by Health Concerns

Audio Description

Therapeutic Actions

Treats low back pain, incontinence, spermatorrhea, impotence, premature ejaculation, weakness of the back and knees, or impairment of hearing and eyesight when these symptoms stem from kidney yang deficiency

Chinese Therapeutic Effects

  • Supplements kidney yang and dispels cold
  • Quickens blood and dissipates stasis
  • Secures essence
  • Strengthens the sinews and bones
  • Strengthens the back and knees


Internal: 3 tablets TID
90 tablets, 650 mg., 10 day supply
Contraindications: Do not use when excess heat, deficiency heat, or damp-heat signs are present such as thirst, red tongue, rapid pulse, dark, scanty, or painful urination, insomnia, red eyes, hard-stool constipation, or blood-heat bleeding.


Eucommia bark (du zhong), Psoralea fruit (bu gu zhi), Woodwardia orientalis rhizome (gou ji), Cuscuta seed (tu si zi), Cistanche salsa herb (rou cong rong), Rehmannia (cooked) root (shu di huang), Tortoise shell (from Chinemys reevesii) (gui ban), Cyathula root (chuan niu xi), Acanthopanax cortex (wu jia pi), Tang Kuei tails root (dang gui wei), Dipsacus root (xu duan), Carthamus flower (hong hua), Myrrh resin (mo yao), Cornus fruit (shan zhu yu)

Pinyin Reference: Wan Du Hua Yu Tang


Backbone is a warm formula intended to treat patients who present with kidney yang deficiency. General signs, other than those indicated above, include cold limbs, fatigue, pale face color, a pale tongue, a deep, weak, slow pulse, spiritual lassitude, and weakness and pain in the low back or knees. The formula is especially effective in treating low back pain and urogenital/sexual dysfunctions that are commonly part of kidney deficiency patterns. While addressing the primary pattern of yang deficiency, Backbone also includes agents to dispel cold and damp and to move blood in order to eliminate stagnation in the low back, thus making the formula effective for chronic problems.

Eucommia (du zhong), woodwardia (gou ji), acanthopanax (wu jia pi), dipsacus (xu duan), and tortoise shell (from Chinemys reevesii) (gui ban), strengthen bones, muscles and sinews. Cyathula (chuan niu xi), tang kuei tails (dang gui wei), carthamus (hong hua), and myrrh (mo yao) invigorate blood circulation and eliminate pain. Psoralea (bu gu zhi), cuscuta (tu si zi), cistanche salsa (rou cong rong) and cornus (shan zhu yu) strengthen the kidney. Rehmannia (shu di huang) nourishes the blood.

Clinical Notes

  1. Backbone can be used to speed the healing of broken bones, especially in combination with Resinall E or Resinall K
  2. Also useful for incontinence of urine or frequent urination
  3. Excellent for gynecological conditions with kidney yang deficiency
  4. See Health Concerns Newsletters: Vol. 9 No. 3 Can Herbs Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients? (Gaeddert); Vol. 10 No. 2 Herbal Back Pain Treatments (Gaeddert); Vol. 6 No. 3 Herbal Protocols for Treating Pain Part 1: Injuries, Muscles & Joints (Gaeddert); Vol. 7 No. 1 Herbal Protocols for Treating Pain Part 2: Headache (Gaeddert); Vol. 7 No. 2 Herbal Protocols for Treating Pain Part 3: Repetitive Use & Other Types of Pain (Gaeddert); Vol. 15 No. 2 Silkworm Enzyme Treats Pain, Inflammation & Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders (Gaeddert)

Additional Information

  • For yang deficiency with dampness, see Rehmannia 8
  • For more warming formula, consider Virility Tabs
  • For kidney yin and yang deficiency, see Astra Essence

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