E Jiao and Egg Yolk
Written by:Eric Brand
The rich, supplementing effects of E Jiao and egg yolk were first described in combination in the ancient formula E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang (ass-hide gelatin and egg yolk decoction). This formula was first recorded in a text on the Shang Han Lun, and is often considered in the context of Shang Han Lun formulas.
In ancient times, E Jiao was a precious medicinal that was only typically available to the elite, whereas egg yolk is a common item with broad availability. In E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang, these two are combined with Bai Shao (Paeoniae Radix Alba), Shi Jue Ming (Haliotidis Concha), Gou Teng (Uncariae Ramulus cum Uncis), Sheng Di Huang (Rehmanniae Radix), Gan Cao (Glycyrrhizae Radix),Mu Li (Ostreae Concha), Luo Shi Teng (Trachelospermi Caulis), and Fu Shen Mu (Poriae Pini Radix). The formula enriches yin and nourishes blood, emolliates the liver and extinguishes wind. It is used for enduring lodged heat evil from warm disease that scorches yin-blood, manifesting in hypertonicity of the sinews, tugging and slackening of the extremities resembling the stirring of wind. It may also manifest in dizziness, a crimson tongue with scant fur, and a thin, rapid pulse.
This formula is used when heat damages the yin-blood and causes internal stirring of vacuity wind. The heat comes from enduring lodged evil heat, and is generally seen in the advanced stages of warm disease. When heat damages yin-blood, yin and blood are not sufficient to moisten wood (the liver is the viscus of wind and wood), and vacuity wind arises. Treatment here primarily enriches yin, nourishes blood, and extinguishes wind, supported by freeing yang and freeing the network vessels.
E Jiao (Asini Corii Colla) and egg yolk are the sovereign medicinals, they nourish yin-blood to extinguish wind.
Sheng Di Huang (Rehmanniae Radix Exsiccata seu Recens), Bai Shao(Paeoniae Radix Alba), and Gan Cao (Glycyrrhizae Radix) use sourness and sweetness to form yin, emolliate the liver, and extinguish wind.
In yin-blood depletion, liver yang is hyperactive, so Gou Teng (Uncariae Ramulus cum Uncis), Shi Jue Ming(Haliotidis Concha), and Mu Li (Ostreae Concha) are used as assistants to subdue yang. Adding Fu Shen Mu(Poriae Pini Radix) to quiet the spirit increases this effect. When there is hypertonicity of the sinews, the network vessels are not smooth, so Luo Shi Teng (Trachelospermi Caulis) is combined with Bai Shao and Gan Caoto soothe the sinews and free the network vessels.