Ministerial Fire And Its Clinical Applications | 59422
Journal of Traditional Medicine & Clinical Naturopathy
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The term “ministerial fire” originates from Neijing Suwan where it was used in the context of climatology. It became widely used
in Zangfu theories in later eras, but with no consensus on its definition. Jing-Yuan master Zhu Danxi was the only one in TCM
history who had presented a complete, systematic, and well-founded theory on ministerial fire. Zhu’s theory, as recorded in his text
Gezhiyulun can be summarized as follows. First, ministerial fire is the “fire of thunder and dragon”. Since “thunder “and “dragon” are
related to two different symbols of the Bagua (eight trigrams) which correspond to wood and water respectively, ministerial fire is
the fire of liver and kidney. Zhu also theorized that there is ministerial fire in the gall bladder, urinary bladder, pericardium, and San
Jiao because of their pairing relationships to the liver and kidney. Second, Zhu described the ministerial fire as the “fire of heaven”, as
compared to sovereign fire being the “fire of human”. It indicates the prenatal nature of the ministerial fire verses the postnatal nature
of the sovereign fire. Third, ministerial fire is both a physiological and pathological fire; it turns from normal to pathological after
being stirred up by Jue Yang Fire and as a result, depletes yin. Forth, the aberrant movement of the ministerial fire is mainly caused
by overindulgences in sexual activities and eating which lead to yin depletion and therefore, self-restraint is recommended. In terms
of clinical applications, Zhu Danxi’s most significant treatment principle “nourish yin to sedate fire” led to the development of Da Bu
Yin Wan, which is regarded by many as a stronger formula than Lui Wei Di Huang Wan in treating yin deficiency with deficiency
heat. Today, according to many clinical studies in China, Da Bu Yin Wan is proven to be effective in treating conditions such as
hyperthyroidism, diabetes, tuberculosis, urinary tract infection, nephritis, impotence, and menopause symptoms.
Rebecca Fung is a licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist in California and a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at the University of East-West Medicine. She holds a Master of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine), a Master of Business Administration degree (California State University), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography (University of London). Her primary interests are in the fields of anti-aging and allergies.