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Yang Organs Overview


The six yang organs separate                                      impure substances from food                              and drain them from the body.
The six yang organs separate impure substances from food and drain them from the body.

The yang organs, or hollow (fu) organs, separate impure substances from food and drain them out of the body as waste. The six yang organs are the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine, the urinary bladder, the gallbladder, and the "triple burner."

Traditional Eastern organ theory was developed during Confucian times (559-479 b.c.), when it was considered a violation of the sanctity of life to perform dissections.

Instead of using surgical approaches, the Taoists developed their understanding of human physiology based on careful observations of how the body functions.

For this reason, Chinese medical theory tends to focus more on the relationship of one organ to another. Each yang organ is paired with a yin organ: the spleen and stomach, for instance, work together during the digestive process. While this approach has some analogues to the Western understanding of internal organs, it is important to view the Eastern tradition on its own terms.

Go to the next page to learn about the role of the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine in traditional Chinese medicine.

For more about traditional Chinese medicine, treatment, cures, beliefs, and other interesting topics, see:


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