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HSC3521 2: WEEK 2 Lecture

Zang Fu Organs è Zang is Yin and Fu is Yang Zang Fu is another name for the Internal Organs, six Zang or Yin organs, six Fu or Yang organs and the extra Fu organs. Zang or Yin Organs Extra Fu Organs

Fu or Yang Organs


Small Intestine

Lung Vessels

Large Intestine

Liver Bones


Spleen Marrow


Kidney Uterus

Urinary Bladder

Pericardium Gallbladder

Triple Burner/Sanjiao


The Pericardium is considered part of the Heart as it carries out the functions of the heart and acts as the heart’s protector. Therefore, you will find that some texts refer to the Internal Organs as the five Zang and six Fu.

The main functions of the Yin Organs are to manufacture and store essential substances, including vital essence, qi , blood and body fluid. The main functions of the Yang Organs are to receive and digest food, and transmit and excrete impure substances and waste. “The so-called five Zang organs store pure essential qi without draining it off, and for this reason they can be filled up but cannot be overfilled. The six fu organs transmit water and food without storing them, and for this reason they may be over supplied but cannot be filled up.” -Plain Questions, or Huang di Neijing Su Wen

“All organs can be characterized as wither Yin or Yang. But within each Organ there is both a supportive, nourishing Yin aspect and a dynamic active Yang aspect.” ---Page 84 Heart, “Emperor”

The Heart is said to be the most important of all the Internal Organs, hence it is referred to as the “Emperor”. It is essential for the healthy blood supply to all organs as it controls the circulation of blood and governs both the blood and blood vessels. The Heart is responsible for Housing the Mind, which is also referred to as “Shen”. “When the Heart Spirit is disturbed, one has symptoms such as

insomnia, situational anxiety, and inappropriate or even bizarre behavior….When the Heart Spirit is intact, one connects with propriety and tact.” ---page 89 If the Heart is supple è a person has vitality and a strong constitution If the Heart is weak è a person will have little strength, endurance and a weak constitution

Transformation of Food Qi into blood takes place in the Heart – The spleen transforms the food we eat and separates Gu Qi (this term is not mentioned in this text, Gu qi is the purest essence of food) from turbid substances that are sent down to the small intestines. Gu Qi is then transported up to the lungs. On the way to the lungs Nutritive qi begins to turn Gu Qi into blood. In the lungs the transformation is complete once Gu Qi is combined with “clear” qi of air, which is the purest form. Blood is then circulated throughout the body via various blood vessels by both Heart qi and Zong qi, qi of the chest. page 53

The Heart manifests in the complexion – The hearts control of the blood supply in circulation is revealed in the complexion. For example, if the heart is strong and the blood is supple the skin will have healthy appearance, almost glowing. If the blood is deficient and the heart qi is weak, the complexion will be pale or bright white. Blood stasis leads to a bluish-purple complexion and heat in the heart manifests as a very red complexion.

The Heart opens into the tongue – “The ability to choose words wisely, to convey meaning weak, and to connect in dialogue belongs to the Heart Spirit’s relation with the tongue.” ---page 89

Related to the emotion - JOY

Liver, “Army General”

Houses the Ethereal, also know as Non-Corporeal Soul ****responsible for Human Kindness

Stores bloodè “The Liver’s blood is responsible for softening the qi and ensuring that the qi’s dynamic strength is not too tense, restless, and awkward.” ---page 81

Regulates blood volume - during activity blood rushes to contracting muscles and joints, at rest the blood is stored in the liver

Regulates Menstruation – dysfunction to Liver Blood or Liver QI will lead to irregular menstruation

Ensures the smooth flow of qi èEssential to all physiological processes “The liver’s blood, by first tempering the Liver’s qi and then the entire body’s qi, ensures the smooth movement of qi. ---page 81Controls tendons, which include sinews ligaments and indirectly the muscles and Manifests in the nails – “When the Liver’s blood is plentiful….the tendons are supple and the nails appear pink and moist.” ---page 83

The Liver Opens into the eyes - It is a healthy treat for your mind, body, and liver specifically, to designate some time during a busy day to close your eyes and allow the blood to return the liver. The eyes have time to rest and the liver is given an opportunity to regain a smooth flow of qi throughout the body. Many people in our society suffer from the repercussions of stagnant liver qi. Frustration, irritability, impatience, headache, tired and red eyes….these are some conditions created with liver qi stagnation.

They only get worse and more chronic if the body is not allowed a balanced routine of work, sleep, relaxation and play. “When the liver receives blood, the eyes can see.” ---page 83

Associated with the emotion and actions of ANGER –Liver qi rises. When this rising is obstructed by imbalances and organ dysfunction liver qi will stagnate and ultimately become pent up and cause erratic and abrupt upheaval. Symptoms of Liver Yang rising and Liver Fire can be avoided through stress management and a balanced lifestyle.

