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Herbs to Consider Based on Zang-Fu Diagnosis

Updated on April 4, 2011

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is a method of diagnosis for Internal Medicine that is based on zang-fu theory ("organ pattern differentiation").  Zang refers to the yin or solid organs.  Fu refers to the yang or hollow organs.  Note: The term "organ" does not necessarily refer to the Western-physical concept of what an organ is, but rather a number of energetic functions that we attribute to an organ in Chinese Medicine.  For example, when people talk about the kidneys in TCM they are actually talking about functions related to the physical kidneys (filtering blood, controlling urine), the endocrine system (sex hormones), and the reproductive system (fertility, libido, vitality).

Students of TCM are often asked by their teachers to give the names of herbs that treat specific patterns or that can be used to modify an herbal formula.  The following is a list of herbs that should be considered based on a patient's zang-fu diagnosis.  Only yin organs are included.



HT qi def

Ren Shen • Dang Shen • Huang Qi • Fu Ling • Zhi Gan Cao • Long Yan Rou • Xi Yang Shen

HT yang def

Zhi Fu Zi • Rou Gui • Gan Jiang • Gui Zhi • Xie Bai

HT blood def

Dang Gui • Bai Shao • Dan Shen • E Jiao • Shu Di Huang • Sang Shen

HT yin def

Yu Zhu • Sheng Di Huang • Mai Men Dong • Bai He • Suan Zao Ren • Bai Zi Ren

Phlegm veiling the HT

Yu Jin • Yuan Zhi • Bing Pian • Niu Huang • Zhu Li • Su He Xiang • Shi Chang Pu • She Xiang

HT fire flaring

Huang Lian • Zhi Zi • Lian Xin • Mai Men Dong • Mu Tong • Dan Zhu Ye • Niu Huang • Xi Jiao • Da Huang • Deng Xin Cao • Lian Qiao

HT spirit disturbance

Suan Zo Ren • Bai Zi Ren • Ye Jiao Teng • Long Chi • Zhen Zhu Mu • Hu Po • Ci Shi • Zhu Sha • Zi She Ying


LV blood def

Dang Gui • Bai Shao • Gou Qi Zi • E Jiao • Nu Zhen Zi • Mo Han Lian • He Shou Wu • Sang Shen • Shu Di Huang

LV qi stag

Chai Hu • Xiang Fu • Qing Pi • Chuan Lian Zi • Yu Jin • Fo Shou • Ci Ji Li • Li Zhi He • Lu Lu Tong • Mei Gui Hua

Cold in LV channel

Rou Gui • Wu Zhu Yu • Xiao Hui Xiang • Li Zhi He • Wu Yao

LV yin def

Sheng Di Huang • Shan Zhu Yu • Nu Zhen Zi • Mo Han Lian • Gou Qi Zi • Sang Ji Sheng • Hei Zhi Ma • Gui Ban • Bie Jia

LV fire flaring

Sang Ye • Ju Hua • Jue Ming Zi • Qing Xiang Zi • Long Dan Cao • Xia Ku Cao • Huang Lian • Zhi Zi • Qing Dai

LV yang rising

Shi Jue Ming • Tian Ma • Gou Teng • Bai Shao • Long Gu • Mu Li • Zhen Zhu Mu • Bie Jia • Ci Ji Li • Dai Zhe Shi • Ci Shi

LV wind stirring

Ling Yang Jiao • Wu Gong • Quan Xie • Bai Jiang Can • Tian Ma • Di Long • Gou Teng • Ci Ji Li

LV & GB damp-heat

Yin Chen Hao • Zhi Zi • Xia Ku Cao • Long Dan Cao • Huang Bai • Huang Lian • Huang Qin • Jin Qian Cao • Ze Xie • Che Qian Zi


MJ food stag

Shan Zha • Shen Qu • Gu Ya • Mai Ya • Ji Nei Jin • Hong Dou Kou • Zhi Ban Xia • Sha Ren

Cold-dampness encumbering the SP

Huo Xiang • Pei Lan • Cang Zhu • Hou Po • Chen Pi • Bai Dou Kou • Zhi Ban Xia • Sha Ren

SP & ST yang def

Shan Yao • Yi Zhi Ren • Zhi Fu Zi • Gan Jiang • Wu Zhu Yu • Rou Gui • Gao Liang Jiang

SP qi def

Ren Shen • Huang Qi • Dang Shen • Tai Zi Shen • Bai Zhu • Bai Bian Dou • Shan Yao • Huang Jing

SP yin def

Shan Yao • Huang Jing • Yu Zhu • Bai Shao • Fo Shou • Dang Shen • Tai Zi Shen • Qian Shi • Lian Zi

Sinking SP qi

Huang Qi • Sheng Ma • Chai Hu • Ge Gen • Jie Geng


LU qi def

Ren  Shen • Huang Qi • Dang Shen • Tai Zi Shen • Xi Yang Shen • Dong Chong Xia Cao • Zhi Gan Cao • Huang Jing • Wu Wei Zi • Shan Yao • Zi He Che • Ge Jie

LU yin def

Xi Yang Shen • Huang Jing • Mai Men Dong • Tian Men Dong • Yu Zhu • E Jiao • Sheng Di Huang • Shan Yao • Tian Hua Fen • Bai He • Sha Shen

LU qi lacking restraint

Wu Wei Zi • Wu Bei Zi • Bai Guo • He Tao Ren • He Zi • Wu Mei

Wind-cold fettering the LU

Zi Su Ye • Ma Huang • Jing Jie • Gui Zhi • Fang Feng • Cang Er Zi • Xin Yi • Xi Xin • Xing Ren

Wind-heat accosting the LU

Sang Ye • Ju Hua • Jin Yin Hua • Lian Qiao • Niu Bang Zi • Qian Hu • Zhe Bei Mu • Chan Tui • Bo He • Fu Ping

Coughing & wheezing from LU cold

Gan Jiang • Xi Xin • Rou Gui • Zi Wan • Bai Jie Zi • Zi Su Zi • Chen Pi • Xing Ren • Zhi Ban Xia

Coughing & wheezing from LU heat

Shi Gao • Huang Qin • Chuan Bei Mu • Zhi Mu • Pang Da Hai • Ting Li Zi • Yu Xing Cao • Gua Lou Pi • Lu Gen • Zhu Ru • Sang Bai Pi • Pi Pa Ye • Fu Shi • Fu Hai Shi


KD yang def

Zhi Fu Zi • Rou Gui • Lu Rong • Xian Mao • Hu Lu Ba • Yin Yang Huo • Ba Ji Tian • Du Zhong • Yi Zhi Ren • Rou Cong Rong • Bu Gu Zhi • Gou Qi Zi • Tu Si Zi

KD yin def

Shu Di Huang • Xuan Shen • He Shou Wu • Shan Zhu Yu • Gui Ban • Nu Zhen Zi • Mo Han Lian • Gou Qi Zi

KD qi instability

Wu Wei Zi • Qian Shi • Yi Zhi Ren • Fu Pen Zi •Jing Ying Zi • Long Gu • Sang Piao Xiao • Lian Xu

KD failing to accept qi

Ge Jie • He Tao Ren • Chen Xiang • Wu Wei Zi • Ci Shi • Hu Lu Ba


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