The Herb Series: Medicated Leaven (Shen Qu) for Digestion

by DAO Labs |

The Herb Series: Medicated Leaven (Shen Qu) for Digestion

Medicated Leaven (or as sometimes translated, “massa fermentata” or in the Chinese translation, Shen Qu) sets itself apart by being a mix of a variety of herbs. It’s actually a simple blend of wheat flour, bran, flowering pants, artemisia, and apricot that is covered in hemp paper or mulberry leaves and left to ferment. The mix is kept under a regulated ambiance of dampness, and once the fermentation is complete (after about a week), it is cut into cubes and dried in the sun.

The story goes that the great physician Liu Yi of the Han dynasty came up with this idea to treat indigestion after observing animals heal their stomach pains naturally. Fortunately, the benefits of medicated leaven are much more than an amusing story.

Soothing to the Stomach

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, Shen Qu is used primarily to treat digestive issues. Its ingredients contain a large amount of yeast and vitamin B, which help alleviate symptoms that stem from bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and chronic gastritis.  

The sweet and pungent tasting herb goes straight to the spleen and stomach meridians, strengthening the organs and improving digestion. Throughout its use, it’s also been proven to help lower cholesterol and improve the appetite. 

Shen Qu Today

Despite being formulated hundreds of years ago, Shen Qu’s use is still relevant and popular today. A variety of studies have been published on the beneficial incorporation of the herb into the treatment of Alzheimer’s diseasebone marrow deficiencies, and the search for an HIV cure

For our purposes, we’ve included it in Digestive Harmony, delivering the herb (along with seven others) in an easy, accessible manner. For those seeking a solution to digestive issues and the regulation of the stomach, this tonic can help set the internal rhythm right.

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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease or symptom.  The above statements are based upon Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, a 2,500 year old practice.  The above commentary is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For more information, visit

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