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Suo Yang

English Name: cynomorium

Literal Translation: “locking the yang”

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Cynomorii

Medica Category: Yang-Tonifying Herbs

Properties: Suo Yang enters the Kidney, Liver, and Large Intestine channels; it is sweet in nature and warm in temperature.

What is Suo Yang?:

The Chinese Herb Suo Yang is the dried roots of an East Asian variety of cynomorium (Cynomorium songaricum Rupr.) that is found at high altitudes in Inner Mongolia, Tibet, and Qinghai and Gansu provinces. As it has no chlorophyll and is parasitic on salt-tolerant plants, it often grows in salt marshes and other saline environments. The fleshy brown roots are used medicinally after they have been dug up and dried.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Suo Yang:

Suo Yang tonifies Kidney yang (and to a milder extent augments jing (essence) and builds blood).  It is most commonly used to address male impotence, amenorrhea, and infertility in women.

Suo Yang lubricates the intestine and promotes bowel movement when used in large quantities over a prolonged period.

–safety/clinical notes:

Contraindicated in persons with diarrhea/loose stools due to Spleen and Stomach deficiencies.

Contraindicated in yin-deficient persons who are easily aroused sexually

Suo Yang and Rou Cong Rong (cistanche) and have similar functions and are often paired together to treat patterns of disharmony rooted in Kidney yang deficiency and jing (essesnce). The difference is that Suo Yang more strongly tonifies yang while Rou Cong Rong more strongly tonifies jing and blood.

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