Bie Jia – Tortoise Shell – Carapax Trionycis

Bie Jia

English Name: turtle shell

Pharmaceutical Name: Carapax Trionycis

Medica Category: Yin-Tonifying Herbs

Properties: Bie Jia enters the Liver channel; it is salty in nature and cold in temperature.

What is Bie Jia?:

The Chinese Herb Bie Jia is the outer shell (or carapace) of the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Trionyx sinensis Wiegmann), a freshwater species of turtle endemic to China but now having a wide range of distribution across the world.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Bie Jia:

Bie Jia nourishes Liver yin to anchor rising yang, which presents with red, dry, and painful eyes, flushed face, irritability/short temper, headaches, dizziness, and vertigo. Long-term Liver yin deficiency also gives rise to a pattern called Liver wind. This pattern is characterized by many of the same heat signs in the head and face as well as by tremors, convulsions, and muscle spasms and tightness.

Bie Jia nourishes yin of the Liver to address deficiency heat presentations such as steaming bones, night sweats, and tidal fever.

Bie Jia (vinegar soaked) softens hardness and dissipates nodules to treat amenorrhea and palpable masses in the lower jiao that are caused by blood stagnation.

–safety/clinical notes:

Contraindicated during pregnancy.

Contraindicated for persons with loose stools or diarrhea due to Spleen deficiency.

Contraindicated for those with unresolved exterior invasion.

Use of this herb is occasionally associated with allergic response.