Bend Bamboo® Formulae

bend_bambooThis formula subdues Liver-Yang. Liver-Yang flows upwards and changes rapidly: I compare it to bamboo which grows very fast and can be bent without breaking. “Bending bamboo” refers to subduing Liver-Yang.


Dang Gui Radix Angelicae sinensis
Shu Di Huang Radix Rehmanniae preparata
Gou Teng Ramulus Uncariae cum Uncis
Bai Shao Radix Paeoniae albae
Ju Hua Flos Chrysanthemi
Gou Qi Zi Fructus Lycii
Chuan Xiong Rhizoma Ligustici wallichii
Sang Ji Sheng Herba Taxilli
Fu Ling Sclerotium Poriae albae
Man Jing Zi Fructus Viticis
Bai Ji Li Fructus Tribuli
Zhi Gan Cao Radix Glycyrrhizae preparata


Liver-Blood deficiency, causing Liver-Yang rising.


Nourish Liver-Blood, subdue Liver-Yang.

Tongue: Pale and Thin.
Pulse: Choppy.

Acupuncture Points

LIV-8 Ququan, ST-36 Zusanli, SP-6 Sanyinjiao, KI-3 Taixi, Ren-4 Guanyuan with reinforcing method.
G.B.-20 Fengchi, G.B.-9 Tianchong, G.B.-6 Xuanli, Taiyang (extra point), T.B.-5 Waiguan, P-6 Neiguan, G.B.-43 Xiaxi, LIV-3 Taichong, with even method.

Bend Bamboo® is a formula designed to nourish Liver-Blood and subdue Liver- Yang. Existing Chinese patent formulae do not address this clinical situation. The nucleus of the formula is Si Wu Tang (Four Substances Decoction) which nourishes Blood.

Liver-Yang rising may originate from different patterns: Kidney-Yin deficiency, Kidney and Liver-Yin deficiency, Liver-Blood deficiency and simultaneous Kidney-Yin and Kidney-Yang deficiency. Bend Bamboo® is mostly for Liver-Yang rising from Liver-Blood deficiency but it may also be used if there is Liver-Yin deficiency.

Liver-Yang rising is not a “Full” pattern in the same way as, for example, Liver-Fire, Dampness or Phlegm. Liver-Yang rising, rather than being a “pathogenic factor” is an imbalance between Yin and Yang: the Yin is deficient below (i.e. Liver-Blood, Liver-Yin or Kidney-Yin deficiency) and the Yang rises to the head.

Therefore, there are two aetiological factors to this clinical situation. On the one hand, there are factors that cause a deficiency of Liver-Blood, Liver-Yin and Kidney-Yin. Please note that the rising of Liver-Yang is not always due to anger: worry may also make Liver-Yang rise. With regard to worry, chapter 23 of the “Simple Questions” says: “When Qi rushes upwards it affects the Liver causing worry.” Zhang Jie Bin summarizes the effect of each emotion on groups of organs in chapter 216 of his book “The Classic of Categories” (Lei Jing, 1624) in a long statement from which I will quote only the part relevant to worry: “Worry makes Qi rise and can affect the Liver; the Liver becomes overactive.”

Note that Liver-Yang rising is very different from Liver-Fire. Liver-Fire is a “real” pathogenic factor while Liver-Yang is purely an imbalance of Qi with Yang rising and Yin being deficient below.

It follows that the treatment of these two patterns is very different: with Liver-Fire, we need to drain it by using bitter-cold herbs. With Liver-Yang rising we need to “subdue” it with herbs that subdue Qi (often minerals). Also, in headaches from Liver-Yang rising, we also need to use herbs that extinguish Liver-Wind. At the same time, of course, we need to nourish Yin (which may be Liver-Blood, Liver-Yin or Kidney-Yin).

Mental-Emotional Pattern
Liver-Blood is weakened by prolonged sadness. Although we do not associate usually sadness with the Liver, in women, sadness can indeed weaken Liver-Blood. For example, the “Spiritual Axis” in chapter 8 mentions injury of the Liver from sadness rather than anger: “When sadness affects the Liver it injures the Ethereal Soul [Hun]; this causes mental confusion … the Yin is damaged, the tendons contract and there is hypochondrial discomfort”.

This product is a dietary (food) supplement, as prescribed by a qualified practitioner. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any disease. Do not take if nursing or pregnant. Not intended to replace a varied diet. Not to be consumed for longer 3 months on a continued basis.