Treatment of Essential Hypertension
Essential Hypertension (EH) is easy to be controlled by many drugs, but hard to be cured. We
need to treat the disease based on its radical cause, otherwise the evil Qi could not submit itself to
The modern recognition of TCM classify EH into different syndrome types such as Yin
Deficiency of Liver and Kidney, excessive rising of liver-Yang, asthenia of both Yin and Yang
and stagnation of turbid phlegm in middle-JIAO. Big make cannot be divided into many parts, so
this is a bad way letting physicians lose their intelligence. What we need do is to get on the road as
an ancient saying said: “when you get one, you get the whole world”. What’s the “ONE”? It is the
radical points of the disease. If we lost “ONE”, we would lose recognition of the disease.
The pulse of EH are commonly wiry, powerful, or small. Patients usually have red or pale
countenance. Those are the basis of diagnosis. “Wiry” suggests the disease comes from liver;
“powerful” suggests the radical cause of disease is excessive Yang; “small” is a indication of
deficiency of Qi and blood or damp. Damp means stagnation of Qi or blood like the image of
obstacle of hexagram Ken. Red is the color of fire; pale is indication of insufficient blood. So
though EH has many TCM syndromes, they could all be ascribed to a common cause. The
hypothesis is: deficiency of water in kidney induces the excess of damp, forming stagnation; as
well as reduces nutrition of wood, leading the excessive Yang of liver. Thus we could say, the
common and radical cause of EH is deficiency of kidney. The absence of water in kidney leads
flaring of fire and increasing of damp, producing many symptoms of EH. To make more detailed
consideration, EH is a problem in vein, which belonging to heart. The origination of heart energy
comes from meridian of Hand Jue Yin Xin Baoi, the organ like a honest minister helping blood in
and out of heart on the basis of the function hexagram Xun. The activation of heart is based on the
hexagram Chen of assistant fire and hexagram Xun of Xin Bao meridian. The pulse of blood is
like coming from a epicenter. We know pressure could be conducted in a closed system. If the
pulse of epicenter is too big, or it getting the amplification of delitescent fire in blood, it will
induce hypertension. In addition, many spigots of offset could reduce the pressure by regular
opening. If the way is blocked by stagnation of damp, the pressure has to climb peaks greatly.
Thus we can conclude the cause of hypertension is the interaction of Chen and Ken. The
increasing of peripheral arterial resistance, hyperlipemia, siltation and muddy are images of Ken.
The pulse of Chen is blocked by Ken will induce thickening of cardiac muscle, artherosclerosis
and fibrosis of vein. The hypothesis could be completely demonstrated by symptoms and
etiological factors of EH. Patients commonly like to drink wine, the image of Chen. Addition of
Chen induces the disease. Long term noise is also Chen, stirring the pulse of blood. Chen means
irritation, activation and stimulation, so agitation, mental stress can also induce hypertension.
Obesity is the image of Ken with accumulation of fat. Potassium and calcium are all images of
Chen. All knowledge of modern medicine could be analyzed easily by the framework. When Chen
and Ken is excess, the Xun shows its deficiency. Xun means volatilization, out and in; Ken means
stagnation, deficiency of Xun provide the convenience of Ken. The reduction of elasticity of blood
vessel is a sign of deficiency of Xun. Why does EH commonly happen in aged people? It is
because the growth force is exhausted and postnatal damp is increasing. Originally the blood
vessel is dominated by trigram Li, but now it is dominated by Chen. Chen and Li construct
hexagram Feng, the image of magnificent scene while the sun in middle heaven, so the power is
very strong and we can feel excessive Yang. If damp is excess in vessel, we sometimes cannot
find the image of excessive Yang but just gloom and dark scene.
To sum up, we get the changes of essential hypertension is originally coming from kidney.
The deficiency of kidney will induce the fire of Ming Menii floating and scattering. The fire of
Ming Men is the basic origination of Chen, so its deficiency will induce the increasing of Ken.
The wood (Xun) of Jue Yin could hardly grow for deficiency of water, adding the insulting from
damp, it will have to turn to Chen, the activation of later one is so-called liver fire and liver Yang.
