Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) Dwarf lilyturf roots (Mai Dong) Glehnia roots (Bei Sha Shen) Angular solomon's seal roots (Yu Zhu)

Yi Wei Tang

Chinese: 益胃汤

Pinyin: Yì Wèi Tāng

Other names: Benefit the Stomach Decoction

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that nourish Yin and tonify

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: DiabetesChronic gastritis

  1. Strengthen the Stomach
  2. Creates Body Fluids

Contraindications: Contraindicated for patients with Dampness obstructing the Middle Burner, which... Contraindicated for patients with Dampness obstructing the Middle Burner, which manifests as focal distention and a greasy tongue coating. see more

Source date: 1798 AD

Source book: Systematic Differentiation of Warm Pathogen Diseases

Yi Wei Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) and Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify. Its main actions are: 1) strengthen the Stomach and 2) creates Body Fluids.

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 Yi Wei Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Stomach Yin Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as chronic gastritis or diabetes for instance.

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

The five ingredients in Yi Wei Tang

Di Huang is a king ingredient in Yi Wei 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, cooling and moistening. It addresses both the root (Yin Deficiency) and the branch (internal Heat) of the pattern this formula targets.

Learn more about Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

Mai Dong is a king ingredient in Yi Wei Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Part used: Dried root tuber

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

In general Mai Dong's main actions are as follows: "Replenishes Yin Essence and promotes secretions. Lubricates and nourishes the Stomach. Soothes the Lung. Nourishes the Heart."

In the context of Yi Wei Tang, it is used because it is sweet, cooling and moistening. It is used both for Yin Deficiency and internal Heat.

Learn more about Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Bei Sha Shen is a deputy ingredient in Yi Wei Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Glehnia Roots (Bei Sha Shen)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: StomachLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

Bei Sha Shen enters the Stomach Channel. It directs the action of the king herbs more specifically to the Stomach.

Learn more about Glehnia Roots (Bei Sha Shen)

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

4. Angular Solomon's Seal Roots (Yu Zhu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: StomachLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency

In general Yu Zhu's main actions are as follows: "Nourishes the Yin of the Lung and Stomach. Generates Fluids and extinguishes Wind. Stop thirsty."

In the context of Yi Wei Tang, it is used because it directs the actions of the king herbs specifically to the Stomach.

Learn more about Angular Solomon's Seal Roots (Yu Zhu)

Bing Tang is an assistant ingredient in Yi Wei Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. Rock Sugar (Bing Tang)

Part used: The whole thing

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Bing Tang moistens the Lungs and strengthen the Stomach. It is a primarily sweet substance for moderating the actions of the other herbs.

Learn more about Rock Sugar (Bing Tang)

Yi Wei Tang is used to treat Stomach 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 Yi Wei Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Stomach Yin Deficiency" which we describe below.

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

Chronic gastritis Diabetes

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Yi Wei Tang treats chronic gastritis" for instance. Rather, Yi Wei Tang is used to treat Stomach Yin Deficiency, which is sometimes the root cause behind chronic gastritis.

Now let's look at Stomach Yin Deficiency, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Yi Wei Tang.

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

Stomach Yin Deficiency

Yi Wei Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Stomach Yin Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as epigastric pain, dry mouth, poor appetite and feeling of heat in the afternoon. Patients with Stomach Yin Deficiency typically exhibit empty (Xu) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

The Stomach is responsible for receiving foods and drinks, ripening them and sending them to the Spleen for further digestion. Therefore, the Stomach is the origin of Body Fluids. It is also an Organ that likes Cold and Dampness which are both Yin characteristics. Stomach Yin Deficiency harms the... read more about Stomach Yin Deficiency

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