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Author Topic: (243) Gou Qi Zi (Lycii Fructus)  (Read 11825 times)


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(243) Gou Qi Zi (Lycii Fructus)
« on: May 02, 2008, 11:04:34 AM »

GOU QI ZI (Chinese Wolfberry)

Imagine some old, unkempt wooden furniture, dry, brittle and lusterless.  Or imagine a car with out oil, hot and shaking from the dry friction within.  Gou Qi Zi is like a shiny coat of wax for the old furniture, or like supreme engine oil for the car.  When a patient comes in with a face that looks lusterless and tired, with red eyes and a somewhat undernourished nourished type of appearance, this patient needs Gou Qi Zi.  For dry skin, Gou Qi Zi is like the best night creamy lotion money can buy.  It enriches the skin and helps it to flourish by nourishing the Liver and Kidney, which in turn generate fluids to feed the membranes.  To nourish the Kidney, use 6-8 grams.  To combat tired, dry, red eyes, use 12 grams of Gou Qi Zi as the king herb.   

Overwork and too much stress lead to yin deficiency and fatigue, particularly for people with a thin body type.  Gou Qi Zi is appropriate because it nourishes yin more than blood.  It is especially useful if fatigue manifests in the face, causing red eyes and a dry deficiency-heat appearance.  Gou Qi Zi (8-12g) + Wu Wei Zi (3-4g) is useful for chronic hepatitis patients who fatigue quickly even on slight exertion.

When you think of a diabetic patient, you probably picture them as obese or at least heavy; but in reality there are also a lot of think diabetes patients.  Gou Qi Zi is useful for thin, Type II diabetes patients that fall into the pattern differentiation of Liver and Kidney yin deficiency or deficiency heat.  This is a simple but effective formula:
Gou Qi Zi 6-8g
Sheng Di Huang 8-12g
Tian Hua Fen 6-8g

Prolonged stress can sometimes lead to neurosis, a mild psychological disorder characterized by anxiety and mental fatigue.  In that condition, Gou Qi Zi can treat the mental fatigue.  Worrying and obsessing can result in Heart and Kidney miscommunication with heat above and cold below.  Acute stress causes qi stagnation, but over time chronic stress will yield yin, blood, and body fluid deficiency.  Symptoms might be dry eyes, dry throat, dry cough, thirst, pain or stifling sensation in the chest, and cold hands and feet.  With these symptoms, qi moving herbs alone are not enough; because a deficient condition has already been established tonics must be given.  If the patient is extremely sensitive emotionally, the treatment principle should be to nourish the Liver and Kidney yin, nourish the Heart blood, and sedate the Heart fire at the same time.
Gou Qi Zi 8-12g
Long Yan Rou 8g
Suan Zao Ren 8g
Huang Lian 3-4g
Zhi Zi 3-4g

Kidney essence deficiency can occur in either men or women.  In men, the essence is most commonly damaged from over indulgence in sexual activities which manifests as low back pain, fatigue, dry eyes and a dry mouth.  For women, essence deficiency occurs naturally during menopause, although they are also subject to the same consequences as men are for over indulging.  Gou Qi Zi is an essential herb for nourishing Kidney yin.  One of the basic combinations is Shu Di Huang (12-20g) + Gou Qi Zi (6-8g).

In American culture, personal strength and courage is so highly valued; productivity and efficiency are always the top priority.  Those are good things, of course, but it's easy to see that this is not an environment in which preventative medicine can flourish without being nurtured.  In many other cultures, however, preventative medicine is both common knowledge and common sense.  For example, in Korea, recognizing early signs of personal deficiency is common knowledge, and adjusting the diet or taking some tonic is common sense.  Also when particular life events occur, such as getting married or giving birth, the stress on the body is acknowledged and eating a special diet or taking an herbal tonic is the normal thing to do.