The assistant fire of Xin Bao is excess too. Out of control of assistant fire will change into
delitescent fire in blood or roaring fire in Shao Yang in top of the head. When the damp is heavy,
the patient will feel heavy in head; when the fire roars upward, the patient will feel headache.
How to deal with those symptoms? Of course we should treat its radical cause of
hypertension, which is regarded as a disease with asthenia in origin and excess in superficiality.
The basic principle of treatment is lowering as domination and cultivation as assistance.
“Lowering” means breaking Ken and assisting Xun; “cultivation” means clearing and dispersing
fire in Xin Bao and blood.
The basic prescription is Jia Jie Ba Wei (formula 3, listed below). The formula could
invigorate kidney water and lower fire greatly. In the formula Shu Di could help kidney mount its
water as well as disperse the fire of Li. Ze Xie could get rid of muddy of damp. Shan Yu could
help Jue Yin restore its function of fluency and spreading. Dan Pi could disperse the delitescent
fire in blood. Shan Yao could moist spleen and lung, reinforcing Qi and Yin to have
correspondence with physical fire. Fu Ling could permeate damp. Wuwizi could collect floating
Qi of lung and moist water of kidney. Rougui has four effects: first is making Shao Yin kidney
meridian rise; second is cultivating the assistant fire of Ming Men; third is leading other drugs into
kidney; fourth is agitating growth of Qi and blood. It has characteristic of “sustaining but not
running”, being the master of Ming Men. I dreamed an immortal pursuing me when I got the
wonderful function of Rougui. If Fuzi is added, it could agitate kidney Yang by its characteristic
of “running but not sustaining”, being the general of Ming Men. The whole construction of the
formula was very rigorous. When people use it to treat paediatric diseases they often delete
Rougui and Fuzi for infancy originally has sufficient fire of Ming Men. It is regretful that modern
people just use Liu Wei Di Huang for adult. We must be careful when we use Fuzi for patients
commonly have floating fire, an inappropriate use of Fuzi might assist the floating fire. How to
control the floating fire? Xuesheng is the best choice for its cool and moist characteristics.
Huanniuxi also could be used to lead the fire lower to kidney. When the fire returns to its origin,
we should add Huangbai to sustain Yin and control fire, so that it could not rush to bladder.
However, single fire control could not cure hypertension radically. We have to get rid of damp at
the same time. We need provide a road that damp could get out. That’s diuresis. The best choice is
Xiagucao. Xiagucao grew when thunder was under the earth at Winter Solstice and withered at
Summer Solstice for the excessive Yang. It could reinforce the blood of Jue Yin. If there was
problem in heart, we could add Chuangshanjia to the formula. Chuangshanjia has function of
removing blood stasis and breaking through Ken. Cheqianzi could be used in diuresis and
dispersing fire. Shanzhi could reduce liver fire. If the patient is irritable, Zhigancao could be added
to calm his emotion. To treat key symptoms such as dizzy and headache, we can choose Tian Ma
Gou Teng Yin (formula 1) to control Biaoiii. If the patient is old and could not be cured by Tian
Ma Guo Teng Yin, we should give him Da Huang, Huang Qin and Huang Lian to dispersing his
fire and dispelling dampness, and then prescribe Banxia, Xiagucao, Yimucao, Baishao, Danggui,
Shengdi, Zhimu and Gancao (formula 2).
Formula 1: Tian Ma Guo Teng Yin
Formula 2: Banxia 6g, Xiagucao 15g, Yimucao 9g, Baishao 9g, Danggui 6g, Shengdi 9g,
Zhimu 9g, Gancao 3g.
Formula 3: Shudi 24g, Zexie 9g, Shanyao 12g, Fuling 9g, Shanzhuyu 12g, Danpi 9g,
Wuweizi 3g, Rougui 3g, Xuansheng 9g, Huangbai 6g, Huanniuxi 6g, Cheqianzi 6g, Shanzi 6g,
Zhigancao 3g, Xiagucao 12g.
Hand Jue Yin Xin Bao: one meridian of the total 12 meridians in body.
Ming Men: TCM term, the basis of life, it is usually located in the right kidney.
Biao and Ben: TCM terms, Biao has the same meaning as “branches and leaves”, Ben has the
same meaning as “root”.