Ren Shen - Ginseng Root

TCM Materia Medica

Ren Shen TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "ren shen" which in english is "ginseng root", is categorized within the "herbs that tonify qi" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the lung and spleen channels and exhibits bitter (ku), sweet (gan) and warm (wen) taste/temperature properties.

Dosages and preparations will vary according to each individual and the overall approach of a formula, but generally this herb has the following dosage and/or preparation guidelines:

  • Dosage: 1-9g

Of many possible clinical applications, it may be considered to influence the following issues/symptoms:

  • Strongly tonify yuan qi - extreme collapse of qi, shortness of breath, cold limbs, profuse sweating, weak pulse (often used alone for this condition after severe blood loss).
  • Tonify lung qi - wheezing, shortness of breath, w/kidneys failing to grasp the qi.
  • Strengthen the middle warmer - lethargy, no appetite, chronic diarrhea, prolapse of organs, distended chest/abdomen.
  • Generates fluids, stops thirst - xiao ke, damaged fluid due to high dever and profuse sweating.
  • Benefits heart qi, calms the spirit - palpitations, anxiety, insomnia, poor memory, restlessness due to qi and/or blood deficiency.

Ren Shen has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

  • Avoid tea and turnips while taking ginseng.
  • Antagonist with Wu Ling Zhi, Incompatible with Li Lu.
  • Avoid with high blood pressure and/or liver yang rising.

Our clinical staff have made the following notes, regarding ren shen:

  • Hong Shen - steamed, warmer, for qi and yang deficiency.
  • Gao Li Shen - (Korean), stronger than one from China.

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, ren shen is generally included in the following 21 formulas:

ViewBan Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Wan (Pinellia, Atractylodis and Gastrodia Combination)

Nausea with possible vomitting from combination of damp with liver qi stagnation causing rebellious qi. Dizziness, migraines, and vertigo from damp and liver wind rising. Heavy or oppressed sensati…

ViewBa Zhen Wan (Eight Treasure Combination)

For recovery of qi and blood after acute trauma or accident For frequent heavy menstrual cycles Pale complexion, fatigue, dizziness from qi deficiency Vertigo, palpitations, anxiety from blood def…

ViewBu Zhong Yi Qi Wan (Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Formula)

Coldness of the limbs, borborygmus with loose stools or diarrhea due to spleen yang deficiency. Spontaneous or easy sweating, general fatigue, changes in appetite due to spleen qi deficiency. Pale …

ViewChai Hu Gui Zhi Tang Wan (Bupleurum and Cinnamon Twig Decoction)

A combination of gui zhi tang and xiao chai hu tang - together they work with both taiyang and shaoyang syndromes - common colds and flu, fever, chills, joint pain, nausea, abdominal/epigastric diste…

ViewChai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Wan (Bupleurum, Dragon Bone, and Oyster Shell Formula)

Palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, agitation/irritibility, and insomnia from heat due to liver yang or fire. Mental disorders such as including biopolar and schizophrenia resulting from distrubed …

ViewFu Zi Li Zhong Wan (Aconite Regulate Middle Pills)

Spleen yang deficiency resulting in coldness of the limbs and/or interior, borborygmus, and possible loose stools or diarrhea. Feeling full even with small amounts of food, bloating, epigastric/abdo…

ViewGui Pi Wan (Restore the Spleen Formula)

The formula is used to tonify both the spleen and heart which can be damaged from excessive overthinking, compulsions, etc. along with poor dietary habits and stressful lifestyle.   Anxiety, phobias…

ViewJiang Tang Wan (Lower Blood Sugar Pill)

Nourish the yin and tonify qi with particular emphasis on diabetes (primarily type II, but in some cases type I would benefit as well) when the underlying tcm diagnosis fits.  Symptoms may include st…

ViewMai Men Dong Yin Zi Wan (Ophiopogon and Trichosanthes Combination)

Lung and stomach yin deficiency - this is a modified version of Mai Men Dong Tang - fei wei (lung atrophy) syndrome in Chinese Medicine - dry cough from yin fluid damage, generally arises from defici…

ViewRen Shen Bai Du Wan (Ginseng Detoxification Pills)

Coming Soon...

ViewRen Shen Yang Rong Wan (Ginseng Decoction to Nourish the Nutritive Qi)

Tonifies both qi and blood and nourishes the heart and calms the spirit - generally used for weakness from longer term or deep diseases such as cancer and for a host of other conditions affecting a b…

ViewSang Piao Xiao Wan (Mantis Egg Case Powder)

Frequent urination, possibly incontinent from weakness in the heart and kidney systems.  Pang Guang Shi Yue (bladder losing restraint). Other kidney deficiency signs possible such as spermatorrhea, …

ViewSheng Mai Yin Wan (Replenish Pulse Pills)

Dry mouth, dry skin, dark or scanty urine from yin and fluid deficiency. Fatigue, shortness of breath, and spontaneous sweating.

ViewShen Ling Bai Zhu Wan (Ginseng, Poria & Atractylodes Pills)

Diarrhea, loose stools, or mucus/greasy stools from damp accumulation in the spleen/stomach. Borborygmus, low appetite, fatigue, and/or pale complexion resulting from spleen qi deficiency. Colitis,…

ViewSi Jun Zi Tang Wan (Four Gentlemen Teapills)

General qi tonification formula - weak extremities, lassitude, pale face, poor appetite, loose stools. Due to the strenghtening functions can bolster immunity. Spleen qi deficiency is the backdro…

ViewTe Xiao Jing Zhui Tong Wan (Patent Neck Pain Relief Pills)

Stiffness, pain, and/or tightness of the neck.

ViewTian Wang Bu Xin Wan (Emperor of Heavens Special Pill to Tonify the Heart)

Anxiety, insomnia, irritability, night sweats, hot flashes, flushing or sensation of heat in the palms due to deficiency heat. Insomnia, poor memory, poor focus and concentration due to yin deficien…

ViewWu Mei Wan (Mume Fruit Pill)

Generally used with roundworms - abdominal pain, irritability, stifled chest w/heat, vomiting after eating, cold hands and/or feet.   Chronic diarrhea, IBS, or other digestive disorders characterize…

ViewXiang Sha Yang Wei Wan (Aucklandia Amomi Nurture Stomach Pills)

Low appetite, apathy towards eating due to spleen qi deficiency. Acid reflux, indigestion, epigastric pain, tendency to feel full even with small quantities of food. Food stagnation due to overeati…

ViewXiao Chai Hu Tang Wan (Minor Bupleurum Decoction)

Shao Yang Syndrome (or "lesser yang stage") - alternating fever and chills, hypochondriac pain, irritability, bitter taste in mouth, poor appetite, nausea.  Often used for illnesses (chronic or short…

ViewYu Quan Wan (Jade Spring Pills)

Xiao Ke (wasting and thirsting syndrome), qi and yin deficiencies of the kidney and spleen most commonly seen in the advanced forms of diabetes type II - excessive thirst, excessive urination, strong…

As noted above, ren shen is within the herbs that tonify qi functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... herbs in this category are generally sweet and rich. they are most often combined with herbs that move and regulate the qi. )".

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