Cuscuta seeds (Tu Si Zi) Schisandra berries (Wu Wei Zi) Goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) Palmleaf raspberries (Fu Pen Zi)

Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan

Chinese: 五子衍宗丸

Pinyin: Wǔ Zǐ Yǎn Zōng Wán

Other names: Five-Seed Developing Ancestors Pill

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that warm Yang and tonify

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: Abnormal vaginal discharge

  1. Tonifies Kidney Yang
  2. Strengthens the Essence

Source date: 1550 AD

Source book: Multitude of Marvelous Formulas for Sustaining Life

Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Cuscuta Seeds (Tu Si Zi) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1550 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm Yang and tonify. Its main actions are: 1) tonifies Kidney Yang and 2) strengthens the Essence.

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 Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Kidney Yang Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as abnormal vaginal discharge for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the five ingredients in Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan helps treat.

The five ingredients in Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan

Tu Si Zi is a king ingredient in Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Cuscuta Seeds (Tu Si Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe seeds

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

In general Tu Si Zi's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies Kidney Yang and Essence. Nourishes the Liver."

In the context of Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan, it is used because it tonifies Kidney Yang and strengthen the Essence.

Learn more about Cuscuta Seeds (Tu Si Zi)

2. Schisandra Berries (Wu Wei Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe fruits

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): SourSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

In general Wu Wei Zi's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Kidneys and preserves the Essence. Astringes the Lung Qi and stops coughing. Retains Bodily Fluids and encourages their production. Tonifies the Heart and calms the spirit (Shen)."

In the context of Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan, it is used because it nourishes and strengthen the Essence thanks to its astringent nature.

Learn more about Schisandra Berries (Wu Wei Zi)

3. Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

In general Gou Qi Zi's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Yin of the Liver and Yin of the Kidneys. Brightens the eyes. Moistens the Lungs."

In the context of Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan, it is used because it tonifies the Kidneys and the Essence.

Learn more about Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)

4. Palmleaf Raspberries (Fu Pen Zi)

Part used: Dried fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): SourSweet

Meridian affinity: BladderKidney

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

In general Fu Pen Zi's main actions are as follows: "Augments the Kidneys, restrains Essence. Stops leakage of Bodily Fluids."

In the context of Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan, it is used because it it tonifies Kidney Yang and stops discharges.

Learn more about Palmleaf Raspberries (Fu Pen Zi)

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."

In the context of Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan, it is used because it clear any Heat that can be risen from the tonification of Yang.

Learn more about Plantain Seeds (Che Qian Zi)

Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan is used to treat Kidney Yang 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 Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan is mostly used to treat the pattern "Kidney Yang Deficiency" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Kidney Yang Deficiency it is worth mentioning that it is often associated with the condition "abnormal vaginal discharge". Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan treats abnormal vaginal discharge". Rather, Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan is used to treat Kidney Yang Deficiency, which is sometimes the root cause behind abnormal vaginal discharge.

Now let's look at Kidney Yang Deficiency, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan.

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

Kidney Yang Deficiency

Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidney Yang Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as abdominal pain, sore lower back, cold limbs and edema. Patients with Kidney Yang Deficiency typically exhibit deep (Chen) or slow (Chi) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.

Kidney Yang Deficiency causes Internal Cold and weakness. It indicates that the Fire of the Gate of Life, which is located between the two Kidneys and supplies fundamental warmth for the body, is also impaired.  Therefore, the Organs lack warmth and cannot fully perform their functions.... read more about Kidney Yang Deficiency

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