I was made to love you (Buffy, Season 5, Episode 15)

The ‘B’ plot of Season 5 which will become the ‘A’ plot of Season Six enters in this episode.  Did anyone else notice how everyone seemed to be smiling much more than usual during the first two-thirds of the show?  Was this a set up for the final scene?

Warren, a former Sunnydale High classmate who went to a nearby Tech school, created a robot to love him.  She shows up in Sunnydale looking for the man she was made to love.  Meanwhile, Spike tries to get in good with the Scoobies by showing up at The Magic Shop, but Giles tells him to move on from his — whatever it is — that he feels for Buffy.  Although Buffy and the Scoobies eventually disable Warren’s robot, towards the end of the episode, Spike shows up and commissions the now famous ‘Buffybot’.  At the very end of the show, Buffy discovers her mother’s lifeless body.

So it seems Spike is still obsessed.  Perhaps our treatment in episode 14 wasn’t successful. Perhaps instead of obsession we should have treated Spike for excess sexual arousal, a Liver luo issue. (Clearly, we could have treated puffy Xander for ‘drum distention’ in this episode.)  Before I differentiate Liver and Spleen luo physiology, let’s look at the symptoms of Liver luo pathology a bit more closely.

In depletion of the Liver luo, symptoms include itching of the genitals; this can also be interpreted as ‘itching to get laid’ in colloquial speech.  In repletion, persistent erection is the key sign — a lack of satisfaction in terms of metaphorical interpretation, priapism (due to an overdose of herbs like Lu Jiao, for example) in terms of actual physical signs.  In counterflow of the Liver luo vessel, swelling of the testicles (and thus perhaps also vulvadinia) is the result.  This can happen in the case of ‘blue balls’ (or ‘pink ovaries’), or the orchitis can be comorbid with other conditions, such as mumps.  Spike seems to have a replete Liver collateral vessel.

Therefore, the luo point of the Liver, located one third of the way up the medial aspect of the tibia, at the notch, should be bled.  This point is called ‘Woodworm Canal’, and is today numbered as LV-5 (or LR-5 for people whose handwriting makes ‘V’ and ‘U’ look similar).

So what is the physiology of the Liver luo? What does it regulate, exactly, and how? In the case of the Liver luo, we see a convergence of an acupuncture system focused on the blood, emotions, and hun, with an organ system traditionally said to store the blood.  At night, the blood returns to the Liver, allowing the hun-ethereal souls-personality to wander about, while providing a yin anchor to which they can return.  The Liver is not ordinarily associated with reproductive functions in men, although the trajectory of both the primary channel and the collateral vessel both pass through the genitals.  Despite this trajectory, neither are associated with jing-essence (semen in men, menstrual fluid in women).

The name of LV-5, woodworm canal, does provide a clue.  The body is said to have three worms in it, as I’ve detailed in other posts.  The blood serves to contain them.  When the blood in the channel is not sufficient to keep them contained, the body begins to ‘itch’ with desire, greed, or ignorance.  The hun have a difficult time keeping the worms contained.  When replete, the implication is that the worms have multiplied to such an extent the blood has had to also increase to keep them contained — or the balance between them is disrupted to the point that they are not receiving the bare minimum they need to keep the physiology of the system functioning; they are not receiving their ‘satisfaction’.

The Liver luo, in other words, functions to provide the proper channeling of the three worms — into one’s lineage, if necessary.  The LV luo is the last before the luo vessels begin to empty into the extra-ordinary vessels.  This is the principle link the LV has with jing-essence, so it may be that a dysfunction in the LV luo is an effort to produce an heir to the lineage who will not inherit whatever pathology has been going deeper into the parent’s system…

For herbal treatment of Liver luo pathophysiology, we have many options to choose from.  LV blood is one of the most commonly addressed blood issues in the clinic. Any number of formulae can address it — but how to focus it on the LV luo, and disperse qi, wind, or blood from the genitals, while also taking a clue about worms from the point LV-5 is another matter.  Bai Tou Weng treats swollen or itchy testicles, and would therefore be a useful guiding herb for LV luo depletion and counterflow, as would Yin Yang Huo (but do not use Yin Yang Huo in cases of priapism).  When used over a long period of time, Bai Tou Weng tends to elicit anger, and has been used to treat Liver yang deficiency.

Wu Ling San with Wu Yao added treats blue balls, and thus is a good option for counterflow in the Liver luo.  Any of the above herbs can be added to Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan or Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang to move blood in the lower warmer.

I have not recently come across any specific herb to treat persistent erection, although I have encountered such properties in my reading.  In such a case, I might use herbs to relax blood vessels, and would consider a formula such as Gui Zhi jia Shao Yao Tang.  If anyone has other suggestions for such a case, please leave a comment below.

As always, these posts are for entertainment and educational purposes only.  If you know anyone with a persistent erection, or erection lasting more than four to six hours, please see a qualified health care practitioner. 

Happy Slayage!



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