Prepared aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) Cinnamon bark (Rou Gui) Deer antler glue (Lu Jiao Jiao) Prepared rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) Cornelian cherries (Shan Zhu Yu) Yam (Shan Yao) Goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) Cuscuta seeds (Tu Si Zi)

You Gui Wan

Chinese: 右归丸

Pinyin: Yòu Guī Wán

Other names: Restore the Right [Kidney] Pill

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that warm Yang and tonify

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: AnemiaAsthmaLeukopenia and five other conditions

  1. Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang
  2. Replenishes the Essence
  3. Tonifies the Blood

Contraindications: Contraindicated when Kidney Deficiency is accompanied by Dampness or turbidity,... Contraindicated when Kidney Deficiency is accompanied by Dampness or turbidity, as this formula tonifies without draining. see more

Source date: 1624 AD

Source book: Collected Treatises of [Zhang] ling-Yue

You Gui Wan is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi), Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui) and Deer Antler Glue (Lu Jiao Jiao) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm Yang and tonify. Its main actions are: 1) warms and tonifies Kidney Yang and 2) replenishes 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 You Gui Wan is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Kidney Qi not Firm, Yang Deficiency or Kidneys failing to receive Qi. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as menopausal syndrome, abnormal uterine bleeding or nephrotic syndrome for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the ten ingredients in You Gui Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that You Gui Wan helps treat.

The ten ingredients in You Gui Wan

Zhi Fu Zi is a king ingredient in You Gui Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi)

Part used: Processed daughter root

Nature: Hot

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidney

Category: Herbs that warm the Interior and/or expel Cold

Zhi Fu Zi works together with Cinnamon bark (Rou Gui) and Deer antlers glue (Lu Jiao Jiao) to warm and fortify the source Yang.

Learn more about Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi)

Rou Gui is a king ingredient in You Gui Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Part used: Dried stem bark

Nature: Hot

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that warm the Interior and/or expel Cold

In general Rou Gui's main actions are as follows: "Warms the Spleen and Kidneys and tonifies the Yang. Expels Cold, Warms the meridians, promotes circulation of Qi and Blood and relieves pain. Used with tonics to assist in the generation of Qi and Blood."

Learn more about Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Lu Jiao Jiao is a king ingredient in You Gui Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

3. Deer Antler Glue (Lu Jiao Jiao)

Part used: The horn (antlers) of the animal

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): SaltySweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

In general Lu Jiao Jiao's main actions are as follows: "Yang tonification of the Kidneys and Liver, and to nourish vital Essence and Blood"

In the context of You Gui Wan, it is used because it replenishes the Essence and tonifies the marrow on top of warming and fortifying the source Yang.

Learn more about Deer Antler Glue (Lu Jiao Jiao)

Shu Di huang is a deputy ingredient in You Gui Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Part used: Prepared dried root tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Shu Di huang work together with the other deputies (Shan Zhu Yu, Shan Yao, Gou Qi Zi, Tu Si Zi and Du Zhong) to nourish the Yin to benefit the Kidneys, nourish the Liver, and tonify the Spleen. Tonifying the Spleen is especially important in this formula as it helps to indirectly tonify and supplement Essence and Blood.

Learn more about Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Shan Zhu Yu is a deputy ingredient in You Gui Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. Cornelian Cherries (Shan Zhu Yu)

Part used: Dried ripe sarcocarp

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sour

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

In general Shan Zhu Yu's main actions are as follows: "Preserves and tonifies the Kidney, Liver and Essence. Stops sweating and benefits the Yang and Qi. Assists menstruation and stops bleeding."

Learn more about Cornelian Cherries (Shan Zhu Yu)

Shan Yao is a deputy ingredient in You Gui Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

6. Yam (Shan Yao)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidneyLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Shan Yao's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach. Tonifies the Lung Qi and nourishes the Lung Yin. Nourishes the Kidneys and consolidates Jing."

Learn more about Yam (Shan Yao)

Gou Qi Zi is a deputy ingredient in You Gui Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

7. 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."

Learn more about Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)

Tu Si Zi is a deputy ingredient in You Gui Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

8. 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."

Learn more about Cuscuta Seeds (Tu Si Zi)

Du Zhong is a deputy ingredient in You Gui Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

9. Eucommia Bark (Du Zhong)

Part used: Dried stem bark

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

In general Du Zhong's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Liver and Kidneys. Calms ascendant Liver Yang (hypertension/high blood pressure). Calms a restless fetus."

Learn more about Eucommia Bark (Du Zhong)

Dang Gui is an assistant ingredient in You Gui Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

10. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

In general Dang Gui's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation."

In the context of You Gui Wan, it is used because it tonifies the Blood and nourishes the Liver.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Conditions and patterns for which You Gui Wan 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 You Gui Wan is used by TCM practitioners to treat five 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:

Menopausal syndrome Abnormal uterine bleeding Nephrotic syndrome Osteoporosis Infertility Anemia Leukopenia Asthma

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "You Gui Wan treats menopausal syndrome" for instance. Rather, You Gui Wan is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind menopausal syndrome.

Now let's look at the five patterns commonly treated with You Gui Wan.

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

Kidney Qi not Firm

You Gui Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidney Qi not Firm. This pattern leads to symptoms such as back pain, dribbling after urination, vaginal discharge and uterus prolapse. Patients with Kidney Qi not Firm typically exhibit deep (Chen) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

This pattern is also called ‘Lower Original Qi (元气 Yuan Qi) not Firm’, to show that it is also caused by a shortage of the Original Qi. When Original Qi is weak in the Lower Burner, Qi cannot hold Body Fluids and sperm which leads to many 'leaking' symptoms. This is one of the two typical... read more about Kidney Qi not Firm

'Yang' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Yang in Chinese Medicine

Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Empty (Xu), Slow (Chi), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Symptoms: Edema Fatigue Pale face Low energy Cold limbs Infertility Fear of cold Loose stools Abdominal pain

You Gui Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Yang Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as pale face, fear of cold, fatigue and low energy. Patients with Yang Deficiency typically exhibit deep (Chen), empty (Xu), slow (Chi) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Yang Deficiency is an Empty-Cold condition characterized by Coldness and Deficiency. If there is inadequate amount of Yang energy to warm the body or internal Organs, a general hypoactivity of the organic processes occurs and Qi and Blood is more likely to stagnate. Also, Body Fluids can accumulate... read more about Yang Deficiency

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

Kidneys failing to receive Qi

You Gui Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidneys failing to receive Qi. This pattern leads to symptoms such as shortness of breath on exertion, rapid breath, weak breath and difficulty in inhaling. Patients with Kidneys failing to receive Qi typically exhibit deep (Chen), tight (Jin) or weak (Ruo) pulses.

This pattern results from a dysfunction of the Kidneys' capacity to receive and hold Qi down. The Kidneys' role in the cycle of Qi is to receive Clean Air from the Lungs and holding it down so it combines with Grain Qi from the Spleen to form Gathering Qi.

When the Kidneys cannot receive and hold... read more about Kidneys failing to receive Qi

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

Kidney Yang Deficiency

You Gui 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

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

Kidney Deficiency

You Gui Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidney Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as late period, pale menstrual blood, feeling of cold and sore back. Patients with Kidney Deficiency typically exhibit deep (Chen), empty (Xu), weak (Ruo) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a pale, red tongue.

Learn more about Kidney Deficiency

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