Yin-Yang is the generalization of the two opposite aspects of things or phenomena which are interrelated in the natural worlds. Yin and yang represent not only the two inter-opposite things or forces, but also the two intra-opposite aspects existing within one object [,]. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) holds that the normal body metabolism is based on the balance of Yin and Yang inside the body.
The Yang Tonics in TCM are those can replenish and strengthen the body Yang, dispel cold and treat for Yang-deficiency syndrome [].
To restore the balance of Yin and Yang is one of the fundamental laws for replenishing the offset of body metabolisms and treating the disorders in clinics.
Yang tonics are often used in Yang deficiency, such as: aversion to cold and comfort to warm; cold limbs; tastelessness and hydroadipsia; prefer warm food and drink; abdominal cold or pain, or diarrhea when eating cold; cold pain in waist and knees; clear copious urine; loose watery stool; Pale, wet and swollen tongue with white and smooth coating, weak or deep-slow pulse. In clinics, the deficiency is distinguished for Yang deficiency of spleen, Yang deficiency of heart and Yang deficiency of kidney.
Yang deficiency of spleen: cold body and cold extremities; abdominal pain and relieved by pressure and warmth; reduced food intake; sallow complexion; loose, watery stool; pale tongue; deep, thready, slow and weak pulse.
Yang deficiency of heart: chills and cold extremities; stifling oppression; pale or gloomy complexion, palpitation, shortness of breath, fat, tender and pale tongue with dark purple color; thready and weak pulse or knotted and intermittent pulse.
Yang deficiency of kidney: pale complexion; chills and cold extremities; spontaneous perspiration; impotence; infertility; clear and cold leucorrhea; dizziness, tinnitus, clear copious urine or nocturia; pale tongue with white fur; deep, slow and weak pulse [].
As shown in the table below, Yang tonics usually have tonic functions of kidney, spleen and heart. The most direct pulse basis is slower heart rate, which is the guideline principle to use TCM Yang tonics. This category of drugs is often combined with the use of interior-warming herbs, liver and kidney tonics and spleen and lung tonics. Yang tonics are usually sweet, warm and dry in property. They are easy to progress fire and impair Yin. Therefore, Yang tonics can’t be used for those with Yin deficiency and fire excess .
Yin and Yang are rooted in each other. The deficiencies of Yin and Yang can be inter-impairment to each other. Therefore, when Yin or Yang deficiency is treated, we must pay attention to the principles of “Seeking Yin in Yang” or “Seeking Yang in Yin”, which is the combination of Yin tonics while in tonifying Yang; and the combination of Yang tonics while in tonifying Yin [].
In addition, Qi deficiency will follow the Yang deficiency gradually; while Yang deficiency is the extremity of Qi deficiency. Yang and Qi deficiencies always appear together. Therefore, Yang and Qi tonics should be used reasonably to reach the best effects [].
Properties and functions of Yang Tonics:
Best combined with
|Lu Rong (鹿茸, Cervi Cornu pantotrichum)/ Sweet and salty, warm; kidney and liver meridians entered.||Tonify Kidney Yang，tonify vital essence and blood, strengthen sinew and bone, adjust chong and Ren channels, promote the drainage of abscess []||Ginseng, Shu Di Huang, Dang Gui, Huang Qi, Dong Chong Xia Cao, Zi He Che ||Lu Jiao, Lu Jiao Jiao, Lu Jiao Shuang, Zi He Che []; Fu Zi, Rou Gui ||Starting from a small dose, slowly increasing, not more than 0.5 grams a time [].|
