Bie Jia – Turtle Shell (Salt-water, Soft-shelled, Dorsal Aspect)

Nature: salty, cold

Enters: Liver, Spleen

Actions: Subdues liver Yang; nourishes liver Yin; softens and resolves masses; promotes blood circulation; promotes menstruation.

• Liver Yin deficiency leading to liver wind stirring: trembling, convulsions.
• Yin deficiency: low grade fever or fever in leukemia after chemotherapy, steaming bone disorder, night sweats, consumption.
• Masses or lumps in chronic malaria.
• Chest and flank accumulations causing pain and amenorrhea.
• Heat in the blood: excessive menstruation.
• Cirrhosis: Bie jia softens hardness (of the liver).
• Not as strong a tonic as Gui ban, and unlike Gui ban, Bei jia does not tonify the kidneys. However, Bie jia is more effective at treating palpable abdominal masses, and is less apt (than Gui ban is) to cause stagnation.
• Cook 30 minutes longer than other herbs.
• Liu: stronger than Gui ban at subduing rising liver Yang (but see below)
DY: Clears heat from the Yin division; dispels stasis and scatters nodulation.
• Better than Gui Ban at clearing deficiency heat, but inferior at subduing Yang.
With Gui ban to make Yin and Yang interact, to enrich Yin, clear deficiency heat, subdue Yang, extinguish wind, and stop tremors. For such indications as:
– 1. Tidal fever, steaming bones, and night sweats due to Yin deficiency heat. (Use vinegar dip-calcined Gui ban.)
– 2. Weakness of the limbs, involuntary trembling of the hands and feet, and a red tongue with little or no fur due to a warm disease which has damaged the fluids and which causes internal wind of the deficiency type.
– 3. Headaches, vertigo, head distention and tinnitus due to ascendant hyperactivity of liver Yang.
– 4. Hypertension due to Yin deficiency which causes Yang to rise.
– 5. Abdominal conglomeration, such as hepatomegaly and splenomegaly. (Use vinegar dip-calcined Bie jia.)
Bie jia is incompatible with peach and amaranth.

Dose: 9-30g

Bie Jia Jiao: Bie jia gelatin
• Compared to Bie jia, this is richer, more cloying, a strong Yin and blood tonic.
• Commonly used for consumption from deficiency, or exhausted Yin and blood with tidal fever and internal movement of liver wind.
• Dissolve in hot water or a strained decoction.

Dose: 3-9g

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