Knowledge base


The organs are more than flesh and blood. They also perform tasks involving the qi.

Since we are, in part, about energy (qi), we obviously must have ways of using or managing it.  In TCM, we attribute the creation, storage and circulation of qi to some of the internal organs.

Chinese medical theory groups the organs into pairs. The Yin organs – (the heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys, and liver) are called the Zang are considered the most important.  They are structurally solid, and responsible for the creation and storage of qi and Blood.

The Yang organs, (large intestine, small intestine, stomach, gall bladder, and urinary bladder) are called the Fu and are considered less important. They are hollow organs, responsible mainly for the transportation of food and for elimination.

There is sixth pair of organs known as the Pericardium and Triple-Heater.  These are conceptual organs. They have protective and energetic attributes, but no actual mass.

Functions of the Organs

Organ Yang functions Yin functions
Small Intestine
Circulates Blood
Transports food and fluids
Home to the Shen (spirit).
Governs the blood, speech and the vessels
Extracts energy from food.
Regulates the muscles.
Governs transportation and transformation.
Root of construction and the blood
Large Intestine
Circulates qi
Regulates the Surface
Regulates transportation
Protects the Interior
Governs and is the root of the qi
Governs skin and hair
Stores the Po (aspect of spirit)
Urinary Bladder
Regulates urination and reproduction. Nourishes the brain and Marrow.
Controls the fire at the Gate of Life.
Stores the original qi (yuan qi)
Stores the essence (jing)
Rules the bones, brain and marrow
Gall Bladder
Smoothes the flow of Qi
Regulates Menstrual Flow
Cleans Toxins
Governs flowing, discharge and movement.
Stores the Blood.
Home to the Hun (aspect of spirit)
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