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Zang-Fu Organs

The zang-fu organs mainly contain the five zang organs, six fu organs and some extraordinary fu organs.  The heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney are called the five zang organs;the gallbladder, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, urinary bladder and triple energizer are named the six fu organs; the brain, marrow, bones, vessels, gallbladder, uterus are considered as the extraordinary fu organs.   Heart 
The relationship between the zang and fu organs is actually regarded as the yin-yang and exterior-interior relationship, as the zang organs are of yin nature, while the fu organs are of yang nature; the zang organs are located at the interior part, while the fu organs at the exterior part; the zang and fu organs, with meridians and collaterals being their links, constitute the body as a whole and function harmoniously.
 

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The zang and fu organs, such as the heart, lung, spleen, liver, kidney, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder and urinary bladder, share the same name of that in modern human anatomy, but the meaning in pathology and physiology is quite different.  The functions of a zang or fu organ in traditional Chinese medicine perhaps refer to the functions of several organs in Western medicine.  Meanwhile, the function of an organ in Western medicine may be performed by several organs in traditional Chinese medicine.  The reason is that in traditional Chinese medicine the zang and fu organs are not only an anatomic concept, but also a concept of physiology and pathology. 

Five Zang Organs 

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Traditional Chinese medicine insists that the heart governs blood circulation, and the condition of the complexion tells the condition of the heart.  Chinese medicine also holds that blood circulates in the vessels all over the body, propelled by the heart.  Heart qi is something that maintains the normal heartbeat and propels blood circulation.  When heart qi and heart blood are abundant, the pulse is forceful, and the complexion is healthy and lustrous.  Insufficiency of heart qi manifested itself as heart failure, collapse, shock and cardiac infarction, is usually accompanied by thready deep faint pulse and pallor.  
Traditional Chinese medicine also considers that the heart stores the spirit and controls mental activities, similar to the brain functions in Western medicine.  Normal mental activities don’t proceed until the brain is nourished by abundant blood, so insufficient blood may give rise to palpitation, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, poor memory, slow understanding or listlessness.  As such, when someone is hurt, it's always said he is  "heart breaking".
The tongue is the window of the heart.
The heart and the small intestine are interiorly-exteriorly related.
Liver 

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The liver governs smooth qi flow, stores blood, and controls tendons. Eyes and nails reflect its condition.  The liver's physiological characteristic is to function freely, which resembles the sprouting of trees and plants in spring, so that the liver is ascribed to wood. Besides, man's emotional activity is related to the liver.  Emotional disturbances such as depression, fury and dumps vulnerably influence the smooth qi flow and function of the liver, with the eyes, spleen and stomach involved.  For example, fury may result in hyperactivity of liver yang, marked by reddened complexion and eyes, and distending headache. Impeded flow of liver qi due to depression may cause stagnation of liver qi, and generate heat, known as liver fire. Stagnation of liver qi often brings about digestive system problems.  However, if the liver isn't well preserved in spring, it is prone to be attacked.  Liver disease usually causes reversed rise of yang qi and wind stirring, characterized by dizziness, spasm of limbs, tremor, or even convulsion.  The Liver Meridian travels around the genitalia and breasts, so the pathological changes of the liver may result in menstruae irregularities and diseases of the breasts.  Since the liver and gallbladder are exteriorly-interiorly related, liver diseases often have the gallbladder involved.
Eyes are the window of the liver.
The liver controls tendons.

 

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