The Other Organs of TCM: 6 Extraordinary Organs

Marrow | Bone | Uterus | Brain | Blood Vessels | Gallbladder 

The extraordinary organs are characterized by hollowness, similar to the Six Fu Organs (Yin) in morphology, but they store essence like the Five Zang (Yang) organs in function. You probably have noticed that the gallbladder is both a Fu Organ and an extraordinary organ. 

Confusing, I know! 

The reason is that gallbladder is hollow inside and excretes bile to promote digestion, similar to the functions of the Fu organs, but it also stores bile which is part of the essence, similar to the functions of the five Zang-organs. Its “double functions” grant it a special place in the TCM organ system. 


The Extraordinary Organs & Their Functions

Marrow: controlled and produced by the Kidney, nourishes the Brain and Spinal Cord through the Jing. It produces Bone; it was not recognized that bone marrow produces blood as in Western biomedicine. 

Bone: controlled by the Kidney, produced by Marrow. If Jing and Marrow are deficient, the Bones lose nourishment, cannot sustain the body and there will be inability to walk or stand.

Brain: also called Sea of Marrow, it controls intelligence, memory, and the five senses. It is controlled by the Kidney, related to Heart and Liver. Heart Blood nourishes the Shen (mental spirit) and mental activity, while liver helps smooth flow of emotions. 

Uterus: it controls reproduction and menstruation, thus require a rich supply of Qi, Blood, and essence for good function. It is closely related to Liver. When Liver blood is deficient, uterus is affected and leads to problems like infertility and menstrual problems. It is controlled by the Kidney, thus Kidney deficiency can lead to sexual and reproductive disorders. The Uterus is also supported by the Heart and Spleen because of their production and circulation of Blood.

Blood Vessels: controlled by the heart. 

Gallbladder: see information above. 

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Written by Five Seasons TCM
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