DONGUIBOGAM; Internal Bodily Elements-18. Heart 心臟 심장(2)-Treatment Methods for Heart Disease

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△ Donguibogam(東醫寶鑑)

Written By Jun Heo(許浚, 1539~1615), Translated by Namil Kim, Wung Seok Cha et al., Published by Ministry of Health & Welfare (Korea)


08 Deficiency and Excess of Heart Disease 心病虛實심병의 허실

① The heart stores vessels and the spirit dwells in vessels. When heart qi is deficient, the person will feel sad, and when heart qi is excessive, the person will continuously laugh.

② When the heart is excessive, the person may experience pain in the chest, under the ribcage, between the chest and scapula, and on the medial parts of both arms. When the heart is deficient, the person’s chest and stomach become full with pain under the rib-sides and back.

③ The heart stores the spirit. When the spirit is excessive, the person will not be able to stop laughing, and when the spirit is deficient, the person will feel sad.

09 Day and Time When Heart Disease Is Relieved or Aggravated 心病間甚 심병이 낫거나 심해지는 때

① When a disease is in the heart, it is relieved in the long summer. If it is not relieved in the long summer, it is aggravated in winter. If the person does not die in winter, it is maintained in spring and is relieved in summer.

② The heart disease is relieved on the days of Mu and Gi (戊己日). If it is not relieved on the days of Mu and Gi (戊己日), it is aggravated on the days of Yim and Gye (壬癸日). If the person does not die on the days of Yim and Gye (壬癸日), it is maintained on the days of Gab and Eul (甲乙日) and is relieved on the days of Byeong and Jeong (丙丁日).

③ heart disease is relieved during the day and aggravated at night. It becomes stable at dusk.

10 There Is No Transport Point in the Hand Lesser Yin Meridian 手少陰無輸 수소음경에는 수혈이 없다

Huangdi (黃帝) asks, “Why is it that the hand lesser yin meridian does not have a transport point?” Qibo (岐伯) answers, “Lesser yin is the heart meridian. The heart is the owner and king of the five viscera and six bowels where the essence-spirit stays. The organ is stable so the pathogen cannot enter. If the pathogen invades, then the heart is damaged, and if the heart is damaged, the spirit leaves. If the spirit leaves, the person dies.

Therefore, the pathogen in the heart refers to the pathogen in the heart’s pericardium collateral. Because the heart controls the pericardium collateral, there is no transport point for the hand lesser yin meridian.” Huangdi (黃帝) asks, “Is the reason the heart does not get diseased because there is no transport point in the hand lesser yin meridian?” Qibo (岐伯) answers, “The meridian or collateral outside the heart can get diseased, but the heart itself does not get diseased. Thus, we find the meridian from HT7 on the palm-side wrist.

11 Treatment Methods for Heart Disease 心病治法 심병 치료법

① Since the heart dislikes stretching, sour taste should be used to contract it. Annotation says, “The reason why the heart suffers from stretching is because heart qi is deficient.” The heart likes to become soft. Therefore, it should be softened by a salty taste. Tonify with a salty taste and purgate with a sweet taste.

② When the heart suffers from stretching, use Schisandrae Fructus (五味子). Also, use stir-fried salt for a heart deficiency.
When the heart becomes soft, tonify with Natrii Sulfas (芒硝) and purgate with Glycyrrhizae Radix (甘草). This is for excessive heart qi.

③ For heart disease, a sour taste should be taken. Eat red beans, dog meat, plums, and chives which all have a contracting effect. ④ Eat barley, lamb meat, plum, and rakkyo. This is taking the original tastes.

⑤ Use Qian’s Calm Spirit Pill, Calm Spirit Cinnabar Pill (朱砂安神丸) (formulas are given in the chapter on Spirit), and Revive Heart Powder for the Heart deficiency. Use Drain Heart Decoction (瀉心湯), Guide Out Red Powder, and Ten Ingredients Guide Out Red Powder for the heart excess.

⑥ Do not eat warm food or wear warm clothes when the heart is diseased.

  • Qian’s Calm Spirit Pill 錢氏安神丸 전씨안신환: It tonifies heart deficiency. 1 nyang of Cinnabaris (朱砂) (levigated), 5 don of Liriopis Tuber (麥門冬), Mirabilitum (馬牙硝), Poria Sclerotium (白茯苓), Dioscoreae Rhizoma (山藥), Glauberite (寒水石), and Glycyrrhizae Radix (甘草), 2.5 pun of Borneolum (龍腦). Grind these and knead with honey. Make 30 pills per 1 nyang. Melt 1 pill at a time into sugar water and drink.
    Revive Heart Powder 醒心散 성심산: It treats deficient heat of the heart. The same amounts of Ginseng Radix (人蔘), Liriopis Tuber (麥門冬), Schisandrae Fructus (五味子), Polygalae Radix (遠志), Poria Sclerotium (茯神), Rehmanniae Radix Crudus (生地黃), and Acori Gramineri Rhizoma (石菖蒲). Cut these and decoct in water before taking.
    Drain Heart Decoction 瀉心湯 사심탕: ① It treats heart heat. Put 5 pun, 2.5 pun, or 1 don of ground Coptidis
    Rhizoma (黃連) in warm water. ② This is also called a Coptidis Rhizoma Purge Heart Decoction.
    Guide Out Red Powder 導赤散 도적산: Although it treats heart heat, it is actually a prescription for the small
    intestine. The composition is described later. 
    Ten Ingredients Guide Out Red Powder 十味導赤散 십미도적산: It treats sores in the mouth and tongue due to excessive heart heat and palpitations due to surprise. 5 pun of Coptidis Rhizoma (黃連), Scutellariae Radix (黃芩), Liriopis Tuber (麥門冬), Pinelliae Tuber (半夏), Lycii Radicis Cortex (地骨皮), Poria Sclerotium (茯神), Paeoniae Radix (赤芍藥), Akebiae Caulis (木通), Rehmanniae Radix Crudus (生地黃), and Glycyrrhizae Radix (甘草). Cut these to make 1 package. Boil 1 package with 5 pieces of ginger and drink.
    Another Prescription: Use raw Coptidis Rhizoma (黃連) as the sovereign herb and a small amount of Cinnamomi Cortex Spissus (肉桂) (rich in flavor and rolled) as the assistant herb. Boil these herbs in water and mix with honey. Take on an empty stomach. It will connect the heart and kidneys.

