Theory

Herbs That Tonify Qi - Functional Grouping Relationships


Herbs That Tonify Qi - General Concepts

  • Herbs in this category are generally sweet and rich.
  • They are most often combined with herbs that move and regulate the qi.


Herbs That Tonify Qi - Section Summary

  • Ren Shen is used when the qi and yang have collapsed, otherwise Dang Shen is preferred.
    • Body tonify yuan qi; often used together for this purpose.
    • Dang Shen is good for deficient cough with profuse sputum.
  • Tai Zi Shen - gentle, moist, can replace Ren Shen especially in cases of liver yang rising.
  • Bai Zhu - spleen deficiency leading to digestion problems or water metabolism issues.
  • Huang Qi - wei qi, warms and raises qi, water metabolism issues.
  • Huang Jing, Shan Yao - relatively neutral, used for tonifying qi and yin.
    • Huang Jing - more moistening, relatively stronger in nourishing yin, good for post-febrile disease where yin and qi have been injured.
    • Shan Yao - astringent, used for various types of incontinence or collapse.


The Herbs That Tonify Qi Grouping Has 10 Herbs In Our Database

Bai Zhu

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  • Atractylodes (White) Rhizome
    • Tonifies the spleen, augments qi, dries dampness - diarrhea, fatigue, lack of appetite, vomiting, edema.
    • Stabilizes the exterior and stops sweating - spontaneous sweating due to qi deficiency.
    • Calms the fetus - arising from spleen deficiency.

Da Zao

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  • Chinese Date, Jujube
    • Tonifies spleen qi - weakness, shortness of breath, reduced appetite, loose stools.
    • Nourishes the blood, calms the spirit - irritability, pale complexion, emotional disturbances, restlessness.
    • Useful to harmonize the harsh properties of other herbs.
  • Cautions
    • May cause heat, dampness, and phlegm leading to fullness in the middle jiao, food stagnation.

Dang Shen

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  • Codonopsis Root
    • Tonifies the middle warmer, augments the qi - lack of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, any spleen qi deficiency issues, prolapse of uterus, stomach, rectum.
    • Tonifies the lungs - lung deficiency w/chronic cough, shortness of breath, copious sputum due to spleen qi deficiency.
    • Nourishes fluids - xiao ke, thirst due to injury to fluids.
    • Often used with herbs that release the exterior when patient has significant qi deficiency.

Gan Cao

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  • Licorice Root
    • Tonifies the spleen and augments qi - spleen deficiency w/shortness of breath, fatigue, loose stools (si jun zi tong).
    • Qi and/or blood deficiency w/irregular pluse or palpitations (Zhi Gan Cao Tang).
    • Moistens the lungs and stops cough - heat/cold in the lungs (Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang).
    • Clears heat and toxic fire (raw) - carbuncles, sores, sore throat due to fire toxin (internally or topically).
    • Alleviates pain and stops spasms - abdomen or legs (Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang).
    • Often used to harmonize and/or moderate characteristics of other herbs.
    • Antidote for toxic substances (internally and topically).
  • Cautions
    • Avoid with excess dampness, nausea, vomiting.
    • Incompatible with Gan Sui, Da Ji, Yuan Hua, Hai Zao (although used in some formulas with Hai Zao).
    • If taken for long periods of time, may cause hypertension and/or edema.

Huang Jing

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  • Siberian Solomon Seal Rhizome
    • Tonify spleen qi and yin - with poor appetite, fatigue, dry mouth, loss of taste, dry stool, dry red tongue.
    • Moistens the lungs - dry cough, little sputum due to lung qi and yin deficiency.
    • Tonify kidneys, strengthen jing - lower back pain/weakness, lightheadedness.
    • Xiao Ke.

Huang Qi

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  • Astragalus Root
    • Tonifies spleen qi - lack of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea.
    • Raises yang qi of spleen and stomach - prolapse of uterus, stomach, rectum, uterine bleeding.
    • Augments the wei qi and stabilizes the exterior - deficiency w/spontaneous sweating, frequent colds or shortness of breath.
    • Tonify qi and blood due to loss of blood - postpartum fever.
    • Edema from deficiency.
    • Promote discharge of pus, generate flesh - sores due to deficiency.

Ren Shen

  • Ginseng Root
    • Strongly tonify yuan qi - extreme collapse of qi, shortness of breath, cold limbs, profuse sweating, weak pulse (often used alone for this condition after severe blood loss).
    • Tonify lung qi - wheezing, shortness of breath, w/kidneys failing to grasp the qi.
    • Strengthen the middle warmer - lethargy, no appetite, chronic diarrhea, prolapse of organs, distended chest/abdomen.
    • Generates fluids, stops thirst - xiao ke, damaged fluid due to high dever and profuse sweating.
    • Benefits heart qi, calms the spirit - palpitations, anxiety, insomnia, poor memory, restlessness due to qi and/or blood deficiency.
  • Cautions
    • Avoid tea and turnips while taking ginseng.
    • Antagonist with Wu Ling Zhi, Incompatible with Li Lu.
    • Avoid with high blood pressure and/or liver yang rising.

Shan Yao

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  • Chinese Yam
    • Tonify the spleen and stomach qi - diarrhea, fatigue, spontaneous sweating, lack of appetite.
    • Tonify the lung qi and yin - chronic cough/wheezing.
    • Strengthen the kidney yin and yang - not hot nor cold, benefits both yin and yang, xiao ke, also binds the jing - spermatorrhea, vaginal discharge, frequent urination.

Tai Zi Shen

  • Pseudostellaria
    • Strengthen the spleen, augment qi - fatigue, reduced appetite.
    • Tonifies lung qi - spontaneous sweating.
    • Generates fluids - thirst, injury to fluids after a febrile disease, fever, summerheat in children.

Zhi Gan Cao

  • Honey Fried Licorice Root
    • This preparation increases the qi tonifying aspects of the heart and spleen along with its general harmonizing function within formulas. ┬áSee Gan Cao for complete information.



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