Ningpo figwort roots (Xuan Shen) Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) Dwarf lilyturf roots (Mai Dong)

Zeng Ye Tang

Chinese: 增液汤

Pinyin: Zēng Yè Tāng

Other names: Increase the Fluids Decoction, Scrophularia and Ophiopogon Combination

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that enrich Yin and moisten Dryness

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: HemorrhoidsConstipationHyperthyroid and three other conditions

  1. Nourishes Yin and Essence
  2. Lubricates Dryness

Contraindications: Contraindicated for severe Dryness since this formula is not strong enough for... Contraindicated for severe Dryness since this formula is not strong enough for such cases. see more

Source date: 1798 AD

Source book: Systematic Differentiation of Warm Pathogen Diseases

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.

The three ingredients in Zeng Ye Tang

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.

1. Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: StomachLarge intestineLiver

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."

In the context of Zeng Ye Tang, it is used because it nourishes the Yin and generates Fluids, while moistening what is dried and softening what is hard.

Learn more about Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen)

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.

2. Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

Part used: Prepared dried root tuber

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

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."

In the context of Zeng Ye Tang, it is used because it nourishes the Yin, clears Heat, and cools the Blood.

Learn more about Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang)

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.

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

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 Zeng Ye Tang, it is used because it assists in enriching and moistening the Yin, especially of the Stomach and Intestines.

Learn more about Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong)

Conditions and patterns for which Zeng Ye Tang 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 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:

Constipation Irritable bowel syndrome Hemorrhoids Aphthous ulcers Chronic pancreatis Hyperthyroid

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

Body Fluids Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue shape: Cracked

Symptoms: Dry skin Dry nose Dry lips Dry cough Dry tongue Dry stools Dry throat

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.

A Deficiency of Body Fluids can cause Yin Deficiency... read more about Body Fluids Deficiency

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

Dryness in Large Intestine

Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale, Red

Symptoms: Thirst Dry mouth Dizziness Dry stools Dry throat Bad breath Constipation Thin body lacking strength

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.

Learn more about Dryness in Large Intestine

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