Nourish the Heart with Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan

by Jen Ward |

Nourish the Heart with Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan

The need for rest and a good night’s sleep is almost as important as a healthful diet and proper exercise. Lack of adequate rest sets up the body for imbalance, fatigue and irritability.

The formula Physical Tranquility, inspired by the classic Traditional Chinese Medicine formula Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, is a famous herbal combination for "nourishing the heart," with a name that translates to "Emperor of Heaven’s Special Pill to Tonify the Heart". This formula has been used for thousands of years in China for treating poor sleep, particularly for those who sleep hot and agitated under the covers.

We did deeper into this incredible formula below.  

Restore Heart and Kidney Balance: What Color is Your Tongue?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, "Bu Xin", the formula name, "enriches Yin, nourishes blood, tonifies the heart and kidneys, calms Shen (heart spirit) and clears heart heat".  As an acupuncturist, I may recommend this formula to "clear heat and correct an imbalance or nourish a deficiency."  Specifically, "a deficiency of Yin" in the kidneys and undernourished blood.

What differentiates this formula from a formula like Gui Pi Tang is that the underlying deficiency of the kidney is the root cause, and in Gu Pi Tang, it is the spleen. 

A pale tongue and a weak pulse lean towards Gui Pi Tang, while a red tongue with little to no coat and a thin/rapid pulse we would lean towards Tian Wan Bu Xing Dan.  These are some of the cues we are looking for in our Show Us Your Tongue campaign as seeing the tongue can help a practitioner correctly diagnose the underlying imbalance that is causing your sleep issues.

A Wet Pillow at 2 AM?  

If you suffer from poor sleep, a hot pillow and frequent tossing and turning, a trip to your acupuncturist may reveal that the kidney and heart are not communicating, which can cause a Yin deficiency in the kidneys.

Kidney Yin deficiency symptoms may include night sweats, dryness that includes thirst, dry mouth and dry stools, irritability, poor quality sleep that has you up in the night and forgetfulness. Yin deficiency in the kidney can also set off heart heat symptoms that may include palpitations, insomnia, irritability, poor focus and disturbed sleep.

chinese herbs insomnia

An Herbal Formula for Tranquility

Traditional Chinese Medicine, a system of nature, understands that every organ in the body works to support the heart. In this system, the kidney relates to water and the heart to fire. So if the body is in balance, the water of the kidneys keeps the fire of the heart in check. We may say water rises up to meet fire. If the kidneys are weak, the water can’t control the fire and heat flares.

In this instance, there is heart disturbance or harassment. We often will see an emotional double whammy, because the heart does not receive sufficient nutrition, which can add an emotional reaction to the physical issues. So in this formula, we are going to see more irritability. 

The herbs in this formula will clear heart heat and nourish the heart, by moistening the Yin, replenishing the blood and calming the spirit. Once the blood has been replenished, the heart spirit, once again, becomes calm.

Although the formula was developed to treat a heat syndrome with Yin deficiency, it has been applied in other areas. Dryness syndromes associated with Yin and blood deficiencies can lead to emotional distress and poor quality, inconsistent sleep, which are common during menopause. Therefore, this formula is, also, frequently recommended as therapy for menopausal women.

An Approach to Traditional Herbal Medicine with Convenience, One Scoop at a Time

Chinese herbal medicine is incredibly powerful, but for many lay people, it can be difficult to understand or embrace.  Herbs that you drink are more bio-available and tend to "work" faster, but traditionally might not land well on a western, unfamiliar taste palette. 

That's where DAO Labs is offering a new twist on this formula: we've added blackberry and clove flavors as well as a tiny bit of honey to the our proprietary Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan offering.  Protecting the effectiveness of the formula but making it much easier to consume (herbs only work if you take them!), this formula is changing lives - just take a peek at the reviews.


Receive 10% Off Your Order with Promo Code "DAO10"

Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations  from a healthcare provider.  This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease.  That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options.  If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on


Jen Ward, LAc combines Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Functional Medicine and Integrative Health Coaching and Pilates to help you achieve optimal health. By applying ancient wisdom to a modern lifestyle, Jen helps you balance your body by uncovering the root of your imbalance and explore your constitutional health, your nature within. Jen offers individualized support and incorporates the appropriate health tools to help you achieve your health goals. She is also the Business Development Director at DAO Labs. Reach out to her at to learn more.

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