Zang Fu (simplified Chinese: 脏腑; traditional Chinese: 臟腑; pinyin: zàng fǔ) refers to twelve organs in the body, classified according to the functions of transformation (yin organs), or transportation (yang organs). A yin organ is called a “Zang”, while a yang organ is called a “Fu”. Each “Zang” is paired with a “Fu”, and they correspond to the twelve standard meridians (energy channels in the body). Each yin meridian is attached to a “Zang” organ, and each yang meridian is attached to a “Fu” organ.
Although the organs are identified by their western anatomical names, Chinese medicine views their functions holistically, taking into account Qi, blood, their flow, and storage responsibilities.
Six Zang (yin, solid) organs (脏; pinyin: zàng):
• pericardium (sac surrounding the heart)
Six Fu (yang, hollow) organs (腑; pinyin: fǔ):
• small intestine
• triple heater/warmer (an organ function)
• large intestine
• gall bladder
• urinary bladder
Yin and yang must be balanced to maintain health. Disease is merely a physical expression of imbalance within the body. Symptoms indicate disharmony. So it’s important for each organ system to be balanced within itself, as well as with other organ systems within the body.