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Quiet Contemplative and our other Water formula, Dynamic Warrior, are specifically designed for what the Chinese call the “Kidney” function of the body. This activity is concerned with the polarity of gentle reflectiveness and dynamic responsiveness; it embraces both the Yin power to gracefully unfold – while being content, quiet and present – and the Yang power to activate, move and transform. The Chinese refer to these functions when they speak of the Kidneys as the “Mansion of Fire and Water” and the “Root of Life.”

Quiet Contemplative is one of our two Water formulas. The quality of Water, poetically referred to in China’s earliest texts as “style of government,” is quietness. Quiet Contemplative adds responsive, unobtrusive, grounded energy whenever and wherever it is needed. Water’s deepest potential is suggested by the Chinese in such images as a “waveless ocean” or a “dustless mirror.” When this potential is disturbed, the Contemplative energizer is indicated.

Quiet Contemplative, derived from one of China’s most important tonics for the Yin, is designed to increase and mobilize the Kidney Yin’s power to moisten, soften, stabilize and root life. When the gentle tendrils of a person’s being have become withered, their movement and sensations tend to be brittle, rough, shaky or unstable. When the quiescent powers of life are impaired, there can be a loss of control over the dynamic manifestations of heat and activity. In any of these situations, our Quiet Contemplative formula can be invaluable.


This formula is useful whenever the foundation of physical support becomes weakened, manifesting as occasional low back discomfort or sore legs. When the root is dehydrated, it can manifest as occasional dryness of the skin, hair and eyes. Decreased moistening ability can manifest as frequent urination or occasional burning urination. When the root loses stability, it can manifest as dizziness.


On a psychological level, this formula is appropriate when a person lacks the graceful, responsive, contemplative qualities of a gentle stream. It is used when one is agitated, unsettled or nervously uneasy. It is also the formula of choice for fear accompanied by withdrawal and the desire to run away. The feeling of rootlessness, a special indication for Quiet Contemplative, is one of being surrounded by earth without the inner calm or residual strength to connect to these surroundings and become firm. The inability to sit still and be content, or feeling shaky or jumpy within oneself in various situations, also suggests its use.

On a spiritual level, this formula is indicated when one cannot find constancy in faith, or is unable to surrender because of uneasiness or changing beliefs. “Searching, but never arriving” can be a common dilemma for this pattern.

Although there are many situations that indicate Quiet Contemplative, the criteria for its use, as with any preparation, is never isolated from the overall configuration of the person. The overriding considerations are dryness, shakiness and brittleness. The most common sign is the sensation of heat or overactivity, which is present because the body’s Water is unable to control its Fire. Whenever the process of growing, maturing and aging is not graceful, Quiet Contemplative can be helpful.


Quiet Contemplative (Liu Wei Di Huang Wan) is based on Qian Yi’s famous “Six Flavor Rehmannia Pill,” which he formulated in his Formulary for Patterns in 1114 A.D. Dr. Qian’s combination for Kidney Yin is itself a revision of Zhang Zhong-Jing’s famous “Golden Chest Kidney Qi Pill,” which strengthens Kidney Yang and was first described in Essential Formulas of the Golden Chest in 220 A.D. Essentially, the “Six Flavor Rehmannia Pill” pill removed the activating Yang herbs of the earlier “Golden Chest Kidney Pill.”

Using the “Six Flavor Rehmannia Pill” as a basis for the Quiet Contemplative formula, we’ve added Eclipta herb and Ligustrum fruit following the experience of Wang Ang, recorded in his Collected Formulas and Explanations in 1682 A.D. In the same vein, we’ve added Chinese dodder seed and White mulberry fruit. Also, recognizing that most individuals with deficient Yin patterns participate in a hectic, pressured lifestyle that further drains the deeper rehabilitative power of the Kidney Essence (Jing), we have added Lycium fruit and processed Polygonum multiflorum root. We expect that most practitioners will see the need for, and welcome, this enhanced version of the classical “Six Flavor Rehmannia Pill.”


Prepared Rehmannia root is one of the main nourishers of Yin and Blood in the Chinese pharmacopeia, and is the cornerstone of both the “Six Flavor Rehmannia Pill” formula and our Quiet Contemplative version. It is used invariably for deficient Yin patterns, giving both moisture and stability to the body. It is sweet, slightly bitter and warm, and enters the Heart, Liver and Kidney meridians.

Asiatic cornelian cherry is a crucial herb for nourishing the Kidney and Liver. It helps to root the shakiness of a deficient Yin configuration. It is sour, harsh and slightly warm, and enters the Liver and Kidney meridians.

Chinese yam rhizome is a versatile herb commonly used in tonifying combinations. It can tonify the Qi and at the same time moisten the Kidneys and Lung. It also helps support healthy digestion. It both moistens and creates an inner firmness. It is sweet and gentle, and enters the Lung, Spleen and Kidney meridians.

Poria is one of the most frequently used herbs because of its versatility. Here it is being used to eliminate any stagnation in the fluids. Poria also contributes to strengthening the middle of a person and giving the Spirit (Shen) clarity. It is sweet and neutral, and enters the Heart, Lung, Spleen, Stomach and Kidney meridians.

Asian water plantain rhizome is used in both the “Six Flavor Rehmannia Pill” and in Quiet Contemplative, in small amounts, to neutralize any heat or overactivity resulting from insufficient Water to balance the Kidney’s Fire. The classic herbal texts consider the addition of Asian water plantain rhizome to be a delicate, master stroke of the herbal art. Asian water plantain rhizome is said to eliminate stagnant and unusable water without harming the usable and nurturing fluids. It is sweet and cold and enters the Bladder and Kidney meridians.

Tree peony root bark is always in the “Six Flavor Rehmannia Pill” formula, and makes the script brilliant. Considered with Asian water plantain rhizome to be one of the artful strokes to the original formula, Tree peony root bark helps relax, center and cool the Kidney and Liver’s energy. It enables the other more tonifying herbs to nourish without throwing a person off balance. Heat or overactivity is brought under control with the action of the Tree peony root bark reinforcing the Asian water plantain rhizome. It is slightly cold, acrid and bitter, and enters the Kidney.

Lycium fruit enhances the unfolding, nurturing power of the root of life energy and benefits the Essence (Jing). It also supports emotional and mental stability. It is sweet and gentle, and enters the Liver and Kidney meridians.

Processed Polygonum multiflorum root nourishes the power that makes birth, development and maturation graceful. It tonifies the Essence (Jing). It is bitter, sweet and warm, and enters the Liver and Kidney meridians.

Chinese dodder seed enhances the power of the root and is considered a tonic for both the Yin and the Yang. It is sweet, spicy and gentle, and enters the Liver and Kidney meridians.

White mulberry fruit is used for patterns of insufficient Yin or Blood. It is sweet, sour and warm and, enters the Heart, Liver and Kidney meridians.

Eclipta herb is often added to “Six Flavor Rehmannia Pill” because of its ability to nourish the bodily fluids, especially those of the Kidney and Liver. It is sweet, sour and cold, and enters the Liver and Kidney meridians.

Ligustrum fruit is added to potentiate the power of Eclipta herb. It is used for similar patterns and increases the fluid, thus stabilizing and rooting the power of the Kidney. It is neutral, sweet and bitter, and enters the Kidney and Liver meridians.