Herb Formulas Notebook

Niu Xi Jia Pi Jiu

(Achyranthes and Acanthopanax Wine (or literally "Ox Knee with Bark Wine"))

<< Close Window

Source: Chinese Medicinal Wines and Elixirs (2008)
Author: Various

Category: Formulas that Tonify Yang

Pattern: Kidney Yang vacuity causing Wind-Damp obstruction and wasting of the lower back and knees

Key Symptoms: Low back pain, atony and weakness of the legs, aching and pain of the joints and bones

Wu Jia Pi 30g
Zhi Qiao 30g
Du Huo 30g
Cao Wu 30g (processed)
Pao Jiang 20g
Shi Nan Ye 30g
Dan Shen 50g
Fang Feng 30g
Bai Zhu 50g
Di Gu Pi 50g
Chuan Xiong 30g
Shu Di Huang 40g
Niu Xi 40g
Gou Qi Zi 30g
Qin Jiao 40g
Bai Jiu 2.6L

In the UK Cao Wu must be substituted. The usual substitution is Xian Mao + Yin Yang Huo, however it is surprising that given the indications of atony and wasting that neither Du Zhong or Xu Duan are present. These may may make a better substitute in this instance.
Shi Nan Ye is also not a common herb and may need substitution in this formula. Yin Yang Huo might suffice here.
Bai Jiu (white alcohol) traditionally means distilled rice wine but can be substituted with any clear 40% spirit.

Preparation: Grind the ingredients into a fine powder (Shu Di Huang may require drying first) and place in a large jar with 2.6L of rice wine or other strong alcohol and seal the lid. After 8 days open the lid, remove the dregs and decant.
Take 1-2 small teacups warm before meals three times daily. The simplest way to do this is probably to add an equal amount of boiling water to dilute and evaporate some of the alcohol.

Since a teacup is a vague measurement that can vary greatly it is probably safe to assume that it refers to the small Chinese teacups that are between 25-50ml or about the size of an egg cup. A western teacup would result in the patient getting through half a bottle each day!

Actions: Strengthens the Sinews and bones, supplements the Kidneys, boosts Yang

Contraindications: Damp-Heat conditions. This formula is better for long term use due to the alcohol being mostly boiled off by taking with hot water but can be boiled off completely if desired at the expense of reducing the Blood invigorating pain alleviating properties of alcohol itself.

My own trial with making this found that it yields approximately half the amount of wine that you started with, the rest being absorbed by the herbs which are discarded. Therefore the simplest method is to round the amount up to 2.8L (4x 700ml bottles) to end up with 2 bottles of finished product. I prefer to halve the ingredients and use 2 bottles to end up with one. Since each bottle that you start with requires a 1L storage jar while it is infusing then 2 bottles can infuse in a 2L preserve jar and then be filtered and returned to one of the original bottles.

A more universal calculation would be to approximate that every 1g of herbs will absorb 2ml of water, so my 168g of ground herbs distilled in 700ml of alcohol absorbed around 336ml of the liquid leaving me with a little less than 400ml of finished product.

Research Links:
Science Direct
Google Scholar
Journal of Chinese Medicine

Reference Notes: (click to display)

These pages are intended to assist clinicians and are not intended for self-diagnosis or treatment for which a qualified professional should be consulted.