Kansui roots (Gan Sui) Genkwa flowers (Yuan Hua) Peking spurge roots (Jing Da Ji) Morning glory seeds (Qian Niu Zi) Rhubarb (Da Huang) Green tangerine peel (Qing Pi) Tangerine peel (Chen Pi) Areca nuts (Bing Lang)

Chinese: 舟车丸

Pinyin: Zhōu Chē Wán

Other names: Vessel and Vehicle Pill

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that drive out excess water

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: UremiaSchistosomiasisAscites from cirrhosis

  1. Promotes Qi movement
  2. Harshly drives out Water and Heat Stagnation

Contraindications: This formula is not recommended during pregnancy or in people who are weak or... This formula is not recommended during pregnancy or in people who are weak or impaired. Liquorice is not recommended for use with this mixture because it is incompatible with certain of its constituents. Because the recipe contains several extremely dangerous ingredients, the dosage and duration of administration must be strictly controlled. Following the resolution of the acute condition, formulas that regulate and tonify the Spleen and Kidney should be provided to promote full recovery. see more

Source date: 992 AD

Source book: Formulas from Benevolent Sages Compiled during the Taiping Era

Zhou Che Wan is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Kansui Roots (Gan Sui), Genkwa Flowers (Yuan Hua) and Peking Spurge Roots (Jing Da Ji) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 992 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that drive out excess water. Its main actions are: 1) promotes Qi movement and 2) harshly drives out Water and Heat Stagnation.

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.

From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as ascites from cirrhosis, schistosomiasis or uremia for instance.

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

The ten ingredients in Zhou Che Wan

Gan Sui is a king ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Kansui Roots (Gan Sui)

Part used: The dried root

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidneyLarge intestineLung

Category: Cathartic herbs that drain downward

In general Gan Sui's main actions are as follows: "Relieves water retention and congestion of Fluids. Cools swellings and reduces inflammation when applied topically. Strong purgative, driving water and Food Stagnation out though the stool."

In the context of Zhou Che Wan, it is used because it is a harsh expellants that purge water from the abdomen and chest.

Learn more about Kansui Roots (Gan Sui)

Yuan Hua is a king ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Genkwa Flowers (Yuan Hua)

Part used: Dried flower bud

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: KidneyLarge intestineLung

Category: Cathartic herbs that drain downward

In general Yuan Hua's main actions are as follows: "Relieves chronic congestion of Fluids in the chest and stops cough. Drains congested Fluids through the urine and the stool. Expels parasites."

In the context of Zhou Che Wan, it is used because it is a harsh expellants that purge water from the abdomen and chest.

Learn more about Genkwa Flowers (Yuan Hua)

Jing Da Ji is a king ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

3. Peking Spurge Roots (Jing Da Ji)

Part used: Dried roots

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidneyLung

Category: Laxative herbs that drain downward

In general Jing Da Ji's main actions are as follows: "Drains water downward and drives out Phlegm-Fluids. Reduces swellings and dispels lumps."

In the context of Zhou Che Wan, it is used because it is a harsh expellants that purge water from the abdomen and chest.

Learn more about Peking Spurge Roots (Jing Da Ji)

Qian Niu Zi is a deputy ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Morning Glory Seeds (Qian Niu Zi)

Part used: Seeds

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: KidneyLarge intestineLung

Category: Cathartic herbs that drain downward

Qian Niu Zi purges Heat and water from the Small and Large Intestines through urination. It also interacts synergistically with the Key herbs.

Learn more about Morning Glory Seeds (Qian Niu Zi)

Da Huang is a deputy ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. 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 purges Heat and water from the Small and Large Intestines. It also interacts synergistically with the Key herbs.

Learn more about Rhubarb (Da Huang)

Qing Pi is an assistant ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. Green Tangerine Peel (Qing Pi)

Part used: Dried pericarp of the young or immature fruits

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: GallbladderStomachLiver

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

Qing Pi promotes Qi circulation so as to supports the key and deputy ingredients. It also spreads the Liver Qi and breaks up clumping in the abdomen.

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Chen Pi is an assistant ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

Part used: Dried pericarp of the ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: LungSpleen

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

Chen Pi promotes Qi circulation so as to supports the key and deputy ingredients. It also promotes movement of the Lung and Spleen Qi, helping to smooth Qi circulation in the diaphragmatic and thoracic regions.

Learn more about Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

Bing Lang is an assistant ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

8. Areca Nuts (Bing Lang)

Part used: Dried ripe seed

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: Large intestineStomach

Category: Herbs that expel parasites

In general Bing Lang's main actions are as follows: "Destroys parasites. Regulates Qi circulation. Promotes urination."

In the context of Zhou Che Wan, it is used because it promotes urination, directs the Qi downward, and breaks up clumping in the abdomen.

Learn more about Areca Nuts (Bing Lang)

Mu Xiang is an assistant ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

9. Costus Roots (Mu Xiang)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLarge intestineLiverLungSpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Mu Xiang's main actions are as follows: "Relieves the Stagnation of Qi of the digestion in the Spleen, Stomach and Intestines. Relieves Qi Stagnation of the Liver and Gallbladder. Strengthens the Spleen and is used with tonifying herbs to prevent their potential cloying effects."

In the context of Zhou Che Wan, it is used because it removes Qi Stagnation in the Triple Burners..

Learn more about Costus Roots (Mu Xiang)

Qing Fen is an assistant ingredient in Zhou Che Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

10. Calomelas (Qing Fen)

Part used: The mineral

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: BladderKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs for external application

In general Qing Fen's main actions are as follows: "Relieves toxicity, kills parasites, used as an external wash for scabies and syphilitic sores. Inhibits bleeding, diarrhea, dysentery with blood in the stools, abnormal uterine bleeding and leukorrhea. The powder can be applied topically for any type of bleeding. Anti-inflammatory and expectorant for difficult-to-expectorate Phlegm and Wind-Phlegm conditions such as mania, coma and convulsions."

In the context of Zhou Che Wan, it is used because it unblocks the bowels, expels water, and reinforces the actions of the key and deputy ingredients.

Learn more about Calomelas (Qing Fen)

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