Supports bowel health. Traditionally used to gently promote complete bowel movements. ∞
According to Chinese Medicine, Yang Ming is the layer of the body that involves the stomach and large intestine, so when there is dryness within this layer, it shows up in these organs of digestion and elimination. This particular imbalance actually begins with the spleen and then extends to the stomach and large intestine. One of the spleen’s roles, from a CM perspective, is to move fluid throughout the body making sure all organ systems are not too damp or too dry. Because of this, the stomach’s moisture content (vital to digestion and elimination) is kept in balance by a strong, healthy spleen. When the spleen is overburdened and unable to perform this duty, the stool will become dry and difficult. This is due to a lack of good fluid in the digestive tract. Without enough moisture, the intestines cannot move stool along for elimination, stool will break, causing only small pieces to pass. This kind of constipation can cause abdominal discomfort, bloating, and build-up of toxicity in the body that cannot be eliminated.
The spleen is a delicate organ that tends to be negatively affected in this way by prolonged emotional imbalance. Particularly, an excessive amount of worry, rumination, or pensive thinking can really give the spleen trouble. Often these kinds of emotional states are accompanied by lethargy and fatigue which inspire a lack of physical movement for us too. When we combine a sedentary lifestyle with excessive worry, our spleen becomes over-burdened and unable to move body fluid appropriately. The stomach then gets less moisture from the spleen, becoming more dry and tight, and over time is actually unable to absorb the liquids we consume because it is so dry. Thus, the unhealthy cycle has begun.
You can think of it as soil that is so dry and tight it cannot absorb the water from the rain in large amounts. The top soil has become so leathery from the sun that water will just run off and flow to the nearest exit. It has to be slowly hydrated and softened over time, so that when it rains the soil can soak up the water once more and become moist. The same thing is happening in the body when the spleen has failed to moisten the stomach for long enough. The stomach becomes so dry it cannot receive moisture. Any water you consume at this point will just flow to the nearest exit, in this case, your bladder. You might notice that you drink water and have to urinate soon after. This feeling of never being able to hydrate fully, despite consuming enough water, is a common symptom of this pattern.
The Shang Han Lun, the source texts for this herbal formula, describes it as useful for someone who is drinking plenty of water but seems to be urinating too often and still has difficult, dry bowel movements. According to this text, the formula helps to break this cycle by using methods to take the burden off of the spleen so that it can recuperate. This is accomplished by using 1) herbs that help stimulate the peristalsis or movement of the intestines, 2) oily seeds and honey that lubricate and soften the stomach and intestines, 3) herbs that soften tension of the abdomen and relieve pain and bloating so that the organs may receive moisture from the fluid you are drinking.
Base formula: Ma Zi Ren Wan (hemp seed honey-pill)
Ingredients*: huo ma ren, da huang, hou po, xing ren, bai shao, zhi shi (hemp seed, Chinese rhubarb root, magnolia bark, apricot seed, white peony root, immature bitter orange)
Classical Source Text: Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Cold Damage)
Imbalance addressed: Spleen constraint, Yang Ming dryness
Additional ingredients: Filtered water, Non-GMO cane sugar alcohol, honey
*Organic, Non-GMO herbs are used whenever available, all herbs used undergo laboratory testing to ensure they are free from possible impurities or contaminants
∞These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is for educational purposes only. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.