Gypsum (Shi Gao) Prepared rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) Anemarrhena rhizomes (Zhi Mu) Dwarf lilyturf roots (Mai Dong)

Yu Nu Jian

Chinese: 玉女煎

Pinyin: Yù Nǚ Jiān

Other names: Jade Woman Decoction

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that clear Heat from the Organs

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: DiabetesGlossitisStomatitis and four other conditions

  1. Drains Heat from the Stomach
  2. Nourishes Yin

Contraindications: Contraindicated for patients with diarrhea

Source date: 1624 AD

Source book: Collected Treatises of [Zhang] Jing Yue

Yu Nu Jian is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Gypsum (Shi Gao) and Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat from the Organs. Its main actions are: 1) drains Heat from the Stomach and 2) nourishes Yin.

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 Yu Nu Jian is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat or Kidney Yin Deficiency. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as morning sickness, stomatitis or glossitis for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the five ingredients in Yu Nu Jian, we review the patterns and conditions that Yu Nu Jian helps treat.

The five ingredients in Yu Nu Jian

Shi Gao is a king ingredient in Yu Nu Jian. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Gypsum (Shi Gao)

Part used: The mineral itself

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: StomachLung

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire and/or clear Summer Heat

Shi Gao clears Fire from the Stomach and thereby relieves the fever, irritability, and thirst. It is an important herb for treating toothache due to Stomach Fire.

Learn more about Gypsum (Shi Gao)

Shu Di huang is a king ingredient in Yu Nu Jian. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. 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

In general Shu Di huang's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Blood. Tonifies the Yin of the Kidneys."

In the context of Yu Nu Jian, it is used because it nourishes Kidney Body Fluids Deficiency, which enables water to control Fire.

Learn more about Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Zhi Mu is a deputy ingredient in Yu Nu Jian. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Anemarrhena Rhizomes (Zhi Mu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: StomachKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire and/or clear Summer Heat

In general Zhi Mu's main actions are as follows: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Qi level. Clears Heat and Fire from the Lung and Stomach. Clears Heat and tonifies the Yin."

In the context of Yu Nu Jian, it is used because it helps the king herb Shi Gao (Gypsum) clear Heat from the Stomach and also nourishes the Yin.

Learn more about Anemarrhena Rhizomes (Zhi Mu)

Mai Dong is a deputy ingredient in Yu Nu Jian. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. 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 is very effective in moistening the Stomach, generating Body Fluids, and alleviating irritability. It nourishes the Yin primarily in the Middle and Upper Burners, and thus complements Shu Di Huang (Prepared rehmannia) in nourishing the Kidney Yin.

Learn more about Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Niu Xi is an envoy ingredient in Yu Nu Jian. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

5. Achyranthes Roots (Niu Xi)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

Niu Xi directs the Heat downward by guiding Blood downward and thereby stops Blood flowing into the oral cavity.

Learn more about Achyranthes Roots (Niu Xi)

Conditions and patterns for which Yu Nu Jian 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 Yu Nu Jian is used by TCM practitioners to treat two 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:

Morning sickness Stomatitis Glossitis Periodontitis Diabetes Trigeminal neuralgia Viral myocarditis

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Yu Nu Jian treats morning sickness" for instance. Rather, Yu Nu Jian is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind morning sickness.

Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Yu Nu Jian.

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

Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

Yu Nu Jian is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat. This pattern leads to symptoms such as thirst, epigastric pain, dry mouth and restlnessness. Patients with Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat typically exhibit rapid (Shu), slippery (Hua) or full (Shi) pulses as well as a red centre tongue with yellow coating.

Stomach Fire indicates a true Excess of Heat in the Stomach, creating symptoms such as mouth ulcers, bad breath, intense thirst and bleeding of the gums. Body Fluids are burned off by the excessive Heat, which creates extreme thirst and constipation. Over time the Heat can cause obstruction to... read more about Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

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

Kidney Yin Deficiency

Yu Nu Jian is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidney Yin Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as tinnitus, vertigo, dizziness and night sweats. Patients with Kidney Yin Deficiency typically exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red tongue with complete absence of coating.

Kidney Yin Deficiency causes false Heat symptoms, such as night sweats, thirst and five palm heat. These signs are from a depletion of Body Fluids and Essence. It can also lead to an insufficient amount of Marrow to fill the Brain, causing poor memory and dizziness. Yin Deficiency of the Kidneys is... read more about Kidney Yin Deficiency

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