Rou Gui – Inner bark of Vietnamese Cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureirii)

Nature: acrid, hot

Enters: Kidney, Spleen, Heart, Liver

Actions: Tonifies heart fire and kidney Yang; disperses cold to relieve pain; warms, activates, and unblocks the channels; conducts floating Yang back into kidneys; encourages the generation of Qi and blood.

• Kidney Yang deficiency, waning at the Ming Men: cold extremities, intolerance of cold, weak lumbar region and knees, impotence, frequent urination.
• Spleen and Kidney Yang deficiency: cold and pain in the epigastrium and abdomen, poor appetite, loose stools.
• Cold-dampness: low back pain, Bi syndrome.
• Failure of the kidneys to grasp the Lung Qi: wheezing.
• Yang deficiency: carbuncles.
• Qi and blood deficiency with cold: ulcers resistant to healing
• Floating Yang: flushed face, severe sweats, wheezing, weak and cold lower extremities, a deficient and rootless pulse (i.e. conditions of (false) heat above, cold below). Also used for other conditions where the upper part of the body is hot (e.g. dry mouth, sore throat, or toothache that become worse at night) and the lower part is cold (e.g. lower back pain, cold lower extremities, diarrhea, weakness in the proximal position of the pulse). To conduct floating Yang back to the kidneys, a tiny dose is used – 0.1 to 0.5g.
• Deep cold causing Qi or blood stasis: cold in the blood causing amenorrhea or dysmenorrhea; yin-type boils (concave, usually ooze a clear fluid), abscesses or sores that do not heal.
• With Qi and blood tonics as an auxiliary herb for chronic deficiency of Qi and blood.
• Injected into BL-13 for asthma. Clinical trials showed it to be very effective.
• Antibacterial and antifungal properties.
• Crush into small pieces before using.
• Weaker than Gui zhi at warming, activating, and unblocking the channels.
• Decoction causes loss of the volatile oils which are responsible for much of its effect. Usually taken directly as a powder, pill, or tincture (can also be added to a strained decoction).
• Recently used to treat blood sugar dysregulation and diabetes.
Yoga: Twak: pungent, sweet, astringent/heating/sweet; Sattvic; V, K-, P+
• Stimulant, diaphoretic, carminative, alterative, expectorant, diuretic, analgesic.
• Colds, sinus congestion, bronchitis, dyspepsia.
• Relieves pain of toothache, and muscular pain.
• Strengthens the heart, promotes Agni.
• Is less likely to aggravate Pitta than ginger is.
• Good general drink for Vata.
Hsu: Vasodilator, diaphoretic, alleviates pain due to GI spasms, inhibits abnormal fermentation processes in intestines.
DY: Supplements the source Qi.
• By supplementing source Qi, it assists in the engenderment of Qi, blood, and essence (as in Shi Quan Da Bu Wan [Ba Zhen Tang + Huang qi and Rou gui]).
• Real Rou gui is very expensive. Many importers sell the culinary quality – Gui pi – which has little medicinal value. It focuses on the middle burner. It does not reinforce kidney Yang or Ming Men fire.
• With Huang lian (3-6g each) to harmonize Yin and Yang, drain the south (heart fire) and supplement the north (kidney Yang), and re-establish the interaction between the heart and kidneys. For indications such as:
– 1. Insomnia, vexation, and agitation due to heart and kidneys not communicating. (Such as for kidney Yang deficiency which cannot move and upbear kidney water, which then becomes dead and stagnant, and fails to nourish heart Yin and control heart fire which rises upward. Use Jiao Tai Wan.)
• As a powder (Rou gui mo or Rou gui mian), some expense can be spared, as it needs only be prescribed at a dose of 1-2g daily, taken directly or added to a decoction within the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Dose: 1.5-4.5g (to conduct floating Yang back to the kidneys, use 0.1-0.5g)


Guan Gui: the thinner bark of trees that are 6-7 years old
• This bark has less oil than Rou gui, and is considered to be drier.
• Weaker than Rou gui for supplementing the original Qi, but better for warming the middle and drying dampness. Guan gui is mainly for the middle burner and spleen.
• Less tonifying for Yang Qi than Rou gui.
Dose: 4.5-9g
Rou Gui Xin (Gui Xin): the heart of Rou gui
• This is cinnamon bark which has been cleaned of its fine, superficial layer.
• It is believed to be superior for reinforcing heart Yang and for re-establishing the interaction between the heart and kidneys.


Also consider…
Essential Oil of Cinnamon 
K&R: Key for fatigue, weak digestion, weak libido.
• Sympathomimetic, adrenal cortex stimulant, carminative, astringent, antibacterial, oxytocic, antispasmodic.
Earth: flu, parasitosis, digestive mycosis, fatigue after infection, spastic colitis, obsessions, contracts uterus for labor, stimulates sexual appetite, stimulates CNS.
Metal: flu, hemoptysis, melancholy, stimulates psychic functions.
EODR: Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil: anti-inflammatory (COX2 inhibitor), powerfully antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anticoagulant, circulatory stimulant, stomach protectant (ulcers), antiparasitic (worms).
• Cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, viral infections (herpes, others), digestive complaints, ulcers, warts.
• Dilute 1 part essential oil in 4 parts vegetable/seed (fixed) oil; apply 1-2 drops on location.
• May irritate mucus membranes if inhaled undiluted.

2 comments on “Rou Gui – Inner bark of Vietnamese Cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureirii)

  1. Caryn Tierney says:

    Where can one buy this type of Rou Gui?

  2. jay says:

    Any city that has a China town.

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