Botanical Name: Ginseng Radix

Ren Shen

Ren Shen

Category: Tonify the Qi

Taste: Sweet, Slightly Bitter

Temperature: Slightly Warm

Channels Entered: Lung, Spleen

Dosage: 3-9g Usually cooked separately in a double boiler. Can be taken directly as a powder with a dosage of 0.5-1g. In emergencies up to 30g may be taken, divided into multiple doses.

Key Characteristics: Powerfully tonifies the primal qi of the five organs, nourishes the yin, revives from collapse, and stops heavy bleeding.

Cautions and Contraindications:

  • This herb aids fire and can contribute to retention of a pathogen. Must be used with caution is cases where the presence of an external pathogen is clear.
  • Should not be used in those with steaming bone disorder, bleeding due to heat in the blood, ascendant Liver yang, or in any condition due to fire from constraint.
  • Ren Shen should not be taken with high doses of caffeine or other stimulants.

Actions and Indications:

  • Powerfully tonifies the primal qi: for extreme collapse of the qi or abandoned conditions that manifest in shallow breathing, shortness of breath, cold limbs, profuse sweating, and a pulse so minute or weak that it is almost imperceptible. This condition can occur after loss of blood, overly profuse sweating, or other problems related to severe fluid loss; in such cases, this herb can be used by itself.
  • Strengthens the Spleen and tonifies the Stomach: for lethargy, lack of appetite, chest and abdominal distention, chronic diarrhea, and, in severe cases, prolapse of the stomach, uterus, or rectum.
  • Tonifies the Lungs and augments the qi: for wheezing, shortness of breath, and labored breathing on exertion caused by Lung qi deficiency. There is usually also a concurrent failure of the Kidneys to grasp the qi.
  • Generates fluids and stops thirst: for wasting and thirsting disorder, as well as cases when the qi and fluids have been injured by high fever and profuse sweating.
  • Benefits the Heart qi and calms the spirit: for palpitations with anxiety, insomnia, forgetfulness, and restlessness due to qi and blood deficiency.
  • Miscellaneous adjunctive effect: used in a wide variety of situations where a stronger primal qi will indirectly aid in their resolution.