Gate of Life Lesson 5 – Chi

Rehmannia discusses the 2nd Treasure, Chi, as the “process” driving evolution. It is the motivational force of life, via the use of energy for metabolism and catabolism of living organisms, and their capacity to evolve into higher states.

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Audio Course Lesson 5:

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Gate of Life Course Lesson 5 – Chi:


6 thoughts on “Gate of Life Lesson 5 – Chi

  1. Hi Rehmannia,

    My question relates to the harmonizers in the tonic herbal formulations. I notice that most include jujube dates or licorice. I understand the major tonic herbs from the lessons, and that jujube and licorice would not be considered the main herbs in a formula to impact the three treasures, but they do seem important. When’s the term harmonizer is used, does it really mean that it would make the herbs work better than they would if not included, or were jujube and licorice originally used to make the formulations taste better? Is improved taste the main purpose of lo han guo (monk fruit) today, or was lo han guo used throughout history? When would one use jujube in a formulation and when would one use licorice? I see in the herb glossary that jujube impacts chi, and that licorice is a detoxifier.

    • Hi dave. Thanks for the query. I want to see more of this from evryone. Licorice and jujube are considered ‘Harmonizers” because the Chinese believe these two herbs act in formulas to pull all the other herbs’ energies into harmony, and to harmonize the essences of the tea with our bodies. Both herbs improve taste and sweetness, but that is not really why they are used. Jujube, is a Chi herb that is slightly warming, so I use this as Harmonizer in formulas i make for women. I use licorice as harmonizer in Men’s formulas, as it also helps cleanse the blood, but but can help calm yang energy, and also, men need to refresh and cleanse our blood, as we do not restore new blood every month as women do. Understanding Harmonizers is an important part of truly understanding Tonic herbalism.

      • Thanks Rehmannia. I went back and reread pp. 169-171 in Healing Thresholds as well as your answer above for clarification of the Harmonizers. As a follow-up question to when they would be used in men’s and women’s formulas, if we used Blupeurum & Dragon Bone purely as an example, is it correct to assume that in a men’s formula, licorice would be the best harmonizer, and in women’s formulas, it would be jujube date, or does jujube date for instance always work better harmonizing the specific Blupeurum & Dragon Bone combination regardless of whether it is intended for men or women?

        Also, when would an herbalist choose an established formulation over a custom formulation? There seem to be so many great combinations already established across 7000 years of Taoist Herbalist history.


        • Thanks Dave. these are the questions i like to see. I would always suggest that when making formulas for cleansing, removing heat or pathogens, to use licorice as the harmonizer, as you would not want to have the sugars that come along with Jujube. When tonifying, building and restoring, Jujube is great as harmonizer.
          The idea with herbal formulating is to study the precepts of the alchemy and also to go beyond this course and study classical formulas from the Chinese Materica Medica, but then once one is properly initiated, one may feel more comfortable creating custom formulas. But it is generally said that sticking to Tonic herbs in general formulas is relatively harmless and benevolent. This is why I do not discuss many regulating class herbs in this course, as one would need to now much more about Chinese herbology in order to safely use those herbs in formulating.

  2. There are tonics for jing, chi, shen but is there any overall tonics to tonify all three. From what I have read these are always broken out separate and in todays Western world I would think we need support in all 3 treasures.

    So, maybe it would work like
    Now using the Western people as a average guide then cleansing would not really be a single tea packet lasting a week. I would think it would have to go on for a period of time (like maybe a month)?

    • Many Tonic herbs are though to have properties that tonify all three treasures, to varying degrees. For example, reishi tonifies Shen, but also supports immunity. When Immune is up, we feel safe, so that will benefit the adrenals, which in turn will benefit the kidneys- so in a circumvential way, reishi supports shen. Schizandra is said to tonify all 3 treasures.

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