Zhi Shi - Immature Bitter Orange

TCM Materia Medica

Zhi Shi TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "zhi shi" which in english is "immature bitter orange", is categorized within the "herbs that regulate the qi" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the large intestine, spleen and stomach channels and exhibits acrid, bitter (ku) and cold (han) 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: 3-9g

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

  • Breaks up Qi stagnation, reduces accumulations, transforms phlegm - epigastric or abdominal pain and distention or indigestion w/focal distention or gas.
  • Directs qi downward and unblocks bowels - frequently used for abdominal pain and constipation by accumulation and stagnant Qi.
  • Transforms phlegm and expels focal.
  • Used with Qi tonifying herbs for the prolapse of organs.
  • Raises blood pressure.

Zhi Shi has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

  • Avoid during Pregnancy.

Zhi Shi may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: abdominal pain, constipation and/or epigastric pain

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, zhi shi is generally included in the following 9 formulas:

ViewChu Kou Wei Wan (Chu Kou Wei Wan)

Acid reflux and/or burning sensation in the epigastrium, throat, or mouth from stomach fire. Ulcers, sores, or other types of abcess in the mouth due to persistent stomach heat. Constant sense of h…

ViewHuai Hua Wan (Sophora Flower Formula)

Hemorrhoids and/or anal fissures, bleeding from the anus (fresh blood in most cases). Ulcerative colitis. Rectal polyps. Rectal prolapse.

ViewJian Pi Wan (Strengthen Spleen Pills)

For stomach and spleen qi deficiency with dampness that has potentially generated mild interior-heat - diarrhea, abdominal pain, poor appetite, epigastric pain. May be used in early pregnancy for mo…

ViewJin Gu Die Da Wan (Tendon and Bone Injury Healing)

Bruising, sprains, swelling from soft tissue injuries. Broken or bruised bones. For post surgery recovery. For any other type of acute trauma to the body.

ViewMa Zi Ren Wan (Hemp Seed Formula)

Constipation with dry/difficult to expel stools along with frequent urination. Pulse will be submerged and rapid or floating and choppy and the Tongue will have a dry, yellow coating.

ViewQing Qi Hua Tan Wan (Clear the Qi and Transform Phlegm Pill)

Cough with thick yellow or green phlegm, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and possible fullness of the chest due to damp heat accumulation in the lungs.

ViewSi Ni San Wan (Frigid Extremities Powder Pills)

Important formula for liver qi stagnation - manifesting as moodiness, depression, cold in the extremities (particularly hands and/or feet), possibly along with other stress signs - mild headaches, te…

ViewWen Dan Wan (Warm the Gallbladder Formula)

Anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other shen disturbances caused by phlegm misting the mind. Seizures, convulsions or other types of involuntary muscle contractions that are caused by phlegm and he…

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…

As noted above, zhi shi is within the herbs that regulate the qi functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... used with qi disorders involving deficiency and stagnation. these herbs are primarily used for stagnation involving the spleen and stomach, constrained liver qi, and stagnant lung qi. )".

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