American Journal of
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

The Water Element, Zang-fu Kidney and Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan

Signe E Beebe


The Water Element, as part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Five Elements, is associated with winter, coldness, darkness and the Zang-fu organs Kidney and Bladder. The TCM Kidney, encompasses far more than the Western concept of an organ which produces and excretes the waste product urine. It controls water and fluid metabolism; a primordial generator (Ming-men Fire, Essence, Jing, promotes growth, skeleton, marrow, innate constitution); Yin-Yang dynamics (innate Yin and Yang); receives Qi; life functions (sexual behavior, reproduction, neuroendocrine axis, nervous system, urinary system, manufacture Blood, acute sense of hearing, controls the 2 lower orifices, assists respiration); as well as supports good life/living (houses commitment, will power, memory). Diseases of the Kidney can manifest as congenital deficiencies, fearful attitude, pathological changes (Yin and Yang Deficiencies, chronic debilitation), and physiological deficiencies associated with senescence. Some of the more common clinical signs of Kidney (Water Element) disease include renal/reproduction disorders, lumbar pain, hind end weakness, teeth/hair loss, deafness, lassitude, neuroendocrine disorders, asthma, congenital disease and bone disorders. One of the most famous formulas to treat Kidney Yang Deficiency and decline of Ming-men Fire is the classical herbal formula Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan. The strategy of this formula is to tonify Kidney Yin to raise Kidney Yang, (since Yin and Yang are mutually dependent), with the addition of warm herbs to ignite the Fire of Ming-men. From a Chinese medical perspective, Kidney Yang Deficiency syndrome may cause endocrine system disorders, immune-deficiency, neurological, renal, and reproductive disorders. This paper will review the Zang-fu Kidney function, and the classic Chinese herbal medicine, Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan (Kidney Qi Pill from the Golden Cabinet).

Beebe S. The Water Element, Zang-fu Kidney and Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan. Am J Trad Chin Vet Med 2024; 19(1):41-49. https://doi.org/10.59565/RTCN5268

The Water Element, Zang-fu Kidney and Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan

Signe E Beebe

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