The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Zeng Ye Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that enrich Yin and moisten Dryness. Its main actions are: 1) nourishes Yin and Essence and 2) lubricates Dryness.
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 Zeng Ye Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Body Fluids Deficiency or Dryness in Large Intestine. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome or hemorrhoids for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the three ingredients in Zeng Ye Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Zeng Ye Tang helps treat.
Xuan Shen is a king ingredient in Zeng Ye Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Dried rhizome
Category: Herbs that cool the Blood
In general Xuan Shen's main actions are as follows: "Expels true or Internal Heat and cools the Blood. Tonifies the Yin. Reduces inflammations and drains Fire toxicity. Reduces hard nodules, especially associated with the lymph."
Di Huang is a deputy ingredient in Zeng Ye Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Prepared dried root tuber
Category: Herbs that cool the Blood
In general Di Huang's main actions are as follows: "Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes."
Mai Dong is a deputy ingredient in Zeng Ye Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried root tuber
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."
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 Zeng Ye Tang 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:
Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Zeng Ye Tang treats constipation" for instance. Rather, Zeng Ye Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind constipation.
Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Zeng Ye Tang.
Body Fluids (Jin Ye) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Body Fluids in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)
Tongue shape: Cracked
Zeng Ye Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Body Fluids Deficiency. This pattern leads to symptoms such as dry tongue, dry skin, dry nose and dry cough. Patients with Body Fluids Deficiency typically exhibit choppy (Se) or fine (Xi) pulses.
Body Fluids are all the fluids in the body, except from Blood. This means that their Deficiency will inevitable result in various symptoms of Dryness. Typical symptoms include dry skin, dry mouth, dry nose, dry cough, dry lips and dry tongue.
The Large Intestine is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Large Intestine in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi)
Tongue color: Pale, Red
Zeng Ye Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Dryness in Large Intestine. This pattern leads to symptoms such as constipation, thirst, dry stools and dry mouth. Patients with Dryness in Large Intestine typically exhibit fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale, red tongue.