Peach kernels (Tao Ren) Safflowers (Hong Hua) Szechuan lovage roots (Chuan Xiong) Red peony roots (Chi Shao) Dong quai (Dang Gui) Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) Cyathula roots (Chuan Niu Xi) Bupleurum roots (Chai Hu)

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang

Chinese: 血府逐瘀汤

Pinyin: Xuè Fǔ Zhú Yū Tāng

Other names: Drive Out Stasis from the Mansion of Blood Decoction

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: MigrainePsychosisDepression and nine other conditions

  1. Invigorates the Blood
  2. Dispels blood Stagnation
  3. Spreads the Liver Qi
  4. Unblocks the channels

Contraindications: Contraindicated during pregnancy and in cases that involve excessive menstrual... Contraindicated during pregnancy and in cases that involve excessive menstrual bleeding. Contraindicated for people with a weak constitution or who are debilitated. Contraindicated in cases with bleeding diathesis or any active hemorrhagic disorder. see more

Source date: 1830 AD

Source book: Correction of Errors Among Physicians

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is a 11-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Peach Kernels (Tao Ren), Safflowers (Hong Hua) and Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1830 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation. Its main actions are: 1) invigorates the Blood and 2) dispels blood Stagnation.

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 Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Heart Blood Stagnation, Pericardium Blood Stagnation or Stomach Blood Stagnation. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as coronary artery disease, rheumatic valvular heart disease or hypertension for instance.

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

The eleven ingredients in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang

Tao Ren is a king ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Peach Kernels (Tao Ren)

Part used: Dried ripe seed

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLarge intestineLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Tao Ren's main actions are as follows: "Moves Blood and breaks up Stasis. Moistens the Intestines. Relieves coughing."

In the context of Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates the Blood and eliminates Blood Stagnation, especially in the upper part of the body.

Learn more about Peach Kernels (Tao Ren)

Hong Hua is a king ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Safflowers (Hong Hua)

Part used: Dried flower

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: HeartLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Hong Hua's main actions are as follows: "Moves Stagnant Blood and regulates menses. Relieves pain caused by Blood Stasis."

In the context of Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates the Blood and eliminates Blood Stagnation, especially in the upper part of the body.

Learn more about Safflowers (Hong Hua)

Chuan Xiong is a king ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

3. Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLiverPericardium

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Chuan Xiong's main actions are as follows: "Regulates and moves the Blood. Relieves Wind-Cold and pain. Circulates the Qi in the Upper Burner, relieving headaches."

In the context of Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates the Blood and eliminates Blood Stagnation, especially in the upper part of the body.

Learn more about Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

Chi Shao is a deputy ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Red Peony Roots (Chi Shao)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: Liver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Chi Shao's main actions are as follows: "Moves Blood, relieves pain and reduces swelling. Cools the Blood and the Liver."

In the context of Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorate the Blood. However, its focus more on the lower part of the body.

Learn more about Red Peony Roots (Chi Shao)

Dang Gui is a deputy ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Dang Gui invigorate the Blood. However, its focus more on the lower part of the body. It also nourishes the Blood.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Di Huang is a deputy ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

6. Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

Part used: Prepared dried root tuber

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

Di Huang cools the Blood and clears Heat. It enables the formula to eliminates Blood Stagnation without harming the Yin and Blood.

Learn more about Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

Chuan Niu Xi is a deputy ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

7. Cyathula Roots (Chuan Niu Xi)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

Chuan Niu Xi invigorates the Blood circulation by eliminating Stagnation. It has a descending nature that conducts the Blood downward.

Learn more about Cyathula Roots (Chuan Niu Xi)

Chai Hu is an assistant ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

8. Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLiver

Category: Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Chai Hu smoothes the Liver Qi flow, relieves constraint, and rises the clear Yang. Together with other assistant herbs, it also expands the chest and supports Qi movement. They eliminates Qi Stagnation in the chest and supports the Qi movement so as to facilitate the Blood circulation.

Learn more about Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu)

Jie Geng is an assistant ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

9. Platycodon Roots (Jie Geng)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: Lung

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Jie Geng expands the chest and supports Qi movement together with other assistant herbs. They eliminate Qi Stagnation in the chest and supports the Qi movement so as to facilitate Blood circulation.

Learn more about Platycodon Roots (Jie Geng)

Zhi Ke is an assistant ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

10. Bitter Oranges (Zhi Ke)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungentSour

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

Zhi Ke it expands the chest and supports Qi movement together with other assistant herbs. They eliminate Qi Stagnation in the chest and supports the Qi movement so as to facilitate Blood circulation.

Learn more about Bitter Oranges (Zhi Ke)

Gan Cao is an envoy ingredient in Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

11. 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 Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it regulates and harmonizes all ingredients.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Conditions and patterns for which Xue Fu Zhu Yu 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 Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to treat three 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:

Coronary artery disease Rheumatic valvular heart disease Hypertension Cor pulmonale Intercostal neuralgia Thoracic strains Costochondritis Postconcussion syndrome Migraine Trigeminal neuralgia Depression Psychosis

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang treats coronary artery disease" for instance. Rather, Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind coronary artery disease.

Now let's look at the three patterns commonly treated with Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang.

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

Heart Blood Stagnation

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Heart Blood Stagnation. This pattern leads to symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain, chest pressure and purple lips. Patients with Heart Blood Stagnation typically exhibit knotted (Jie) pulses as well as a bluish-purple tongue.

This is a severe pattern that mostly derives from other Heart patterns, normally Heart Yang or Blood Deficiency, or Heart Qi Stagnation. Other than these, Heart Fire or Heart Qi Deficiency can also be the precursors. 

Prolonged emotional stress such as grief, worry, or anxiety are ultimately the... read more about Heart Blood Stagnation

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

Pericardium Blood Stagnation

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Pericardium Blood Stagnation. This pattern leads to symptoms such as chest pain, hypochondriac pain, palpitations and painful period. Patients with Pericardium Blood Stagnation typically exhibit knotted (Jie) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a bluish-purple tongue.

Learn more about Pericardium Blood Stagnation

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

Stomach Blood Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Bluish-Purple

Symptoms: Nausea Vomiting Epigastric pain Vomiting of blood

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Stomach Blood Stagnation. This pattern leads to symptoms such as epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting and vomiting of blood. Patients with Stomach Blood Stagnation typically exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a bluish-purple tongue.

Learn more about Stomach Blood Stagnation

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