Lung, "Prime MinisterLung, “Prime Minister” Houses Corporeal. Also known as Animal Soul - “….lacks deliberation of reason.” Page 91

The Lung Governs qi and respirationè extracts pure and clear qi from the air we breathe. “The lungs take in Natural Air Qi, propelling it downward. This is inhalation.” Page 91

The Lungs spread QI throughout tissues and organs – “Because the qi of the chest is involved with the movement of all qi and blood of the body, a disharmony of the lungs can produce Deficient Qi anywhere in the body.” Page 91

Descending of QI and fluids – The lungs move water in two different ways. “…descending and liquefying, the lungs move water (down) to the kidneys. By ‘disseminating’, the lungs circulate and scatter water vapor throughout the body, particularly through the skin and pores.” Page 92

Controls channels and blood vesselsè assist the Heart in controlling circulation

Regulates water passagesà assist in the movement and processing of Body Fluids

Controls skin and hair condition – “…the lungs regulate the secretion of sweat, the moistening of the skin and resistance to External Pernicious Influences. These functions also depend on the Protective (Wei) Qi, which in turn depends on the lungs disseminating ability.” Page 92-93

Opens into the nose – throat and nose disorders are treated through the lungs

Affected by worry, grief and sadness Spleen Governs transformation and transportationè the spleen is the central organ in the production of Qi and Blood, also referred to as the root of Post Heaven or Post Natal Qi “If the Spleen is in disharmony, then the whole body, or some part of it, may develop Deficient Qi or Deficient Blood.” Page 79

Houses thought – A Strong Spleen is imperative in maintaining energy, strength and concentration. “If the Spleen is healthy, a person has clear thoughts, can make decisions, and thus has the insight to faithfully support the needs of other people and situations….If the Spleen is unbalanced, a person can worry easily, have difficulty making decisions, be mentally unclear and confused, be excessively helpful, or just bored and uninterested.” Page 79-80

Controls the "rising qi“è a weak Spleen affects the ascending

of qi and effects the Spleen’s function of holding blood in vessels – this results in bleeding from the uterus, Bladder or intestines.

Controls the Bloodè the Spleen Qi holds blood in vessels and ensures that blood is in its proper path. Qi moves blood and blood withholds qi. “…the Qi commands the blood, and the particular aspect of Qi that holds Blood in place is the Spleen Qi.” Page 80

Controls the muscles and the 4 limbs - Provides the muscles, especially the four limbs, with refined QI and blood “Muscle tone or appearance of the limbs often indicates relative strength or weakness of the Spleen.” Page 80

Pensiveness affects the Spleen - Excessive thinking, overanalyzing and overwork injures the Spleen

Kidney, “Root of Life” Stores essence and governs birth, growth, reproduction and development – “Essence, in one form or another, is the primordial seed of the life process, the life process itself, and life’s final fruit.” Page 84

The Kidneys Govern water Kidney Yin è substance for birth, growth and reproduction, referred to as Jing or Water, the material foundation for Kidney Yang Kidney Yang è physiological processes, referred to as Ming Men, or Life Gate Fire - activity necessary to transform Kidney Yin.

“The Kidneys Rule Water through their Yang aspect, the Life Gate Fire.” Page 85

Produces marrow, fills up brain and controls bones – Kidneys store essence, essence produces marrow and marrow is responsible for creating and supporting the bones. The teeth are also rules by the Kidneys because they are an extension of bone. “The Kidneys rule the grasping of Qi, ….The kidneys enable the Natural Air Qi to penetrate deeply, completing the inhalation process by what is called “grasping the qi.” Page 88

Opens into the ears and manifest in the head hair – Weak Kidney Qi will result in hearing loss or difficulty and loss or early graying of head hair

Houses will power – “Will” is unique per person “The Oriental Physician can….strengthen the Kidney’s Will. When the will is not intact, a person can have uncontrollable fear or a dread of death, existential anxiety, or inability to feel the gracefulness of becoming older. “

Pericardium, “Master of the Heart” Heart Protector – related to the organ Connected to the Triple Burner via channel Carries out same functions as the Heart Helps the Heart House the Mind by calming and balancing Aids the Heart and Lungs with the distribution of Zong Qi and Blood

Yang Organs Large Intestine Receives waste material from Small Intestine Absorbs fluids and excretes feces

Stomach Receives and decomposes food Movement of QI is downward

Small Intestine Receives and temporarily stores partially digested food Separates clear from turbid Movement of Qi is downward

Urinary Bladder Temporarily stores the urine and controls discharge Movement of qi is downward

San Jiao Water metabolism Upper Jiao Middle Jiao Lower Jiao

Gallbladder Stores bile and excretes it to aid in digestion

Zang is Yin and Fu is Yang  

Zang Fu is another name for the Internal Organs, six Zang or Yin organs, six Fu or Yang organs and the extra Fu organs.