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Turtle Shell

Bie Jia
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Bie Jia (Carapax Trionycis)——Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong’s Herbal)

  1. Bie Jia
  2. Carapax Trionycis
  3. 鳖甲
  4. 鱉甲

The Processing of Turtle Shell


The back shell of the animal Trionyx sinensis Wiegmann of family Trionychidae.


Most areas in the south of China.


Wild or cultivated. Captured all the year round, killed, shelled and sun-dried.

The actual smell and taste

Slight raw meat smell, slightly flavor.

Best quality

Big, thick, shell, clean, without carrion.


Unprocessed or steeped with vinegar.

The Effect of Turtle Shell


Salty, cold; liver and kidney meridians entered.


Nourish yin of liver and kidney, subdue yang, abate deficiency heat, soften hardness and dissipate nodulation.


A. Liver and kidney yin deficiency syndromes

It is indicated for yin deficiency with yang hyperactivity, yin deficiency with stirring wind, and yin deficiency with internal heat due to liver and kidney yin deficiency, because it can nourish yin of liver and kidney, calm liver and subdue yang, which is similar to Gui Jia. It is usually combined with Gui Jia in mutual reinforcement. It is multi-used in clinic because it is specific in abating deficiency heat and relieving bone steaming sensation, though it is weaker than Gui Jia in nourishing and tonifying. For bone steaming sensation, night sweat, low fever after noon, red lips with flush cheek due to yin deficiency, it is combined with deficiency-heat-abating and clearing herbs, for instance, it is used with Qin Jiao, Zhi Mu and Hu Huang Lian in Qing Gu San from Zheng Zhi Zhun Shen. For night fever abating at dawn, no sweat after fever abating, red tongue with little coating due to yin injury in heat illness, it is combined with yin-nourishing and heat-clearing herbs, for instance, it is used with Qing Hao, Dan Pi, and Sheng Di Huang in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang from Wen Bing Tiao Bian.

B. Abdominal mass

It has the action of softening hardness and dissipating nodulation due to its salty taste. For mass, it is combined with blood stasis and mass-removing herbs, for instance, it is used with Tao Ren, Gan Qi, Da Huang and She Xiang in Bie Jia Jian Wan from Sheng Hui Fang. For mass occurrence in hypocondrium due to chronic malaria, it is combined with blood-activating and blood stasis-removing herbs. For instance, it is used with Tu Bie Chong, Da Huang and Tao Ren in Bie Jia Jian Wan from Jin Kui Yao Lue.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct 10~15 g. To raw material, be broken and decocted firstly. After stir-baked with gravel sand and dipped into vinegar, it is convenient to make pharmacological preparation because its effective ingredients are easy to be decocted out and get rid of smell of fish. Raw materials used for nourishing yin and subduing yang, stir-baked with vinegar for softening hardness and dissipating nodulation.