Pyrrosia leaves (Shi Wei) Mallow seeds (Dong Kui Zi) Chinese pink herbs (Qu Mai) Talc (Hua Shi)

Shi Wei San

Chinese: 石韦散

Pinyin: Shí Wéi Sàn

Other names: Pyrrosia Powder

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that clear Heat and expel dampness

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

  1. Clears heat
  2. Promotes the resolution of Dampness
  3. Unblocks painful urinary dribbling
  4. Expels stones

Contraindications: To be used for Excess acute conditions. Avoid using it to treat chronic... To be used for Excess acute conditions. Avoid using it to treat chronic conditions or patterns characterized by Deficiency and Cold. see more

Source date: 1687 AD

Source book: Supplemented Collections on Patterns and Treatments

Shi Wei San is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula.

Invented in 1687 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and expel dampness. Its main actions are: 1) clears heat and 2) promotes the resolution of Dampness.

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 Wei San is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Damp-Cold in the Bladder. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as urethritis, cystitis or urinary stones for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the five ingredients in Shi Wei San, we review the patterns and conditions that Shi Wei San helps treat.

The five ingredients in Shi Wei San

1. Pyrrosia Leaves (Shi Wei)

Part used: Dried leaves

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: BladderLung

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

In general Shi Wei's main actions are as follows: "Clears Damp-Heat, unblocks painful urinary dysfunction, clears urinary stones. Removes Heat and arrests bleeding. Clears the Lungs, expels Phlegm and stops coughing."

Learn more about Pyrrosia Leaves (Shi Wei)

2. Mallow Seeds (Dong Kui Zi)

Part used: The fruits/seeds

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: BladderLarge intestineSmall intestine

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

In general Dong Kui Zi's main actions are as follows: "Encourages urination. Promotes lactation. Moistening and soothing to the urinary tract and Intestines."

Learn more about Mallow Seeds (Dong Kui Zi)

3. Chinese Pink Herbs (Qu Mai)

Part used: Dried aerial part

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: BladderHeartSmall intestine

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

In general Qu Mai's main actions are as follows: "Encourages urination and expels Damp-Heat. Dissolves Blood Stasis and assists blocked menstruation."

Learn more about Chinese Pink Herbs (Qu Mai)

4. Talc (Hua Shi)

Part used: The mineral itself

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: BladderStomach

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

In general Hua Shi's main actions are as follows: "Encourages urination. Expels Damp-Heat from the Urinary Bladder. Dispels Summer Heat. Dries Dampness when applied topically."

Learn more about Talc (Hua Shi)

5. Plantain Seeds (Che Qian Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe seeds

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiverLungSmall intestine

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

In general Che Qian Zi's main actions are as follows: "Encourages urination and clears Heat. Stops diarrhea by expelling water through urination. Brightens the eyes, used in combination either for Deficiency or Heat. Reduces inflammation of infections. Arrests cough and expectorates Phlegm."

Learn more about Plantain Seeds (Che Qian Zi)

Shi Wei San is used to treat Damp-Cold in the Bladder

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 Wei San is mostly used to treat the pattern "Damp-Cold in the Bladder" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Damp-Cold in the Bladder here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Urethritis Cystitis Urinary stones Gonorrhea Appendicitis

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Shi Wei San treats urethritis" for instance. Rather, Shi Wei San is used to treat Damp-Cold in the Bladder, which is sometimes the root cause behind urethritis.

Now let's look at Damp-Cold in the Bladder, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Shi Wei San.

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

Damp-Cold in the Bladder

Shi Wei San is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Damp-Cold in the Bladder. This pattern leads to symptoms such as frequent and urgent urination, urination stopping in the middle of flow, feeling of heaviness in the hypogastrium and feeling of heaviness in urethra. Patients with Damp-Cold in the Bladder typically exhibit slippery (Hua) or slow (Chi) pulses.

This pattern is distinguished by the presence of Cold and Dampness in the Bladder.

The Coldness and Dampness obstruct the passages of Fluids in the Lower Burner and interfere with the Bladder functions.

The urgent and difficult urination as well as the feeling of heaviness are typical of Dampness.... read more about Damp-Cold in the Bladder

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