12 Signs of Exhaustion of Heart Qi 心絶候심기가 끊어지려는 징후

① When qi of the hand lesser yin is exhausted, vessels get disconnected from one another. This means the blood cannot flow. If so, the facial complexion loses vitality, becoming dark as if varnished with lacquer, meaning the death of blood. It is aggravated on Yim day and the person dies on Gye day (癸日).

② The looks of the patient blackens as if by smoke, and the eyes will be widely opened with a shaking of the head. This
means the exhaustion of heart qi.

③ When heart qi is exhausted, the person will die within a day. How do we know? If the patient’s shoulders heave while breathing and one’s eyes spin around, the patient will die soon. Sometimes the patient will die within two days.

13 Cultivation and Nurturing of the Heart 心臟修養法 심장의 수양법

Sit up straight facing south and click the upper and lower teeth nine times and brush the teeth with saliva three times in the early clear mornings of the first days and the full moon days of April, May and June. Concentrate the thoughts calmly. Inhale red qi of the south three times and hold the breath for the time of 30 breaths.

14 Guiding-pulling Exercises for the Heart 心臟導引法 심장의 도인법

Sit up straight and tighten both fists tightly and bump the two together 6 times. Sit up straight and position your hands as such so that one hand has its palm facing downward while the other hand presses its wrist. Press the air as if there is a heavy rock. Also, fold the hands and press the hands with the feet for 5~6 times. It will remove a wind pathogen and various diseases in the chest. Hold the breath for a long time and with the eyes closed, swallow saliva for three times, and swallow again after clicking the upper and lower teeth three times.

15 Simple Prescriptions 單方 단방

There are 22 kinds in total.

  • Cinnabaris 朱砂: Since it emulates Fire, its color is red, and it enters the heart. It calms the heart spirit and nurtures it. The heart heat cannot be removed without this. Levigate before adding to prescriptions.
  • Halloysitum Rubrum 赤石脂: It nurtures heart qi. Heat with fire and levigate before use. Add to prescriptions or use in ground form.
  • Aurum Foil, Argentum Foil 金箔銀箔: Both calm the heart. Add to presciptions to take.
  • Minium 黃丹: It tranquilizes the heart and comforts the spirit. Levigate before adding to other prescriptions.
  • Acori Gramineri Rhizoma 石菖蒲: It opens the heart orifice, adds wisdom, and makes the person smart. Ground or decocted forms are both effective.
  • Liriopis Tuber 麥門冬: It brings heart heat down and tonifies deficiencies of heart qi. It is best to remove the core before decocting.
  • Polygalae Radix 遠志: It comforts heart qi. Remove the core before use. Ground or decocted forms are both effective.
  • Rehmanniae Radix Crudus 生地黃: It tonifies heart blood and treats heart heat. Use in juiced or decocted forms.
  • Coptidis Rhizoma 黃連: It purges heart heat and removes bad blood in the chest. Use in decoted form. It can be put into the eyes in a ground form.
  • Poria Sclerotium 茯神: It clears the heart. Ground or decocted forms are both beneficial.
  • Testudinis Carapax 龜甲: It tonifies the heart. Since the turtle is a sacred animal, it has the ability to tonify the heart. Take a small amount in ground form.
  • Nelumbinis Semen 蓮子: It helps heart qi to comfort the mind and connects heart qi. Ground or decocted forms are both effective. Mix 1 geun of Nelumbinis Semen (completely stir-fried with the black cover and ground and removed of unground wastes) and 1 nyang of Glycyrrhizae Radix (甘草) (slightly stir-fried and ground). Take 2 don of this with salt water. It will greatly tonify a heart deficiency and enhance qi.
  • Armeniacae Semen 杏: Take whenever the heart is diseased.
  • Tritici Semen 小麥: It nurtures heart qi. Take this when the heart is diseased.
  • Rhinocertis Cornu 犀角: It tranquilizes heart spirit. Add to prescriptions in ground form or grind in water to make into a juice form.
  • Galli Ovum 雞子:  It tranquilizes the heart. The white yolk of egg removes hidden heat in the pit of the stomach. Swallow one raw egg.
  • Ixeris dentata (Thumb.) Nakai 苦菜: It comforts heart spirit. It is good to take this all the time.
  • Phaseoli Semen 赤小豆: It opens the heart orifice. Gruel or decocted forms are all good.
  • Phyllostachys Folium 竹葉: It cools the heart to remove heart vexation. Boil this with water and drink.
  • Juice of Menthae Herba 薄荷汁: It removes heart heat. Drink this as it is.
  • Forsythiae Fructus 連翹: It removes invaded heat in the person with a heart disease. Boil this with water and drink.
  • Gardeniae Fructus 梔子: It removes heat in the chest. It also removes heat vexation and chest discomfort. Boil this with water and drink.