|Ge Jie (蛤蚧, Gecko)/ Sweet, salty, neutral; kidney and lung meridians entered.||Tonifies Kidney Yang, replenish lung Qi, relieve cough and asthma, tonify Yang, vital essence and blood [].||Zi He Che, Wu Wei Zi, Di Long ||Dong Chong Xia Cao, He Tao Ren ||Do not take when wind chill, or sthenic fever and cough with asthma |
|Dong Chong Xia Cao (冬虫夏草, Cordyceps) / Sweet, neutral; kidney and lung meridians entered.||Tonify the Kidney and Strengthen the Yang, replenish lung and relieve asthma, hemostatic, dissipate phlegm ||Yin Yang Huo, Ba Ji Tian, Tu Si Zi ||Ge Jie, He Tao Ren ||Best for over-strained cough, hemoptysis, impotence due to the kidney deficiency |
|Rou Cong Rong (肉苁蓉, Cistanches Herba)/Sweet, salty, warm; kidney and large intestine meridians entered.||Tonifies Kidney Yang, tonify vital essence and blood, lubricate the bowel and cathartic efficacy ||Zhi Ke, Lu Rong, Shan Yao, Zi He Che, Du Zhong, Xu Duan ||Suo Yang ||Better not used in fire excess from Yin deficiency, diarrhea, gastrointestinal excessive heat and constipation |
|Suo Yang (锁阳, Cynomorii Herba)/ Sweet, warm; kidney, liver and large intestine meridians entered.||Tonify kidney and consolidate essence, lubricate the bowel and cathartic efficacy ||Shu Di Huang, Gou Ji, Tu Si Zi, He Shou Wu, Huo Ma Ren, Dang Gui ||Rou Cong Rong ||Do not use when Yin deficiency and Yang excess, splenasthenic diarrhea, and excessive heat and constipation |
|Yin Yang Huo (淫羊藿, Epimedii Herba)/ Sweet, pungent, warm; kidney and liver meridians entered.||Warm kidney and invigorate yang, strengthen sinew and bone, expel wind dampness ||Sang Ji Sheng, Nu Zhen Zi, Xian Mao, Suo Yang, Shu Di Huang, Sha Yuan Zi ||Ba Ji Tian, Xian Mao ||Better not used in Yin deficiency and fire excess |
|Ba Ji Tian (巴戟天, Morindae officinalis Radix)/ Sweet, pungent, slightly warm; kidney and liver meridians entered.||Tonify Kidney Yang, strengthen sinew and bone, expel wind dampness ||Ginseng, Shan Yao, Fu Pen Zi, Yi Zhi Ren, Tu Si Zi, Rou Gui, Huai Niu Xi, Du Zhong ||Xian Mao, Yin Yang Huo ||Better not used in those with hyperactivity of Fire due to Yin-deficiency or dampness-heat |
|He Tao Ren (核桃仁, Juglandis Semen)/ Sweet, warm; kidney, liver and large intestine meridians entered.||Tonify kidney, warm lung, lubricate the bowel ||Du Zhong, Ginseng, Shen Jiang, Rou Cong Rong, Dang Gui ||Ge Jie, Dong Chong Xia Cao ||Better used in deficiencies of both lung and kidney, constipation due to intestinal dryness |
|Bu Gu Zhi (补骨脂, Psoralea Fructus)/ Sweet, bitter, astringent, warm; kidney, spleen and lung meridians entered.||Tonify kidney and reinforce Yang, consolidate essence and reduce urination, warm spleen to stop diarrhea .||Du Zhong, Hu Tao Ren, Ba Ji Tian, Yi Zhi Ren, Chen Xiang, Chi Shi Zhi ||Yi Zhi Ren ||Can be used for deficiency of kidney, unconsolidated essence, spermatorrhea with or without dream, deficiency and cold on lower Yuan, and excessive urine. Not used for Yin deficiency, fire excess and constipation .|
|Yi Zhi Ren (益智仁, Alpinia oxyphyllae Fructus)/ Sweet, pungent, astringent, warm; kidney and spleen meridians entered.||Warm kidney, consolidate essence and reduce urination, warm spleen, stop diarrhea and excess salivation .||Bai Zhu, Huang Qi, Mu Xiang, Cang Zhu, Ban Xia, Chen Pi, Wu Yao, Wu Wei Zi, Shan Zhu Yu, Bi Xie, Hou Bu .||Bu Gu Zhi ||Not used for Yin deficiency, fire excess and dampness-heat .|
|Xian Mao (仙茅, Curculiginis Rhizoma)/ Sweet, pungent, hot; little toxin, liver and kidney meridians entered.||Warm kidney and invigorate yang, dispel cold and remove dampness .||Du Zhong, Yin Yang Huo, Xi Xin, Wu Jia Pi .||Ba Ji Tian, Yin Yang Huo ||Dryness-heat on its property with the disadvantage of Yin Impairment. Not used for Yin deficiency and fire excess .|
