Chinese Herbal Medicine (TCM)

Formulas that harmonize

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Chinese Medicine Formulas that harmonize





Xiao Chai Hu Tang – harmonizes & releases Shaoyang stage disorders (Liver Gallbladder)


Xiao Chai Hu Tang

Chai Hu (radix bupleuri)…12g

Huang Qin (radix scutellariae)…9g

Ban Xia (rhizome pinelliae ternatae)…12g

Sheng Jiang (rhizome zingiberis officinalis recens)…9g

Ren Shen (radix ginseng)…9g

Zhi Gan Cao (honey fried radix glycyrrhizae uralensis)…6g

Da Zao (fructus zizyphi jujubae)…4 pieces


Indications:  alternating fever and chills, dry throat, bitter or sour taste in mouth, dizziness, irritability, chest and hypochondriac fullness, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite,

P- wiry.  Half interior- alternating chills and fever, fullness.  Half exterior- heat rising upward, bitter or sour taste, dry throat, dizziness.  Gallbladder attacks stomach causing rebel Qi.


Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang – clear Gallbladder Jing Damp/Heat & Phlegm, harmonizes Stomach, ear infections


Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang

Qing Hao (herba artemisiae annuae)…4.5-6g

Huang Qin (radix scutellariae)…4.5-6g

Zhu Ru (caulis bambusae in taeniis)…9g

Zhi Shi (fructus citri aurantii)…4.5g

Chen Pi (pericarpium citri reticulatae)…4.5g

Ban Xia (rhizome pinelliae ternatae)…4.5g

Chi Fu Ling (sclerotium poiae cocos rubrae)…9g

Bi Yu San (jasper powder)…9g


Indications: mild chills alternating with pronounced fever, bitter taste in mouth, fullness in the chest and hypochondria, may vomit up bitter or sour fluids, thirst with no desire to drink, T- red with a thick greasy coat that may be yellow or white, P- wiry slippery (may be soft).  Damp/Heat and turbid Phlegm in the Shaoyang, alternating between the Wei and Ying levels attempting to go deeper in the body.

This formula is basically Wen Dan Tang with Qing Hao (to vent exterior), Huang Qin (to clear interior), and Bi Yu San (relieve toxicity and Damp).  This formula is slightly less dispersing of the exterior than Xiao Chai Hu Tang, but is better at draining the interior Shaoyang aspects of Heat and Damp.


Liver Spleen

Si Ni San – vents pathogenic factors, release Liver Qi, regulate Spleen, (cold extremities/warm interior)


Si Ni San – Shang Han Lun

Chai Hu (radix bupleuri)…9-12g

Zhi Shi (fructus immaturus citri aurantii)…9-12g

Bai Shao (radix paeoniae lactiflorae)…12-24g

Zhi Gan Cao (honey fried radix glycyrrhizae uralensis)…6-9g


Indications: this formula is used for a Yang-hot type collapse, this means that only the fingers and toes are cold (in a Yin-cold type collapse where the Yang is exhausted, the area below the elbows and knees or maybe the whole limb is cold), Heat has entered the interior which is stopping the spreading of the Yang Qi to the extremities (hence the body is warm, and the fingers and toes are cold). chest and abdominal fullness show the constraint in the interior, T- red with yellow coat, P- wiry. 

This formula is also used for Liver Qi stagnation overacting on the Stomach.  Some say that this formula is designed for the patient with a weak Spleen that has been invaded by a pathogenic influence.  This causes a disruption in the Spleens ability to control the limbs, causing coldness.

This condition seems to relate very closely to Raynaud’s syndrome.


Xiao Yao San – soothe Liver Qi, strengthen Spleen, nourish blood


Xiao Yao San – tai ping hui min he ji ju fang (powder dosages)

Chai Hu (radix burpleuri)…30g     [soothe Liver Qi]

Dang Gui (radix angelicae sinensis)…30g     [nourish Blood, aromatically affects the Qi of the Blood]

Bai Shao (radix paeoniae lactiflorae)…30g     [nourish Blood]

Bai Zhu (rhizome atractylodis macrocephalae)…30g     [strengthen Spleen]

Fu Ling (sclerotium poriae cocos)…30g     [strengthen Spleen]

Zhi Gan Cao (honey fried radix glycyrrhizae uralensis)…15g     [harmonizes mid Jiao]

*taken in 6-9g doses in a draft made from 6g roasted ginger (wei jiang) and 3g of peppermint (bo he).  The ginger helps stop the Stomach Qi from rebelling, and the Bo He helps Chai Hu to soothe the Liver Qi.


Indications: Liver Qi stagnation with Blood deficiency causing hypochondriac pain, headache, vertigo, PMS, painful breasts, bitter taste in mouth, dry mouth and throat, T- pale purple, P- wiry thin.  When the Liver is stagnated, it overacts on the Spleen causing a deficiency which in turn worsens the Blood deficiency.  This shows as poor appetite, fatigue, bloating. 

Commonly used for gynecological disorders showing stagnation, Blood deficiency, and Spleen deficiency.

To strengthen the Blood nourishing action of this formula, substitute Sheng Di Huang (15g) for Bai Zhu (Hei Xiao Yao San).


Tong Xie Yao Fang – soothes Liver Qi, tonifies Spleen, stops painful diarrhea


Tong Xie Yao Fang – Jing Yue Quan Shu (powder doses)

Chao Bai Zhu (dry fried rhizome atractylodis macrocephalae)…90g

Chao Bai Shao (dry fried radix paeoniae lactiflorae)…60g

Chao Chen Pi (dry fried pericarpoim citri reticulatae)…45g

Fang Feng (radix ledebouriellae divaricatae)…30-60g


Indications: Liver overacting on Spleen causing deficiency, recurrent abdominal pain, borborygmus (seen as Wind in the abdomen, hence the use of Fang Feng which also directs the other herbs to the Liver and Spleen producing a direct affect on the diarrhea), painful diarrhea (the pain comes with the urge to go to the bathroom and subsides after the bowel movement), T- thin white coating (showing the diarrhea is not because of excess Damp), P- wiry thin.

It is believed by most that the condition of Spleen deficiency comes first, although the problem recurs during times of Liver Qi stagnation (due to stress or emotional/mental factors).


Spleen Stomach

Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang – harmonizes Stomach, redirect rebel Qi, disperse clumping, eliminates obstruction/distension


Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang – Shang Han Lun

Ban Xia (rhizome pinelliae ternatae)…9g

Gan Jiang (rhizome zingiberis officinalis)…9g

Huang Qin (radix scutellariae)…9g

Huang Lian (rhizome coptidis)…3g

Ren Shen (panax ginseng)…9g

Da Zao (fructus Zizyphi jujubae)…12 pieces

Zhi Gan Cao (honey fried radix glycyrrhizae uralensis)…9g


Indications: this is said to come from an external pathogenic factor aggravating an already deficient Stomach causing focal distension (focused, localized fullness, discomfort, blockage in the epigastrium, with little or no pain), palpation shows no masses and a very soft epigastrium, may be dry heaves, poor appetite, borborygmus, diarrhea, may be signs of Heat from the stagnation, T- thin yellow greasy coat, P- wiry rapid.  Simultaneous excess and deficiency, Cold and Heat show in this pattern.  May be caused by improper purging causing deficiency, then leading to the excess. 



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Benskey & Gamble 1993, Chinese Herbal Medicine formulas and strategies, Seattle Washington, Eastland Press Inc.


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