Some commonly used Chinese herbal formulas

This way of presenting the formulas is a simplification to help you navigate through them. A formula is never selected in relation to a Western diagnosis (e.g “insomnia”) but a Chinese medicine pattern (e.g “Heart Blood and Spleen Qi deficiency”). The same formula may be used for many different physical or emotional issues with the same underlying physiological pattern.

For infertility and Women’s health

Tao Hong Si Wu Tang - Supports the menstrual Phase

Chinese name: Tao Hong Si Wu Tang
English name: Four Substance Formula with Safflower and Peach Pit

Actions: Tonifies and invigorates the Blood. Regulates Blood circulation. Breaks up Blood Stagnation. Regulates menstruation. Alleviates pain.
Pattern: Concurrent Blood Deficiency and Blood Stagnation. Blood Stagnation due to Blood Deficiency.

Chinese Symptomology: Copious bleeding of dark purple blood. The blood is sticky during menstruation. May or may not have clots. Menstrual cycle is shortened (early menstruation). Palpitations. Dizziness. Blurred vision. Pale, lusterless complexion. Pale nails. Abdominal pain.Irregular menstruation with little flow. Fixed lower abdominal pain. Dry skin. Vertigo. Tinnitus. Pale lips. May be amenorrhea. Insomnia. Menstruation may also be accompanied by distention and pain

Tongue: Pale, normal coating.
Pulse: Thin and weak or Thin and choppy

Ingredients: Dang Gui (Dong Quai), Chi Shao (Red Peony Root), Chuan Xiong (Sichuan Lovage Rhizome), Shu Di (Processed Rehmannia Root), Tao Ren (Peach Kernel), Hong Hua (Safflower).

Gui Shao Di Huang Wan - Supports the follicular phase

Chinese name: Gui Shao Di Huang Tang
English name: Angelica, Peony and Rehmannia Decoction

Actions: Nourish Blood, tonify the Kidneys, pacify the Liver, move Qi, eliminate stagnation.
Pattern: Blood deficiency, Kidney-Yang deficiency, Liver-Qi stagnation.

Chinese Symptomology: Moderate premenstrual tension, irritability, depression, tendency to crying, sadness, insomnia, blurred vision, tingling of limbs, dizziness, backache, frequent pale urination, dull pale complexion, late periods, irregular periods, scanty periods.

Tongue: Pale and thin or swollen, depending on whether Kidney-Yang or Blood deficiency predominates
Pulse: Deep, weak, choppy

Ingredients: Shu Di Huang / Wine-Prepared Rehmannia root 15%, Dang Gui / Dong Quai root 12%, Bai Shao Yao / White Peony root 12%, Shan Yao / Dioscorea / Wild Yam root 12%, Shan Zhu Yu / Cornus fruit 12%, Fu Ling (Bai) / Poria Hoelen white fungus 12%, Tu Si Zi / Cuscuta seed 12%, Mu Dan Pi / Moutan 7%, Dan Shen / Salvia / Red Sage root 6%.

Fu Ke Zhong Zi Wan - Supports the ovulation phase

Chinese name: Fu Ke Zhong Zi Wan
English name: Women’s Seed Planting Pills

Actions: Reinforces the Kidney and Liver. Warms the uterus to help conception. Regulates menstruation. Nourishes and Invigorates the Blood. Relieves cramps associated with the menstrual cycle.

Pattern: Deficiency Cold of the Uterus. Deficiency of Qi and Blood with Retention of Cold pathogen in the Uterus. Cold Stagnation with Blood Stasis. Blood Deficiency and Qi Stagnation with Cold in the Uterus

Chinese Symptomology: Thin and profuse leukorrhea. Sallow complexion or Dark and gloomy complexion. Pain of lower limbs. Lassitude. Lack of vitality. Weakness. Irregular circulation of channels. Failure to conceive for a long time. Intolerance of Cold. Cold limbs. Soreness of waist. Pain in the lower back. Long-term or heavy menstrual bleeding. Painful menstruation which gets increasing worse. Pelvic pain during intercourse. Fullness and stuffiness in the hypochondriac region. Dizziness. Tinnitus. Shortness of breath. Difficult speech. Delayed menstrual cycle. Abdominal pain during menstruation. Abdominal Cold pain which can be relieved by warmth. Scanty menstruation dark in color. Blood masses or Amenorrhea. Distending pain in the lower abdomen prior to or during menstruation which can be relieved by warmth

Tongue: Pale. White coating or White and greasy fur
Pulse: Weak or Deep and tense pulse or Thready and weak or Deep and slow

Ingredients: shu di huang (Radix Rehmanniae Praep, 23.5%), du zhong (Cortex Eucommiae, 11.8%), xiang fu (Rhizoma Cyperi, 11.8%), chuan xiong (Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong, 8.8%), dang gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis, 8.8%), xu duan (Radix Dipsaci, 8.8%), ai ye (Folium Artemisiae Argyi, 8.8%), huang qin (Radix Scutellariae, 5.9%), e jiao (Colla Corii Asini, 5.9%), bai shao (Radix Paeoniae Alba, 5.9%).