|Du Zhong (杜仲, Eucommiae Cortex)/ Sweet, warm; kidney and liver meridians entered.||Tonify liver and kidney, strengthen sinew and bone, miscarriage prevention .||Xu Duan, Shu Di Huang, Niu Xi, Shan Zhu Yu, Tu Si Zi, Shan Yao, Bai Shao, Xia Gu Cao .||Xu Duan, Gou Ji ||Not used for Yin deficiency and fire excess .|
|Gou Ji (狗脊, Cibotii Rhizoma)/ Pungent, bitter, sweet, warm; liver and kidney meridians entered.||Notify liver and kidney, strengthen the waist and knee, expel wind dampness, warm and invigorate the consolidation .||Du Zhong, Xu Duan, Sang Ji Sheng, Niu Xi, Shu Di, Lu Jiao Jiao, Yi Zhi Ren, Bu Gu Zhi, Lu Rong, Lian Zi and Ai Ye []||Du Zhong, Xu Duan ||Not used for kidney deficiency with heat .|
|Xu Duan (续断,Dipsaci Radix)/ Sweet, pungent, slightly warm; kidney and liver meridians entered.||Tonify liver and kidney, reunite bones, regulate blood circulation []||Du Zhong, Huang Qi, Shu Di Huang, Sang Ji Sheng, Tu Si Zi, E Jiao, Ru Xiang, Mo Yao, Huang Jing .||Du Zhong, Gou Ji, Gu Sui Bu ||Weak tonic, promote circulation of blood, tonify without causing stagnation. Often used in trauma and gynecological hemorrhage .|
|Gu Sui Bu (骨碎补, Drynariae Rhizoma)/Bitter, warm; liver and kidney meridians entered.||Tonify kidney and strengthen bone, cure trauma and alleviate pain, activate blood and stop bleeding .||Mo Yao, Zi Ran Tong, Du Zhong, Xu Duan, Niu Xi, Shu Di Huang, Shan Zhu Yu, Ze Xie ||Xu Duan ||Use with caution for the Yin deficiency and internal heat []|
|Tu Si Zi (菟丝子, Cuscutae Semen)/ Sweet, astringing, slightly warm; kidney, spleen and liver meridians entered.||Tonify Yang and supplement Yin, consolidate essence and reduce urination, nourish the liver and improve eyesight, invigorate spleen and stop diarrhea .||Du Zhong, Shan Yao, Wu Wei Zi, Lu Rong, Shu Di Huang, Che Qian Zi, Huang Qi, Dang Seng, Bai Zhu, Xu Duan, Sang Ji Sheng, E Jiao .||Sha Yuan Zi ||Not used for Yin deficiency, fire excess, those with feces of dry stagnation and scanty reddish-brown urine .|
|Sha Yuan Zi (沙苑子, Astragali complanati Semen)/ Sweet, astringent, warm; kidney and liver meridians entered.||Tonify kidney, consolidate essence and reduce urination, nourish liver to improve vision .||Qian Shi, Lian Zi, Long Gu, Mu Li, Lu Rong, Tu Si Zi, Qian Shi and toast Long Gu [].||Tu Si Zi ||Not used for Yin deficiency, fire excess and dysuria .|
|Zi He Che (紫河车, Hominis Placenta )/ Sweet, salty, warm; lung, liver and kidney meridians entered.||Warm kidney and consolidate essence, reinforce Qi and nourish blood .||Lu Rong, Ginseng, Dang Gui, Tu Si Zi, Ge Jie, Hu Tao Rou, Di Long, Dang Seng, Huang Qi .||Lu Rong ||Not used alone for Yin deficiency and fire excess .|
 Image of Yin and Yang: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i2.wp.com/www.inspiral.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/yin-yang.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.inspiral.co/lion-heart-herbs-instant-tonic-teas-time-get-excited-tea/&h=640&w=640&tbnid=Gp14Xx54jSbwnM:&zoom=1&docid=2oj8Q-GQXm2YNM&ei=lcFhU-POLurU2AWQ54GIAQ&tbm=isch&ved=0CF8QMyhXMFc4ZA&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=562&page=6&start=172&ndsp=39
 Deficiencies of Yang and Qi: http://www.cnki.com.cn/Article/CJFDTotal-ZLYS200910012.htm
 Discussion of Yang tonics on their function comparisons. http://wenku.baidu.com/link?url=zU2W10N3j4HF60e9nS3yinD34-mQsGU12DEiEuRgITTCsQ5DjKaJEJKmit11U_Xie_pFSou1Y5zYnD9802LYAxaqFbevl7nYmEAPBpxP8Jy
 Functions of Yang tonics-2: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4d7e38da01017osz.html