that tonify deficiencies strengthen or supplement the body's resistance against
disease. These herbs are usually
subdivided into herbs which tonify either Qi, Yang, blood or Yin.
As Qi, blood, Yin and Yang are interdependent in the
body, a deficient condition in any one of the m will affect the others.
It is very important that tonifying the herbs are only applied in cases
with weakness of anti-pathogenic factors, and not during excess pathogenic
That Tonify Qi
that tonify Qi are used for deficient Qi syndrome, which is often
seen as deficient Qi in the spleen or deficient Qi in the lungs.
Deficient Qi of the spleen is manifested as poor appetite, loose
stool, abdominal distension, lassitude, edema or prolapsed anus.
The symptoms of deficient Qi in the lungs are shortness of breath,
dysphasia and spontaneous sweating.
Qi deficiency is accompanied by yin deficiency or yang
deficiency, herbs that tonify Yin or Yang should be added to the
combination. Because Qi
is responsible for the generation and circulation of blood, these herbs are also
used in the acute phase or severe blood loss to prevent collapse and to stop
In general, overdosing of these herbs is not
recommended, as it may cause stifling sensation in the chest, abdominal
distension or poor appetite.
Pilose Asiabell root
Astragalus root (Huangqi)
Hyacinth bean (Biandou)
Licorice root (Gancao)
That Tonify Yang
that tonify Yang are used to treat deficient Yang syndrome mainly
defiant Yang of the kidneys. Deficient
Yang syndrome is manifested as aversion to cold, cold extremities,
soreness and weakness or cold pain in the lower back and knees, impotence,
spermatorrhea, sterility, watery leukorrhea, enuresis, white tongue coating,
deep pulse, wheezing and diarrhea.
general, herbs that tonify Yang are warm and dry in nature.
They can injure Yin and give rise to fire, so they are
contraindicated for a person with deficient Yin and excessive fire
Pilose Antler (Lourong)
Antler glue (Lujiaojiao)
Deglued Antler powder
Morinda root (Bajitian)
Curculigo rhizome (Xianmao)
Cynomrium (Suo Yang)
Eucommia bark (Duzhong)
Teasel root (Xuduan)
Cibot rhizome (Gouji)
Psoralea Fruit (Buguzhi)
Bitter Cardamom (Yizhiren)
Walnut seed (Hutaoren)
Dadder seed (Tusizi)
Flattened milkvetch seed
Dog testis (Huanggoushen)
Chinese chive seed (Jiuzi)
Cnidium fruit (Shechuangzi)
Herbs That Tonify the Blood
that tonify the blood are mainly used for deficiency of blood syndrome
manifested as sallow complexion, pale lips and nails, dizziness, blurred vision,
palpitations, anxiety, scanty and light-red menstrual flow, or amenorrhea.
Because “Qi can generate blood,” herbs that tonify Qi may enhance the
therapeutic effect of tonifying the blood.
These herbs are characterized by viscosity, which may adversely affect the
digestion. For this reason, they are contraindicated in cases with poor
appetite, abdominal distension and fullness due to turbid dampness in the spleen
and stomach. For a person with such symptoms, herbs that strengthen the spleen
and help digestion are often added to the combination.
Angelica root (Danggui)
Prepared Rehmannia root
White Peony root (Baishao)
Donkey Hide gelatin
Longan Aril (Longyanrou)
That Tonify Yin
that tonify Yin are used mainly for deficient Yin syndromes which occur at the
later stage of febrile diseases or in chronic diseases. Deficient Yin syndromes
can often be seen as deficient lung Yin, deficient stomach Yin, deficient liver
yin and deficient kidney Yin. In deficient lung Yin, manifestations commonly are
dry cough, cough with scanty sputum, or cough with blood, fever due to yin
deficiency, and dry mouth and tongue. In deficient stomach yin, manifestations
are dark red tongue with peeled coating, dry throat, thirst, absence of hunger
and constipation. In deficient liver Yin, the resulting manifestations are dry
eyes, blurred vision, dizziness and vertigo. In deficient kidney yin,
manifestation include soreness and pain in the lower back and knees, feverish
sensation on the palms, soles and chest, irritability, insomnia, seminal
emissions, and afternoon fever.
treating these syndromes, herbs that tonify Yin can be used with herbs that
clear heat where manifestations of deficient heat are present. When there is
deficient yin with excessive heat in the interior, herbs that clear heat due to
Yin deficiency should be added to the combination of herbs. When there is
deficient Yin with hyperactivity of Yang, herbs that subdue Yang should be
added. In the conditions where deficiency of Yin is complicated by deficiency
of Qi, herbs that tonify Qi and herbs that tonify Yin should be combined.
general, herb which are cold or sweet in nature are contraindicated for a person
with weakness of the spleen and stomach, internal blockage of phlegm and
dampness, abdominal distension or diarrhea.
Glehnia root (Shashen)
Ophiopogon root (Maidong)
Asparagus root (Tianmendong)
Solomonseal rhizome (Yuzhu)
Lily bulb (Baihe)
Wolfberry fruit (Gouqizi)
Grossy Privet fruit
Tortoise plastron (Guiban)
Turtle shell (Biejia)
Black Sesame seed