Traditional Chinese Medicine Six Extraordinary Vessels

tcm extraordinary vessels

The Six extraordinary vessels explained, Marrow, Brain, Bone, Uterus, Vessels & Gallbladder

  1. Marrow
  2. Brain
  3. Bone
  4. Uterus
  5. Vessels
  6. Gallbladder


  • Marrow is controlled and produced by the Kidneys, and equivalent to the brain and spinal cord.
  • Marrow includes Brain marrow, Spinal marrow, and Bone marrow
  • Marrow nourishes the Brain and Spinal Cord through the Jing
  • Nei Jing "If the Sea of Marrow is abundant, vitality is good, the body feels light and agile, and the span of life will be long. If it is deficient there will be dizziness, tinnitus, blurred vision, fatigue, and a great desire to lie down"
  • If the Marrow is Xu: Brain and Spinal cord are not adequately nourished and become deficient

Brain (Sea of Marrow)

  • Controlled by the Kidney
  • Controls intelligence, memory, and the five senses
  • Related to HeartHeart Blood nourishes the Shen and mental activity
  • Related to Liver
  • Controls circulation of Qi
  • Helps smooth flow of emotions


  • Controlled by the Kidney, and any bone problem is treated through Kidneys
  • Stores bone marrow ("Simple Questions," chapter 17, "The bones are the residence of Marrow.")
  • The Chinese concept of "Marrow" should not be confused with bone marrow as defined by Western Medicine.
  • In TCM, the function of Marrow is to nourish the Brain and spinal cord and to form Bone-Marrow.
  • Bone Marrow produces Bone; it was not recognised that bone marrow produces blood as in Western thinking.
  • If Jing and Marrow are deficient, the Bones lose nourishment, cannot sustain the body and there will be inability to walk or stand.

Uterus (Zi Cong, Baby Palace)

  • Controlled by the Kidney, especially the Jing
  • Controls reproduction and menstruation
  • Needs a rich supply of Qi, Blood, and essence for good function
  • Related to the Liver, especially Liver Blood

When Liver Blood is Xu
Menstrual problems

Kidney Xu and Jing Xu
Sexual and reproductive disorders

Related to Conception Vessel
Pregnancy channel
Must be free of obstruction in order for pregnancy to occur

Related to Chong channel
The Sea of Blood must be abundant for fertility
Both the Chong Mai and Ren Mai originate in the Uterus
The Uterus is supported by the Heart and Spleen because of their production and circulation of Blood


  • Controlled by the Heart
  • The heart controls the movement of Blood through the Vessels


  • Extraordinary because the GB does not receive food and water like other Fu organs and does not communicate with the exterior
  • Stores Bile a pure refined substance

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