Immature Bitter Oranges (Zhi Shi) Rhubarb (Da Huang) Medicated leaven (Shen Qu) Poria-cocos mushrooms (Fu Ling) Baikal skullcap roots (Huang Qin) Goldthread rhizomes (Huang Lian) Atractylodes rhizomes (Bai Zhu) Water plantain (Ze Xie)

Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan

Chinese: 枳实导滞丸

Pinyin: Zhǐ Shí Dǎo Zhì Wán

Other names: Citrus Eliminating Stagnation Pill, Unripe Bitter Orange Pill to Guide Out Stagnation

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that reduce food accumulation and transform Stagnation

  1. Reduces and guides out stagnation and accumulation
  2. Drains heat
  3. Dispels dampness

Contraindications: Indicated only for Excess patterns. Contraindicated for dysenteric disorders in... Indicated only for Excess patterns. Contraindicated for dysenteric disorders in the absence of Qi Stagnation. see more

Source date: 1247 AD

Source book: Clarifying Doubts about Damage from Internal and External Causes

Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Immature Bitter Oranges (Zhi Shi) and Rhubarb (Da Huang) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1247 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that reduce food accumulation and transform Stagnation. Its main actions are: 1) reduces and guides out stagnation and accumulation and 2) drains heat.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the eight ingredients in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan helps treat.

The eight ingredients in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan

Zhi Shi is a king ingredient in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Immature Bitter Oranges (Zhi Shi)

Part used: Dried unripe fruit

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterPungentSour

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLarge intestine

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Zhi Shi's main actions are as follows: "Regulates the flow of Qi in the Middle Burner and reduces Food Stagnation. Moves Qi downward and helps constipation. Reduces Stagnant Phlegm and lessens distention and pain. For prolapse of organs when used with the appropriate herbs."

In the context of Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan, it is used because it breaks up stagnant Qi and reduce accumulation.

Learn more about Immature Bitter Oranges (Zhi Shi)

Da Huang is a king ingredient in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Rhubarb (Da Huang)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLarge intestineLiverPericardium

Category: Purgative herbs that drain downward

Da Huang strongly mobilizes the Stomach and Intestines to flush away accumulated obstruction due to Heat from Excess

Learn more about Rhubarb (Da Huang)

Shen Qu is a deputy ingredient in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Medicated Leaven (Shen Qu)

Part used: This is a fermented combination of wheat flour, Artemisia annua, Xanthium, Polygonum hydropiper and other herbs.

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that relieve Food Stagnation

Shen Qu reduces the stagnant accumulation of alcohol, one of the main causes of Damp-Heat. It also directs Qi downward to transform Phlegm, warms the Stomach to transform thin mucus, and strengthens the Spleen to alleviate diarrhea and distention.

Learn more about Medicated Leaven (Shen Qu)

Fu Ling is an assistant ingredient in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

4. Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Part used: Dried sclerotium

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

In general Fu Ling's main actions are as follows: "Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit."

In the context of Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan, it is used because it promotes water metabolism to facilitate the draining of Damp-Heat via the urine.

Learn more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Huang Qin is an assistant ingredient in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. Baikal Skullcap Roots (Huang Qin)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderSpleenHeartLarge intestineLungSmall intestine

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness

In general Huang Qin's main actions are as follows: "Expels Heat and Dampness. Clears Upper Burner Heat, especially of the Lung. Clears Heat and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears pathogenic Heat which is upsetting the fetus. Cools the Liver, reducing Liver Yang rising syndrome."

In the context of Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan, it is used because it drains Heat, dries Dampness, and stops dysenteric disorders.

Learn more about Baikal Skullcap Roots (Huang Qin)

Huang Lian is an assistant ingredient in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderSpleenStomachHeartLarge intestineLiver

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness

In general Huang Lian's main actions are as follows: "Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Lower Burner. Eliminates Fire toxicity especially when there is associated Dampness. Acts as a sedative by eliminating Heart Fire. Eliminates Stomach Fire. Expel parasites"

In the context of Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan, it is used because it drains Heat, dries Dampness, and stops dysenteric disorders.

Learn more about Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Bai Zhu is an assistant ingredient in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Bai Zhu strengthens the Spleen and augments the Qi to balance the draining action of the other ingredients and protect the normal Qi

Learn more about Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Ze Xie is an assistant ingredient in Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

8. Water Plantain (Ze Xie)

Part used: Dried tuber

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: BladderKidney

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

In general Ze Xie's main actions are as follows: "Causes urination and removes Damp-Heat"

In the context of Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan, it is used because it promotes water metabolism to facilitate the draining of Damp-Heat via the urine.

Learn more about Water Plantain (Ze Xie)

Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan is used to treat Food Stagnation in the Stomach

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

Food Stagnation in the Stomach

Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Food Stagnation in the Stomach. This pattern leads to symptoms such as fullness and pain of the epigastrium which are relieved by vomiting, nausea, vomiting of sour fluids and foul breath. Patients with Food Stagnation in the Stomach typically exhibit slippery (Hua) or full (Shi) pulses.

This pattern tends to mostly occur in children or babies whose Stomach and Spleen are weak and food therefore tends to accumulate.

Adults can be affected too: most people can probably remember overeating a holiday meal with the accompanying bloating, belching, pain and poor sleep that resulted.

The... read more about Food Stagnation in the Stomach

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