For example, newlyweds (especially the men) generally take herbal tonics to strengthen their sexual function.  Of course herbs to tonify the Kidney fire come to mind, like Yin Yang Huo.  But we are physical beings, and we cannot escape the laws matter and energy.  A fire with a lot of energy and big flames just burns the wood faster.  If there's no more wood to add, then you will be left with nothing but ashes in no time.  Using Yang tonics alone will damage the Kidney; it's like making a raging hot fire with no wood to keep it going.  Yin tonics must be combined with yang tonics, or the libido will soar and Kidney damage will ensue.  This applies to women as well.  The following formula is an example of the proper ratio of yang tonic and yin tonic.  For more deficiency or for deficiency that affects the hearing, change Shu Di Huang to Sheng Di Huang.     
Shu Di Huang12-20g
Gou Qi Zi 6-8g
Shan Zhu Yu 6-8g
Fu Pen Zi 4-6g
Bu Gu Zhi 3-4g
Yin Yang Huo 3-4g

a. Dry Eyes
Gou Qi Zi is very good for the eyes, especially for people with heat in the constitution, a thin or sensitive body type, or those that use the computer a lot.  It clears the heat which causes dry eyes.  The basic combination to treat dry eyes is:
Gou Qi Zi 8-12g
Qing Shang Zi 4-6g
Ju Hua 3-4g

b. Anti-aging
Gou Qi Zi is an essential herb for spa-type clinics or acupuncture face lift treatments.  It increases elasticity, reduces dryness and dark spots, so it is particularly effective for dry-type wrinkles.  The following formula must be used for a minimum of one to two months in order to see the results, since that's the time it takes for the fresh, healthy cells in the dermal layer to emerge and become the epidermis.
Gou Qi Zi 6-8g
Bai He Shou Wu 6-8g
Shu Di 8-12g
Dang Gui 6-8g
Chan Tui 1-2g
Hong Hua 1-2g

c. Dry Cough
When conventional examinations and lab work can't determine the cause of a persistent dry cough, yin deficiency is usually the culprit.  Yin deficiency often begins in the Liver and Kidney and then leads to Lung dryness and results in cough.  A patient in this condition may also suffer from Plum Pit Syndrome or dry throat.  This simple formula can help:
Gou Qi Zi 6-8g
Mai Men Dong 4g
Tian Men Dong 4g
Wu Wei Zi 3-4g



Case 1:
A 33 year old male has the chief complaint of chronic fatigue.  His commute to work is one hour each way, and this makes the pain and heavy feeling in his low back worse.  He feels overworked, and recently his eyes are always red and he has dry hair and dry skin.  He feels like he is starting to lose his hair, and is concerned because his sexual desire has diminished completely.  This is a good formula for him: 
Shu Di 16g
Bai He Shou Wu 8g
Gou Qi Zi 8g
Shan Zhu Yu 6g
Wu Jia Pi 4g
Wu Wei Zi 3g

Case 2:
A thin 44 year old female diabetic cannot keep her blood sugar under control.  She complains of a dry mouth and feels she is lacking saliva.  Her diabetes set in four years ago after her husband's business went bankrupt.  All of the stress and insomnia caused her blood sugar to sky rocket even though she doesn't eat sweet or fatty foods.  The drugs prescribed by her MD cause epigastric pain, but since her blood sugar continues to rise, her MD continues to increase her dosage.  She wants help to control her blood sugar.  She admits to continued stress and irritability, and says she feels mentally worn out and sensitive.  Give her this:
Sheng Di Huang 12g
Gou Qi Zi 8g
Tian Hua Fen 8g
Sha Shen 6g
Wu Wei Zi 3g

Case 3:
A woman, 51 years of age, complains of low back pain, joint pain, hot flashes, and stiff feelings in her hands and feet.  Upon questioning, it is discovered that she has had irregular menstruation for the last five months, and last month she missed her menstrual cycle completely.  You determine that she is experiencing menopausal symptoms and give her this formula:
Shu Di 12g
Gou Qi Zi 8g
Shan Zhu Yu 6g
Niu Xi 4g
Zhi Mu 2g
Huang Bai 2g

Case 4:
A 27 year old teacher is having problems with her skin itching a lot at night.  She has had dry skin since she was a teenager.  Sometimes she teaches until 11:00 PM, and she sleeps late every day until around noon.  She doesn't sleep well; she wakes up easily in the night, and she notices that she always wakes between 1:00 - 2:00 AM because she feels so dry and itchy.  She always feels tired.  Recently her eyes are red a lot and her skin is so dry that when she applies cosmetic powder it won't even stick to her skin.  Her MD diagnosed her with atopic dermatitis, and she'd like some herbs to help her.
Shu Di 12g
Bai He Shou Wu 8g
Gou Qi Zi 8g
Tian Hua Fen 6g
Dang Gui 6g
Bai Shao 4g
Chan Tui 2g
Hong Hua 2g
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 09:27:12 AM by HB Kim »