Liver 1 Dadun – Great Clarity

Liver 1 - Dadun
Liver 1 - Dadun

Liver 1, Dadun, is on your big toe by the nail. It’s the first point on the Liver acupuncture channel. Translating its name into English shows just how meanings have changed over the millennia.

Liver 1’s Name – Dadun

Dadun means, according to various translations:

  • Big Heap, or Big Mound
  • Also, Great Esteem and 
  • Great Honesty


Because of what it does, I think it could also be Great Clarity.

Anyway, it’s definitely a Big or Great Something!


  • Jing-Well point
  • Wood point
  • Entry point
  • Horary point for the Liver: 1am – 3am


Just proximal to the lateral proximal corner of the large toenail.

Needling Dadun

Hold the toe firmly and needle perpendicularly to the skin at the point. Depth 0.1 to 0.2 cun.

Needle sensation

The sensation is very localised: sore.

Moxa on Liver 1


Up to three cones.

Be careful with old people or people whose sensations are dulled. If using a moxa-stick over Liver 1, you can easily burn somebody before they start to report pain.


Moxa: very effective at Liver 1
Moxa Cone in Situ


However, moxa at Liver 1 can be very effective when a problem is due to a build up of Qi in the channel, with deficiency as a background. The moxa seems to pull energy down and unravel it, even in chronic conditions.

Actions of Liver 1

  • Although not listed as such, this behaves like a point of the Chong mo vessel in its ability to regulate menses, cool Blood Heat and control excessive menstrual bleeding (which is often due to Heat). However, it often also helps where excessive bleeding is due to deficiency.
  • It benefits the lower jiao, the lower abdomen inferior to the umbilicus: for instance it can open up congealed Liver Qi manifesting as constipation; helps with abdominal distension
  • Regulates Liver Qi
  • Very good for pain or inflammation either along the Liver channel or caused by Liver syndromes, eg headaches
  • Used for many kinds of genito-urinary problems, including deficiency, though more commonly for Heat and Damp-Heat, such as pain, swelling, itch, prolapse and inflammation. Also used for bed-wetting, frequent urination
  • Revive consciousness: sometimes used to regulate when a patent sleeps too much.
  • Moxa for pain from a hernia
  • Nosebleed from ascending Liver Yang

Comments on Liver 1

A pity Liver 1 Dadun is painful because it is so useful, and Liver Heat, Damp-Heat, Qi stagnation and Yang rising are so common.

But don’t forget you can also massage it. If Dadun is needed it is frequently quite sensitive so even massage can be sore. But it is effective. And moxa here can be great for many conditions, and is usually well-tolerated in small doses.

To me, it seems to clear out the Liver channel, hence my preferred name for it, Great Clarity. But don’t bother, Chinese scholars, to write to me about it. That’s just the name that helps me remember what it does. If my name for it confuses you, just call it Dadun: ‘Big Heap’!

Click here to find out about the Liver’s functions in Chinese medicine

Click to find out about the liver organ in WESTERN medicine


For points along the Liver channel, click below:


Liver-1DadunGreat Clarity
Liver-2XingjianWalk Between
Liver-3TaichongGreat Pouring
Liver-4ZhongfengMiddle Seal
Liver-5LigouWoodworm Groove
Liver-6ZhongduCentral Capital
Liver-7XiguanKnee Joint
Liver-8QuquanSpring at the Bend
Liver-9YinBaoYin Wrapping
Liver-10ZuwuliLeg Five Miles
Liver-11YinlianYin Angle
Liver-12JimaiUrgent Pulse
Liver-13ZhangmenSystem Gate
Liver-14QimenCycle Gate
Jonathan Brand colours

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