Yang Tonics

Yang tonics are used in ailments caused by yang deficiency. The kidneys house primordial yang-energy, and thus most yang-deficient ailments come to rest in the kidneys, and yang-tonics primarily tonify and “warm” that organ. Common symptoms of kidney-yang deficiency are fear of cold, cold hands and feet, impotence, spermatorrhoea, nocturnal emissions, premature ejaculation, urinal incontinence, etc Sexual potency falls within the domain of yang and also centers about the kidneys and surrounding glands. Thus, the most renowned Chinese aphrodisiacs fall into the yang-tonic category. Aphrodisiac tonics, how- ever, should only be used in cases of yang-deficiency. If used by people with yang-excess and/or yin-deficiency, they further aggravate the yin/yang imbalance by injuring the already weak yin-energy.

The other organs affected by yang-deficiency are the spleen and the heart. Spleen-yang deficient ailments are similar to those of “spleen-empty”, described above under “Energy Tonics”. Heart-yang deficiencies, which display symptoms of profuse cold sweats, pale complexion, and weak, irregular pulse, are injurious to the blood and circulation and are best treated with drugs which “warm” the blood and with energy tonics. The liver and lungs rarely display yang-deficient ailments: on the contrary, yang- excess is the most common imbalance in those two organs.

Yang-tonics are generally warm and drying and should be used sparingly by patients with chronic yin- deficiency or fire-excess.

Tonics: Legend of the Horny Goat Weed

SPOTTED DEER

                CERVUS NIPPON

Natural distribution: Northeastern China, northwestern China.

Parts used: Horn, velvet antler.

Nature: Sweet and salty; warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; tonic to the 13th and 14th meridians (meridians of “Life” and of “Conception”); nutrient tonic to semen, marrow, sinew, and cartilage; aphrodisiac.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency (insufficient secretions of sexual hormones): impotence, watery semen, cold extremities, lumbago, clear and profuse urine, anemia, weight loss, slow growth in children, weak bone and sinews, dysmennorhoea, leukorrhoea; 13th and 14th meridian deficiencies.

Dosage: Pure powder —0.3-1 g; decoction —3-5 g.

Remarks: This is one of the most renowned and popular sexual tonics in the ben cao; the best is tender new horn still in velvet with the dried blood still visible in the cartilage; the most potent essence is obtained by drinking the fresh blood and secretions directly from the freshly cut horn.

HORNY GOAT WEED

    EPIMEDIUM SAGITTATUM

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Leaves.

Nature: Pungent; warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; eliminates “wind-damp” ailments (rheumatic); aphrodisiac.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: impotence, spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation, lumbago, cold hands and feet, fear of cold; rheumatic discomforts of “wind-damp” excess; spasms; numbness.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: The drug dilates the capillaries and larger blood vessels; lowers blood pressure; common ingredient in “Spring Wine”; remedies absent- mindedness by flooding the brain with blood.

BROOMRAPE

       CISTANCHE SALSA

Natural distribution: Northern China, Mongolia, Siberia.

Parts used: Fleshy stems.

Nature: Sweet and salty; warm.

Affinity: Kidneys, large intestine.

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; demulcent laxative; aphrodisiac.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: impotence, spermatorrhoea; premature ejaculation, lumbago, weak bones and sinews; constipation due to dry intestines.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: Tonifies yin as well as yang; lowers blood pressure.

BLACK CARDAMON

       ALPINIA OXYPHYLLA

Natural distribution: Southern China.

Parts used: Seeds.

Nature: Pungent; warm.

Affinity: Spleen, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; nutrient to bones and sinew; inhibits excess urination; antidiarrhoeic; astringent; stomachic.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: impotence, premature ejaculation, frequent and profuse urination, urinal incontinence; “cold” spleen symptoms: diarrhea, profuse salivation, cold and pain in abdomen.

Dosage: 3-10 g.

CALTROP

     TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS

Natural distribution: China, Australia, Africa, South America.

Parts used: Mature fruits.

Nature: Sweet; warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidneys; nutrient to bones, sinew and cartilage; tonic to liver: improves vision.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: impotence, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea, frequent and pro- fuse urination, ringing in the ears, lumbago, leukorrhoea; blurry vision due to liver deficiency.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: The drug facilitates labour contractions during difficult child-births.

DODDER

       CUSCUTA JAPONICA

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Seeds.

Nature: Pungent and sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidneys; nutrient to bones, sinew and cartilage; tonic to liver: improves vision Indications: Kidney deficiency: impotence, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea, ringing in ears, frequent and profuse urination, urinal incontinence, lumbago, leukorrhoea; blurry vision due to liver deficiency.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Causes of Disease – Excesses and Emotions

CNIDIUM MONNIERI

       CNIDIUM MONNIERI

Natural distribution: China, Vietnam, Laos, eastern Europe.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Kidneys

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; anti- rheumatic; antiseptic; aphrodisiac; astringent; stimulant.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: especially impotence and female sterility; external application to vaginal itching and infections, abscesses and ringworm.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: A decoction of this herb is a highly effective antiseptic wash for vaginal itching, yeast infections, parasites, etc.

TEASEL

         DIPSACUS ASPER

Natural distribution: Central China.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Bitter; slightly warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidneys and liver; nutrient to bones, sinew and cartilage; promotes muscle growth; hemostatic.

Indications: Kidney deficiency; liver deficiency; lumbago; cold extremities; traumatic injury to bone and sinews; menorrhagia; bleeding during pregnancy.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: Effective hemostatic action in female menstrual disorders; eliminates pus from abscesses and wounds.

EUCOMMIA

       EUCOMMIA ULMOIDES

Natural distribution: Central China

Parts used: Bark.

Nature: Sweet; warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to liver and kidneys; nutrient to bone, sinew and cartilage; sedative to restless foetus.

Indications: Kidney deficiency; liver deficiency; lumbago, dizziness; head- aches; weakness and fatigue; impotence; frequent urination; weakness, dizziness restless foetus and lumbago in pregnant women.

Dosage: 10-15 g

Remarks: The drug lowers blood pressure; preventive in miscarriage; an especially effective remedy for lumbago due to kidney deficiency.

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