Pharmaceutical Latin: Fructus Aurantii
Common English: Bitter Orange
Herbs that Regulate the Qi
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
Slightly Cold
Large Intestine
Tincture: 1-3ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Promotes the movement of Qi, reduces distention and pressure and resolves hardenings

Qi Stagnation and accumulation (especially in weak or deficient patients)

Removes stagnated food

Food Stagnation

  • Use caution during pregnancy.
  • Use caution for those with a weak Spleen and Stomach.
  • Use with caution for those with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
  • Use with caution for those who are taking anticoagulants such as heparin, warfarin (Coumadin) and enoxaprin (Lovenox) or antiplatelets such as aspirin, dipyridamole (Persantine) and clopidogrel (Plavix), as it may potentiate the effects of these drugs.

Rx. Bupleuri
Chai Hu
Hb. Menthae
Bo He

Ram. Cinnamomi
Gui Zhi

Rx. Platycodi
Jie Geng

Upper Jiao surface Heat problems.

A stabbing pain in the chest and flanks.

Regulates the flow of Qi in the chest and aids in the transformation of Phlegm for, chest congestion.

Rz. Cimicifugae
Sheng Ma

Rx. Curcumae
Yu Jin

Hb. Schizonepetae
Jing Jie
Rx. Saposhnikoviae
Fang Feng
Flos Carthami
Hong Hua
Rx. Paeoniae Rubra
Chi Shao

Relaxes the bowels and encourages the downward flow of turbid Yin.

Liver Qi Stagnation with a stifling sensation in the chest and fullness in the epigastrium and abdomen with Heat signs.

Stabbing pain in the chest, flanks and abdomen due to Blood Stagnation.

Itching of the skin.

  1. This herb is less effective than Fr. Aurantii Immaturus Zhi Shi for constipation.
  2. The effect of this herb is milder than Zhi Shi and is better for removing Food Stagnation and Deficiency of Qi in the Spleen and Stomach.
  3. It is used for indigestion, constipation, abdominal distention, a stuffy chest, thick, yellow sputum, uterine, rectal and gastric prolapse.
  4. Per. Citri Reticulatae Chen Pi and Exocarpium Citri Reticulatae Rubra Ju Hong are used for Spleen and Stomach disturbance and cough, Fr. Aurantii Immaturus Zhi Shi is often used in treating Gallbladder congestion and constipation, Zhi Ke is often used with surface Heat such as sore throat, skin eruptions or hot flashes.
  5. This herb is most effective for Liver Qi Stagnation and especially for flank pain.
  6. It is good for a stifling sensation in the chest and belching.
  7. For postpartum uterine prolapse, soak in a decoction of Zhi Ke, after a long while, it will recede.
  8. Both Zhi Ke and Fr. Aurantii Immaturus Zhi Shi are the same fruit at different stages of development. Zhi Shi is unripe and Zhi Ke is almost ripe. Both break up Qi, disperse clumps and Phlegm and reduce focal distention. Zhi Ke governs the upper trunk, including disorders of the chest, diaphragm, skin and body hair while Zhi Shi governs the lower trunk, including disorders of the Heart, abdomen, Spleen and Stomach. Its nature is violent and excels at thrusting downward, while Zhi Ke is gentler and slower in promoting the movement of Qi through the chest, diaphragm, Lungs, Stomach and Large Intestine.
  9. Dry-fried Bitter Orange Chao Zhi Ke is more moderate than unprepared Bitter Orange Zhi Ke. and is more appropriate for elderly or weak patients or for inclusion in tonifying formulas to aid digestion.
  10. Charred Bitter Orange Zhi Ke Tan is much less cold and enters the Blood level to stop bleeding. It is also used for Qi blockage disorders associated with bleeding such as Intestinal Wind.