Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) Ningpo figwort roots (Xuan Shen) Dwarf lilyturf roots (Mai Dong) White peony roots (Bai Shao) Mudan peony bark (Mu Dan Pi) Fritillary bulbs (Chuan Bei Mu) Wild mint (Bo He) Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang

Chinese: 养阴清肺汤

Pinyin: Yǎng Yīn Qīng Fèi Tāng

Other names: Nourish the Yin and Clear the Lungs Decoction

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that enrich Yin and moisten Dryness

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: DiphtheriaTonsillitisPharyngitis and one other condition

  1. Nourishes the Yin
  2. Improves throat
  3. Resolves toxicity
  4. Clears the Lungs

Contraindications: Extreme attention needs to be take to treat diphtheria since it is a very... Extreme attention needs to be take to treat diphtheria since it is a very severe disease. see more

Source date: the 18th century

Source book: Jade Key to Layered Stories

Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in the 18th century, it belongs to the category of formulas that enrich Yin and moisten Dryness. Its main actions are: 1) nourishes the Yin and 2) improves throat.

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 Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Lung Yin Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as diphtheria, tonsillitis or pharyngitis for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the eight ingredients in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang helps treat.

The eight ingredients in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang

Di Huang is a king ingredient in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. 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 is sweet, bitter, and cooling. It enriches the Yin Body Fluids to support the normal Qi while cooling the Blood and resolving toxicity to dispel the pathogenic Qi.

Learn more about Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

Xuan Shen is a deputy ingredient in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: StomachLarge intestineLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

Xuan Shen is salty and cooling. It helps the key herb Di Huang (Unprepared Rehmannia) enrich the Yin, directs Heat or Fire downward, resolves toxicity, and improves throat condition. It is routinely used in the treatment of sores due to Yin Deficiency, particularly of the throat area. Together with Mai Dong (Dwarf lilyturf root), it nourishes the upper and lower sources of Body Fluids.

Learn more about Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen)

Mai Dong is a deputy ingredient in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Part used: Dried root tuber

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

Mai Dong acts on the Lungs, which connects directly to the throat as a main Qi pathway. Together with Xuan Shen (Ningpo figwort root), it nourishes the upper and lower sources of Body Fluids.

Learn more about Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Bai Shao is a deputy ingredient in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. 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 preserves and protects the YinChuan Bei Mu (Fritillary bulbs), Mu Dan Pi (Mudan peony bark) and Bai Shao (White peony root) together disperse the swelling in the throat and stops the pain.

Learn more about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Mu Dan Pi is an assistant ingredient in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)

Part used: Root barks

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

Mu Dan Pi cools the Blood, reduces swelling, and thereby supports the functions of the key herb. Chuan Bei Mu (Fritillary bulbs), Mu Dan Pi (Mudan peony bark) and Bai Shao (White peony root) together disperse the swelling in the throat and stops the pain.

Learn more about Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)

Chuan Bei Mu is an assistant ingredient in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. Fritillary Bulbs (Chuan Bei Mu)

Part used: Dried bulb

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLung

Category: Cool herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Chuan Bei Mu moistens the Lungs, stops coughing, and clears and transforms Phlegm Heat. Chuan Bei Mu (Fritillary bulbs), Mu Dan Pi (Mudan peony bark) and Bai Shao (White peony root) together disperse the swelling in the throat and stops the pain.

Learn more about Fritillary Bulbs (Chuan Bei Mu)

Bo He is an assistant ingredient in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Wild Mint (Bo He)

Part used: Dried aerial parts

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: LiverLung

Category: Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Bo He is acrid and it provides movement to the Qi and thereby facilitates the unclogging of the throat. It is added to help direct the pathogenic Qi to the Exterior.

Learn more about Wild Mint (Bo He)

Gan Cao is an assistant ingredient in Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

8. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Gan Cao resolves toxicity, improves the condition of the throat, and harmonizes the actions of the other herbs in the formula.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang is used to treat Lung Yin 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 Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Lung Yin Deficiency" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Lung Yin Deficiency here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Diphtheria Tonsillitis Pharyngitis White throat

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang treats diphtheria" for instance. Rather, Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang is used to treat Lung Yin Deficiency, which is sometimes the root cause behind diphtheria.

Now let's look at Lung Yin Deficiency, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang.

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

Lung Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Symptoms: Insomnia Red lips Dry cough Dry mouth Tiredness Weak voice Dry throat Depression Blood spit Chest pain Malar flush Night sweats Frequent sighing Hot palms and soles Shortness of breath Thin body lacking strength

Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Lung Yin Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as dry cough, weak voice, dry mouth and dry throat. Patients with Lung Yin Deficiency typically exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red tongue with complete absence of coating.

Exterior Heat and Dryness can invade the Lungs and exhausts the Body Fluids. If it is not dealt with for a long time, it leads to Lung Yin Deficiency. Other factors can cause this pattern such as the Deficiency of Kidneys or Stomach Yin as well as prolonged Lung Qi Deficiency due to excessive... read more about Lung Yin Deficiency

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