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Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine - Class 03
Introduction to the fundamental principals of Chinese medicine
By: David Botton

Internal Organs - Zang Fu

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Internal Organs 臟腑 (腑)

heart (xin) 心

Governs Blood

Dominates the blood and vessels

Blood circulation propelled by Heart Qi

Vessels - Physical structure

Controls Sweat

Manifests in the face


Opens to the tongue

Houses the Mind - Shen

Connects with Small Intestines (xiao chang)

Located in abdomen

Reception and Digestion

Seperates the clear from the turbid

including liquid waste

Absorbs essential substance and water

Transmits food residue to Large Intestine

Transmits liquids to bladder

Located in Thorax


pericardium (xin bao) 心包

outside of meridians identical to heart

Connects with Tripple Burner (san jiao)

three parts





i.e. combines with heart and lung

distribute essential food qi to body

to warm, nourish and moisturize

regulate skin and pores

like a "fog"

above diaphragm



digestion of food and water

i.e. combines with stomach and spleen

digest food

absorb essential substance

evaporate body fluids

transforming nutrient substance to blood

like a "froth of bubbles"

between diaphragm and umbilicus



the separation of the clear from the turbid

discharge of fluid and solid waste

ie. combines kidney and urinary bladder for liquid and large intestine for solid

like a "drainage ditch"

below umbilicus

located in the body but separate from the zang fu

govern various forms of qi

passage for flow of Yuan (Source) Qi from kidney

irrigation official - build waterways

passage way of food - part of digestive process

Surrounds heart

Liver (gan) 

Stores Blood

Stores Blood

Regulates volume

Dominates [Governs] the maintenance of free flow of Qi

Ascending/Descending of Spleen and Stomach Qi

Qi circulation to prevent stagnation of blood and Qi

Controls the Tendons/Sinews

Manifests in the nails

strength and thickness of nails

Opens to the eyes

Houses the Ethereal Soul - Hun

Connects with Gall Bladder (dan)

Attached to Liver

Store and Excretes Bile

Only fu to not receive food or water

Located in right hypochondriac region


Spleen (pi)

Governs Food-Qi



Dominates [Governs] transportation and transformation

movement of essential substances


body water metabolsim

transport excess fluids

proper moisture of organs

food and water - nutrients

digestion and absorption of them

Manufacture of blood from nutrients

Ascending Qi = Spleen Qi

Controls blood

maintain blood in vessels

Dominates the Muscles and four limbs

Opens in to mouth

includes taste and apetite

Manifests in lips

Houses Thought - Yi

Connects with stomach (wei)

Located in epigastrium

Receive and decompose food

Transmit decomposed food to small intestines

Located in middle energizer (jiao)

Office of the Granary

Lungs (fei)

Governs Qi


Canopy / Shower head to the Zang Fu for Qi and fluid

Dominates [Governs] Qi and Respiration

Qi of respiration

exchange of Qi with environment

Qi of body

via Zong (Pectoral) Qi = inhaled Qing (Clear) Qi + Food Qi

Dominates [Governs] dispersing and descending

distributes Wei (Defensive) Qi and body fluid to body

Regulate water passages

Opens to the nose

Communicates through throat

Manifests skin and body hair


disperse Qi

regulate respiration

protective screen from exogenous pathogens

Houses the Corporeal Soul - Po

Connects with Large Intestine (da chang)

Located in abdomen

Receive waste from small intestine

absorb fluids

form waste

Located in thorax 

Minister to the Monarch

Kidneys (shen)

Stores Essence




created from essence of food and water by Spleen and Stomach

Dominates [Governs] Development and Reproduction

using Kidney Qi

Dominates [Governs] water metabolism

regulates distribution of body fluids

path of water

1. stomach - received

2. spleen - transmitted

3. lung - (disperses /) descends

4. kidney - divided (using kidney yang)


to lung to disperse to zang fu and tissues


urinary bladder

Dominates Bone

Manufactures Marrow

Bone marrow

Spinal and Brain marrow

Teeth = surplus of bone

Abundant bone marrow

Bone health and hardness

Assists lung in the reception of Qi

Opens to the ears and two yin

Manifests in the hair

hair is surplus of blood

Houses will power - Zhi

Connects with Bladder (pang guang)

located in lower abdomen

temporary storage of urine discharged by Qi activity when full

Located on either side of lumbus

Root of Life (Ming Men)

Kidney Yin foundation of Yin fluids of the body

moisturizes and nourishes zang fu

Kidney Yang foundation of Yang Qi of the body

warms and promotes function of zang fu and tissues

(c) 2005 All Rights Reserved - David Botton