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Original Case by: Ye Tian-Shi

A woman was postpartum for over 10 years. When her disease broke out there was a droopy head, painful spine, sagging vertebral qi, heart pain[1], and a cold sweat. This was a du and ren vessel qi disharmony and loss of use of the qiao and wei vessel, and the five yin fluids were completely dried up. In this type of situation plant-based medicinals are ineffective, being unable to treat the exhausted essence and blood. One must use flesh and blood medicinals to fill and nourish, while aiming to unblock and tonify the eight extraordinary channels.

Prescription:

Cervi Cornu pantotrichum (lù róng)
Cervi Cornu degelatinatum (lù jiâo shuäng)
Cervi Cornus Colla (lù jiâo jiäo)
Angelicae sinensis Radix (däng guï)
Poria (fú líng)
Lycii Fructus (gôu qî zî)
Platycladi Semen (bâi zî rén)
Astragali complanati Semen (shä yuàn zî)
Eucommiae Cortex (dù zhòng)
Dipsaci Radix (xù duàn)

Commentary:

Mr. Ye thought that:

1. The eight extraordinary channels belong to the Liver and Kidneys” 2. If the Liver and Kidneys are timid[2] and not secure, then the eight channels will fail to perform their duty” 3. If there is harm to the Liver and Kidney’s essence qi, this will lead to the eight extraordinary channel’s lacking their applying force” 4. If the Liver and Kidneys are damaged, then the eight channels will have no qi” 5. If the lower base is depleted this will put strain on the eight channels.”

All these phrases say that if the Liver and Kidney have chronic damage then the eight extraordinary channels must be involved. Because “the du vessel governs the body’s control and conserving,” it is said that the du vessel masters the yang of the body. That is to say that the du vessel exercises control and conserving of the whole body’s yang qi. If the du vessel is deficient then this can give rise to lower back soreness and sagging. Therefore, a disease involving damage to the du vessel also can drag in the lower base, Liver, and Kidney.

Within treatment, “if one desires to nourish[3] the yin essence and would not like it to leak out, then one should use the idea of ascending and securing the qi of the eight channels”, “Liver and Kidney lower body disease will certainly linger in the eight extraordinary channels. If one does understand this then they will get no effect with their treatment.”

Therefore, one may see various kinds of lower source essence and blood insufficiency disease patterns. Mr. Ye not only thought that these are attributed to Liver and Kidney deficiency, but also went a step further implicating the eight channels receiving damage, leading to deficiency timidity.

Therefore in this case he employed the idea that “in chronic disease it is suitable to unblock the ren and du.”

Therefore, within the prescription he selected soft yang medicinals, such as, Cervi Cornu pantotrichum (lù róng) to invigorate the yang of the du vessel, Cervi Cornu degelatinatum (lù jiâo shuäng) to unblock the qi of the du vessel. Cervi Cornus Colla (lù jiâo jiäo) to tonify the blood of the du vessel, Platycladi Semen (bâi zî rén) to cool the Heart in order to boost the Kidneys, the warm and moist Lycii Fructus (gôu qî zî) is combined with the light and quick Astragali complanati Semen (shä yuàn zî) entering the collaterals of the Liver, Poria (fú líng) is bland and leeches out. These medicinals are a modified Striped Dragon Pill (ban long wan). This formula principally uses medicinals with affinity to flesh and blood, which tonifiy the essence and blood without causing stagnating.

Translated by: Jason Blalack

For more information please see, Ye Tian-Shi & the Eight Extraordinary Channels.

Original Chinese: 案一  某,产后十年有余,病发必头垂脊痛,椎气坠,心痛,冷汗。此督任气乖,跷维皆不用,是五液全涸。草木药饵总属无情,不能治精血之惫,故无效。当以血肉充养,取其通补奇经。处方:鹿茸、鹿角霜、鹿角胶、当归、茯苓、杞子、柏子仁、沙菀、生杜仲、川断。


[1] 心痛 (xin tong)- this may refer to epigastric pain here.

[2] 怯 (qie)- this may have more of a meaning of “not full”.

[3] 涵 (han) possible meaning of “contain” here.

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