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Cynomorium, also known as Suo Yang (鎖陽) in Chinese, is a highly sought-after herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for its ability to tonify Yang and support overall vitality. This powerful herb is derived from the Cynomorii Herba plant and has been used for centuries to address various health concerns. In this article, we will explore the remarkable qualities of Cynomorium and its many applications in TCM. 

Materia Medica: Tonifying Herbs

Cynomorium is classified under the Tonifying Herbs chapter in the Materia Medica, specifically as a Yang tonic. It is known for its warming properties, sweet taste, and affinity for the Large Intestine, Kidney, and Liver channels.

Treatment Principles

The main treatment principles associated with Cynomorium include:

  1. Warming Kidney Yang
  2. Nourishing Liver Yin
  3. Nourishing Kidney Yin
  4. Strengthening the Sinews
  5. Moistening the Intestines
  6. Tonifying the Kidneys
  7. Assisting the Yang
  8. Augmenting Lung Yin
  9. Augmenting Blood
  10. Unblocking Bowels
  11. Augmenting the Essence
  12. Nourishing Blood

Symptoms and TCM Patterns

Cynomorium is often used in cases where Kidney Yang is deficient, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, cold extremities, and lower back pain. Additionally, it can address Blood, Liver, and Kidney deficiencies, as well as conditions related to Intestines-Dry, Qi-Deficient, and more.


While Cynomorium offers numerous benefits, it is essential to exercise caution in certain situations. It should not be used in cases of Kidney deficiency with heat signs, diarrhea, Spleen deficiency, constipation, or heat excess.

The Power of Cynomorium

Cynomorium's ability to warm and tonify Kidney Yang, nourish Liver and Kidney Yin, and support various other bodily functions makes it an invaluable herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its wide-ranging benefits, combined with its warming properties and sweet taste, make it a popular choice among TCM practitioners and patients alike. As with any herbal remedy, it is crucial to consult a qualified TCM practitioner to ensure its appropriate and safe use.

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