Nuan Gong Yun Zi Pian - Supports the luteal phase

Chinese name: Nuan Gong Yun Zi Pian
English name: Warm Uterus & Conception Pills

Actions: Warms the vessels. Comforts the Womb. Nourishes and invigorates the Blood
Pattern: Deficiency Cold of the uterus due to kidney yang deficiency.

Chinese Symptomology: Second or third trimester pregnancy with a cold, painful sensation in the lower abdomen. It works by promoting blood flow and nutrients to the reproductive organs, improving uterus lining, and acting as a catalyst for ovulation and implantation. Cold extremities, fatigue, weak/aching low back, knees, waist, aversion to cold, loose stools.

Ingredients: Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Dang Gui), Radix Paeoniae Lactiflorae (Bai Shao), Fructus Psoraleae Corylifoliae (Bu Gu Zhi), Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong (Chuan Xiong), Herba Epimedii Grandiflori (Yin Yang Huo), Rhizoma Curculiginis Orchioidis (Xian Mao), Cortex Cinnamomi Cassiae (Rou Gui), Folium Artemisiae Argyi (Ai Ye), Radix Rehmanniae Preparata (Shu Di Huang), Cortex Eucommiae Ulmoidis (Du Zhong), Rhizoma Cyperi Rotundi (Xiang Fu).

For PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroid, irregular periods

Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan - Blood Stasis, Softens lumps, fixed pain

Chinese name: Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan
English name: Cinnamon Twig and Poria Pill

Actions: Invigorates the blood and transforms blood stagnation. Regulates the menses and reduces lower abdominal lumps and masses that are fixed in nature.
Indications: Blood stagnation in the Uterus: Fixed lumps or masses in the lower abdomen with pain and tenderness, especially with pressure Dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, uterine fibroids, and postpartum retention of the lochia. Blood stagnation in the uterus during pregnancy: Persistent but mild uterine bleeding during pregnancy with purple or dark blood. Abdominal pain and spasms, abdominal tension and tenderness, and restless fetus syndrome.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Purple tongue body with dark or purple spots on the sides
Possible Pulse Patterns: Choppy pulse, possibly wiry, and slippery when pregnant

Western Uses: Endometritis. Adnexitis (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease). Hysteromyoma. Ovarian Cyst/PCOS. Dysmenorrhea. Infertility. Post Partum Bleeding. Retention of Lochia. Irregular Menstruation

Reviews: Chinese herbal medicine Guizhi Fuling Formula for treatment of uterine fibroids: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. Read here

Understanding the Role of Gui-Zhi-Fu-Ling-Capsules (Chinese Medicine) for Treatment of Endometriosis in the Rat Model: Using NMR Based Metabolomics. Read here

Ba Zhen Yi Mu Wan - Qi and Blood Deficiency leading to Blood Stasis

Chinese name: Ba Zhen Yi Mu Wan
English name: Eight-Treasure Pill to Benefit Mothers

Actions: Tonifies Deficiency. Activates the Blood
Indications: Qi and Blood Deficiency leading to Blood Stasis. Infertility. Irregular menstruation. Reduced appetite. Soreness in the lower back. Dry skin. Red and white vaginal discharge. Weak extremities. Abdominal distention. Weakness. Spontaneous perspiration. Dyspnea. Red and white vaginal discharge. Fetal restlessness. Anemia. Reduced appetite. Fatigue. Night sweats. Dry skin

Possible Tongue Appearance: Pale, Thin and white coating
Possible Pulse Patterns: Thin and frail or Large and Deficient without strength

Ingredients: Codonopsis root (Dang Shen), bai-zhu atractylodes rhizome (Bai Zhu), Poria sclerotium (Fu Ling), Chinese licorice root (Gan Cao), Dong quai root (Dang Gui), Chinese peony root (Bai Shao), Sichuan lovage rhizome (Chuan Xiong), Rehmannia root cured (Shu Di Huang).

Shao Fu Zhu You Tang - Blood stagnation due to cold

Chinese name: Shao Fu Zhu You Tang
English name: Drive out stasis from the lower abdomen

Actions: Invigorates the Blood. Promotes the movement of Qi. Dispels Blood Stasis. Warms and regulates menstruation. Unblocks the collaterals. Unblocks painful obstruction. Alleviates pain
Pattern: Blood Stasis Accumulating in the Lower Jiao

Symptomology: Painful menstruation; Uterine bleeding; Low back pain; dysmenorrhea, irregular menstruation, low back pain, uterine bleeding, etc.

