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A formula to nourish and moisten the lungs

Bai He Gu Jin Wan (Bai He Gu Jin Pian, Bai He Gu Jin Tang, Lily Bulb Formula, Lilium Teapills, literally "Lily Strengthen Metal Pills" in Chinese, is a famous Chinese herbal medicine that nourishes lung Yin energy and moistens the lungs. The Chinese herb is used to manage lung discomforts such as dry cough and dry throat.

What does it do?

A vibrant lung function ensures that abundant oxygen is transported from the air into the bloodstream while as much as carbon dioxide is released from the blood into the air. The lung capacity or vital capacity, a measurement of strength of respiration function, starts to decline around the age of 30.

When the lung function declines, one may experience shortness of breath, lack of desire of talking and of physical strength, and pale face etc., which are indications of the Qi deficiency of the lungs in the term of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Another common type of lung weakness in TCM is the lung Yin deficiency, which is shown as dry cough, dry and sore throat, hot palms and soles, and night sweat etc. The cough may even come up with a trace of blood. The lung Yin may be hurt by smoking.

Bai He Gu Jin Tang is the primary Chinese herbal medicine that nourishes the Yin energy of the lungs to address the lung Yin deficiency. As the lungs are characterized as the metal in TCM, the function of the Chinese medicine is to strengthen the lung function, and Bai He, or lily, is a main Chinese herb in the herbal formula, it comes the name of Lily Strengthen Metal.

Bai He Gu Jin Wan/Pian is indicated in China Pharmacopoeia for nourishing Yin energy, moistening the lungs, transforming phlegm, and stopping cough. The Chinese medicine is used for Yin deficiency of both the lungs and the kidneys, dry cough with little phlegm, sputum with blood, and cough with dryness due to deficiency of yin fluid of both the lung sore throat.


Bai He (Lily bulb) is the chief Chinese herb in the formula that nourishes the lung Yin energy and moistens the lungs. Lily also has an effect on clearing lung heat and reducing cough.
Di Huang (Rehmannia root), used in both raw and prepared forms, is also a chief herb in the formula. The Chinese herb nourishes Yin and tonifies the kidneys. In addition, the raw Rehmannia root clears heat and generates fluids to relieve thirst. The combination of Rehmannia and Lily serves to enforce each other's function in replenishing metal (lung) and kidney (water).
Mai Men Dong (Ophiopogon tuber) may nourish the lung Yin energy, moisten the lungs, and clear the lung heat and thus enhances the action of Lily.
Xuan Shen (Scrophularia root) nourishes Yin and reduces Fire and assists the action of Rehmannia.
Bei Mu (Fritillaria bulb) stops coughing, transforms phlegm, and moistens the lungs.
Jie Geng (Platycodon root) ventilates the lung and clears phlegm. The Chinese herb can be used for coughs caused by various reasons.
Gan Cao (Licorice root) The Chinese herb moistens the lung, relieves cough and transforms phlegm. It is often combined with platycodon root to clear phlegm and relieve sore throat.
Dang Gui (Angelica root) and Bai Shao (Peony root) nourishes the blood to benefit the Yin energy.


This article was published on Thursday May 06, 2010.
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