A Case of Wǔ Líng Sǎn (Five Ingredient Powder with Poria)

– Fire Spirit Currents’ Fàn Zhōng-Lín (范中林)

Translated from ‘Five Steps to Cold Damage Treatment According to Pattern Identification’

A six-month old child of a local Chéng Dū office worker was seen in August of 1960.

Chinese Medical Diagnosis 

On the day that the child had come in, he had been crying endlessly. His appetite had recently decreased; he had a sallow facial complexion, and had lost weight. His parent’s had no clue as to why this was occurring. One day they had suddenly noticed that the child’s scrotum was swollen, to the size of a chicken egg. Water sounds were heard when the lower abdomen was palpated. He was brought in immediately for a diagnosis.

List of Disease Mechanisms 

· Scrotal swelling, and water sounds on palpation of the lower abdomen, signify a water pattern

Comprehensive Analysis 

This is a case of water mounting (水疝), caused mainly by the congealing and stagnation of cold and dampness in the yīn organ (scrotum). The qì transforming function of the bladder is abnormal, causing qì to accumulate, which fails to disperse after a prolonged period. Water and fluids have essentially gathered and amassed causing scrotal swelling. This is congealing and amassment of cold-dampness, obstruction of the channels and vessels, qì stagnation in the lower body, and water-dampness macerating in the scrotum.

Treatment method

Treatment method should be to transform qì, move water, warm the kidneys, and disperse cold. Wǔ Líng Sǎn (Five Ingredient Powder with Poria) masters it.


zhū líng (Polyporus) 6g
fú líng (Poria) 6g
zé xiè (Alismatis Rhizoma) 6g
bái zhú (Atractylodis macrocephalae Rhizoma) 6g
guì zhī (Cinnamomi Ramulus) 6g
shǎng roù guì (Cinnamomi Cortex) 3g

After taking one package, the scrotal swelling had deceased, and the pain stopped.


The term ‘mounting disease’ (疝病) was first introduced in the Nèi Jīng (Inner Classic). Today, this condition is referred to in western medicine as hernia, however the meaning of these two is not identical.

Physicians of later generations have had numerous names for mounting qì, and have always believed it to be a condition that is heavily related to the Jué Yīn liver channel, hence the saying “All mounting homes to the liver channel”. Treatment mainly involves, warming the liver, and coursing wood. However, we must carry out a concrete analysis in relation to this specific case. For example, this particular case of mounting disease belongs to a Tài Yáng water amassment pattern, and therefore wǔ líng sǎn (Five Ingredient Powder with Poria) masters it. This kind of treatment need not only be applied to children or males, but can also be adapted to fit changes in females. For example, with young woman experiencing lower abdominal cold, numbness, and heaviness and prolapse in the genitals, with paroxysmal pain, this may be a suitable treatment option.

In this particular case Dr. Fàn proceeded to treat from the hand-foot Tài Yáng channel by using wǔ líng sǎn with the ‘two guì’s’ (roù guì, guì zhī) in order to disinhibit water from the centre, and diffuse yáng qì. After only two packages, the patient completely recovered.

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