Tongue: Possible purple tongue, static spots, or static macules
Pulse: Possible choppy, bowstring, slow, deep, bound, regularly intermittent, skipping, or absent pulse

Ingredients: Dong quai root (Dang Gui), Cattail pollen (Pu Huang), Chinese peony root with bark (Chi Shao), Fennel fruit (Xiao Hui Xiang), Cassia bark (Rou Gui), Ginger rhizome dried (Gan Jiang), Corydalis yanhusuo rhizome (Yan Hu Suo), Myrrh resin (Mo Yao), Sichuan lovage rhizome (Chuan Xiong), Cyperus rhizome (Xiang Fu), Sparganium rhizome (San Leng), Curcuma rhizome (E Zhu).

Wen Jing Tang - Nourishes blood & dispels blood stagnation due to cold

Chinese name: Wen Jing Tang
English name: Warm the Menses Decoction

Actions: Dispels cold, warms and harmonizes the menses, nourishes the blood, dispels blood stagnation, and tonifies the Qi of the Middle Jiao
Indications: Early or late menses Persistent but mild uterine bleeding, continuous or extended menstrual flow. Bleeding or spotting between cycles. Distension, pain, and cold in the lower abdomen. Low grade fever in the evenings. Dry mouth and lips, warm feeling in the palms and soles. Infertility.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Dusky tongue with thin coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Weak, deep, thin, and slow Possibly choppy.

Western Uses: Irregular Menstruation. Dysmenorrhea. Uterine Bleeding. Infertility. Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Formulas that may be used for recurrent miscarriages

Bao Tai Zi Sheng wan - Qi deficiency abnormal bleeding & abdominal pain

Chinese name: Bao Tai Zi Sheng wan (a modification of SHEN LING BAI ZHU WAN)
English name: Protect the Fetus and Aid Life Formula

Actions: Threatened miscarriage. Calms the fetus. Harmonizes the Stomach. Tonifies Spleen-Qi. Morning sickness
Indications: Abnormal bleeding and abdominal pain that occurs while the pregnancy still continues

Ingredients: Ren Shen (Radix Ginseng 9g, Bai Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephala) 9g, Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae) 6g, Shan Zha (Fructus Crataegi 6g,Qian Shi (Semen Euryales Ferocis) 4.5g, Fu Ling (Sclerotium Poriae Cocos) 4.5g, Shan Yao (Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae) 4.5g, Bian Dou (Semen Dolichoris Lablab) 4.5g, Lian Zi (Semen Nelumbinis Nuciferae) 4.5g, Yi Yi Ren (Semen Coicis Lachryma-Jobi) 4.5g, Mai Ya (Fructus Hordei Vulgaris Germinatus) 3g, Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi Grandiflori) 1.5g, Bai Dou Kou (Fructus Amomi Cardamomi) 1g, Huo Xiang (Herba Agastaches seu Pogostemi) 1.5g, Ze Xie (Rhizoma Alismatis Orientalis) 1g, Zhi Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis) 1.5g, Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis Recens)1g.

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang - Qi collapse, chronic fatigue

Chinese name: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang
English name: Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Decoction

Pattern: Middle Jiao (Spleen and Stomach) Qi Deficiency
Actions: Tonifies Spleen Qi and the Middle Jiao. Raises sunken Yang and counters prolapse.

Indications: Weariness, fatigue, weak limbs, and headache. Watery, soft, or loose stools. Spontaneous sweating, shortness of breath, pale complexion, tendency to curl up, and laconic speech. Dislike of cold and a desire for warm drinks. Absence of taste. Fever that is worse upon exertion.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Pale swollen tongue with teeth marks and white coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Empty, weak, and flooding pulse

Tai Shan Pan Shi San - Qi and Blood Deficiency failing to nourish the fetus

Chinese name: Tai Shan Pan Shi San
English name: Formula that Gives the Stability of Mount Tai

Actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen. Nourishes the Blood. Calms the fetus
Indications: Qi and Blood Deficiency failing to nourish the fetus. A history of miscarriage or threatened miscarriage. Fatigue. Anorexia. Restless fetus. General weakness. Light red Blood. Constant lower abdominal pain. Insomnia. A pale or sallow complexion. Lassitude. Palpitations. Dizziness. Low back pain

Possible Tongue Appearance: Pale, Slippery or Thin and white coating
Possible Pulse Patterns: Slippery and forceless or Deep and weak

