronic urticaria Nonhealing ulcers

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Shi Quan Da Bu Tang treats scanty menstruation" for instance. Rather, Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind scanty menstruation.

Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Shi Quan Da Bu Tang.

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

Kidney-Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Symptoms: Tinnitus Back pain Knee pain Dizziness Sore back Scanty periods Frequent urination Pale menstrual blood

Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidney-Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as scanty periods, pale menstrual blood, back pain and knee pain. Patients with Kidney-Deficiency typically exhibit deep (Chen) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Learn more about Kidney-Deficiency

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