Yu ping feng san

True qi and Yu ping feng san

Yu ping feng san has a reputation of increasing protection from sickness that we call tai yang wind strike and tai yang wind cold.

In what way does it work and is this the best solution? We may lose sight of what makes us unique as therapists in treating sicknesses when it is suggested that just Yu ping feng san can offer some sort of protection.

True qi

Gathering qi is transformed into true qi by the catalytic action of original qi. Original qi and gathering qi form true qi. True qi is the qi that circulates in the channels or vessels and this supports the body in all its needs and processes. True qi and gathering qi originate from the lungs.

The lungs are the meeting place of the 100 vessels. Neijing suwen

There are two forms of true qi, the Nutritive and Defensive qi. Nutritive qi is called Ying qi in Chinese. Defensive qi is called Wei qi in Chinese.

Nutritive qi

It is a nourishing qi and supports the organs, tissues and whole body. It is closely related to blood and flows in the blood vessels.

I consider the nutritive a part of blood and it is the part that we consider the nutrients, fats, sugars, and other nourishing particles. It is yin compared to the defensive wei qi.

Defensive qi

It is yang compared to the nutritive qi. It is the warm active part of blood that also radiates outside of the blood vessels as waves of energy. It is the yang radiance of the yin. It protects the body, warms, moves, moisturizes, and controls the pores of the skin which controls sweating and temperature.


Blood is a form of qi. It is a dense and material form of qi. Blood is inseparable from qi. Qi infuses life into blood.

Blood comes from food. It is transformed by the catalytic action of Earth and the clear part is raised to the lungs and then to the heart. The kidney essence and original qi play a role in transforming food qi into blood.

The main function of blood is to nourish and moisten the body and contain yang qi. Since they are inseparable we can say that yang qi and blood nourish, warm, and moisten the body.

Qi is the commander of blood. Blood is the mother of qi.

Qi generates blood. Qi moves blood. Qi holds the blood.

Blood nourishes qi.

When explaining the different types of qi and blood there arises a feeling that it is all nicely separated. This is not the case. My problem is the inseparable part of the production of qi and blood.

The production of qi and blood starts in the kidneys and spleen. Kidney essence combined with original qi meets food qi which goes to the lung and becomes gathering qi. When food qi and gathering qi meet in the heart it becomes blood. True qi arises from the gathering qi after being changed from the interaction of original qi.

If we go backwards it makes better sense. Defensive qi and nutritive qi are both inseparable from blood. Blood and qi are inseparable from each other so the production of both should be seen as one whole process ending with both qi and blood which contains two different aspects of one whole. Defensive qi is yang compared to nutritive qi.

All three yin levels work together to produce qi and blood and fluids.

Tai yang is on the surface, and its nature is open and expansive, it is the outside. The yang ming is internal and its action is storing, thus it is the house. The shao yang, which is between the internal and external, acts as a bridge and is considered the hinge between the internal and external. The three yang, however, do not act separately, but rather in unison. So, collectively we call them one yang.

Tai yin is the most superficial of the three yin channels, and its nature is expansive. The jue yin is the deepest of the yin. Its nature is that of storing and thus it is considered the house. The shao yin is in between, and acts to connect and is considered the hinge or door. The three yin must work in unison. Collectively they are considered one yin. Ch 6 Neijing

Tai yin is the source of fluids and food qi. It becomes blood and qi in the chest where the lungs and heart spread it over the body. Tai yin is the post heaven source of qi and blood and fluids and accounts for the biggest part of production.

Shao yin plays a role in qi and blood and fluid production. It is considered the true qi and true water. It plays a role in the production by delivering the original qi and kidney essence. The kidneys are responsible for blood production through the marrow. Marrow produces blood in the same way as in western medicine. Shao yin is the source of pre heaven qi and blood but also a small source of post heaven qi and blood and fluids.

Jue yin plays a part in the production of qi, blood and fluids by the action from the ministerial fire. Ministerial fire is the imperial heat that circulates in all three burners and supports all systems and organs that produce and nourish and move the qi and blood and fluids.

Yu ping feng san

Source is Yifang leiju

huang qi 18 bai zhu 18 fang feng 9 da zao 9

Arnaud Versluys and Hans Fruehauf write…

Though the foremost formula in TCM to be mentioned as a surface firming prescription, the formula focus is primarily based on the tonification of surface qi and secondarily on the stirring of tai yang protective yang.

It is important to stay aware of the fact that the first formulas to be considered in sweat astringing situations, should be the nutritive and protective harmonizing formulas of the gui zhi tang family as dictated by the classics which give regard to the functional treatment of imbalances rather than the material tonification of deficiency.

Huang qi is a rather balanced herb. It is yang functional tonifying and yin material nourishing. It raises yang and yin to the surface while also tonifying the tai yin spleen and lung. In this way it supports the true qi and gathering qi of the post heaven source of qi.

It does not support the kidney essence, and original qi of the pre heaven source.

Fang feng is also a balanced herb. It is yang functional tonifying and yin material nourishing. Warm, pungent, and sweet and is called the moisturizer of the wind herbs.

Fang feng treats wind cold and dampness while dispersing cold and arrests pain with pungent strengthening of yang qi but it also contains the yin needed to anchor the yang.

Is a tai yang and tai yin herb. It raises clear yang of Earth and can stop diarrhea while clearing the surface.

It does not support the kidney essence, and original qi of the pre heaven source.

In conclusion.

What makes Chinese Medicine unique is that we see patterns of disharmony. We take into account the pre-condition of each case when treating a new pattern of disharmony.

Giving just Yu ping fang san as protection does not take into account the precondition.

Giving Yu ping fang san as a treatment for a tai yang wind strike or tai yang wind cold is not good enough.

Adding huang qi and fang feng to other formulas will increase the true qi on the surface.

But the formula must also take into account the precondition. Other formulas just may be a better choice.

For example it would not be logical to add them to a shao yang or yang ming pattern.

Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon has this to say about Yu ping feng san.

Jade Screen Formula was developed originally as a treatment for spontaneous sweating that was due to deficiency syndrome or was the result of a pathological influence still lodged in the surface. More recently, it has become a therapy for prevention of cold, flu, and allergic rhinitis, and a treatment for viral infections, nephritis, and other disorders. These newer uses are derived both from an analysis of the formula by traditional principles and from successful applications of this tonic formula to patients who show signs of deficiency syndrome.

For more, http://www.itmonline.org/arts/jadescreen.htm

Published by Paul Freedman

Herbal Nerd

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