Western Uses: Threatened miscarriage. Habitual miscarriage. Painful menstruation. Uterine prolapse. Fetal restlessness. Pernicious vomiting. Amenorrhea. Weakness during pregnancy

Wen Jing Tang - Nourishes blood & dispels blood stagnation due to cold

Chinese name: Wen Jing Tang
English name: Warm the Menses Decoction

Actions: Dispels cold, warms and harmonizes the menses, nourishes the blood, dispels blood stagnation, and tonifies the Qi of the Middle Jiao
Indications: Early or late menses Persistent but mild uterine bleeding, continuous or extended menstrual flow. Bleeding or spotting between cycles. Distension, pain, and cold in the lower abdomen. Low grade fever in the evenings. Dry mouth and lips, warm feeling in the palms and soles. Infertility.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Dusky tongue with thin coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Weak, deep, thin, and slow Possibly choppy.

Western Uses: Irregular Menstruation. Dysmenorrhea. Uterine Bleeding. Infertility. Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Systematic Review of Chinese Medicine for Miscarriage during Early Pregnancy. Read here
By Lu Li, Ping Chung Leung, Tony Kwok Hung Chung, and Chi Chiu Wang

For mental health disorders

Overthinking

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang - Excess pattern with anger
Chinese name: Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
English name: Gentiana Longdancao Decoction to Drain the Liver

Pattern: Excess Heat in the Liver and/or Gallbladder Channels. Liver Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao.
Actions: Drains excess heat/fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Drains Damp and clears Heat from the lower burner.

Indications: Headache, tinnitus, bitter taste in the mouth, irritability and short temper, hypochondriac pain, red painful eyes, dizziness, deafness, and swelling of the ears
Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao: Difficult urination with pain and heat sensation in the Urethra, turbid urine, foul smelling thick yellow leukorrhea, swollen and pruritus of the external genitalia, impotence, short menstrual cycle with dark flow. Migraine Headaches, Intercostal Neuralgia, Gallstones, Acute Conjunctivitis, Acute Otitis Media, Boils and Carbuncles of the Vestibular and External Auditory Canal, Hypertension, Acute Icteric Hepatitis, Acute Cholecystitis, Herpes Zoster, Herpes Simplex, Acute Pyelitis, Acute Cystitis, Urethritis, Acute Pelvic Inflammation, Acute Prostatitis, Scrotal Eczema, Swollen Testes, Hyperthyroidism.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Red tongue with a greasy yellow coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Wiry, rapid, and forceful pulse

Ingredients: Scabrous gentian root (Long Dan Cao), Bupleurum root (Chai Hu), Asian water plantain rhizome (Ze Xie), Rehmannia root (Di Huang), Barbed skullcap root (Huang Qin), Gardenia fruit (Zhi Zi), Rice paper plant pith (Tong Cao), Asian plantain seed (Che Qian Zi), Dong quai root (Dang Gui), Chinese licorice root (Gan Cao).

Wen Dan Tang - Mental confusion
Chinese name: Wen Dan Tang
English name: Warm the Gallbladder Decoction

Actions: Clears Gallbladder heat, regulates Qi, reduces phlegm, and regulates the stomach
Indications: Timidity. Over-thinking. Nausea and vomiting, bitter taste, sour regurgitation, dizziness, vertigo, anxiety, palpitations, insomnia, slight thirst, and gnawing hunger. Seizures with copious sputum and focal distension in the chest.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Red with a greasy yellow coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Rapid and slippery pulse. Rapid wiry pulse

Ingredients: Pinellia Rhizome Processed With Ginger (Jiang Ban Xia), Unripe Bitter Orange Processed (Fu Chao Zhi Shi), Bamboo Shavings Processed (Jiang Zhu Ru), Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi), Licorice Root Processed (Mi Gan Cao), Poria (Fu Ling), Fresh Ginger Root Rhizome (Sheng Jiang), Jujube Fruit (Da Zao)

Gui Pi Tang - Deficiency pattern
Chinese name: Gui Pi Tang
English name: Restore the Spleen Decoction

Pattern: Spleen Qi deficiency with Heart Blood and Yin deficiency
Actions: Tonifies Blood and Qi – Nourishes the Heart and strengthens the Spleen.

Indications: Fatigue, poor memory, palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, phobias, poor sleep or dream disturbed sleep, poor appetite, sallow complexion, withdrawal, low-grade fever, and night sweating. Early periods with loss of excess pale blood, continuous spotting, blood in the stool, leukorrhea, metrostaxis, and metrorrhagia.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Pale tongue with a thin white coat, possibly swollen
Possible Pulse Patterns: Thin and weak pulse

Ingredients: Ginseng (Ren shen), Atractylodes Rhizome (Bai zhu), Hoelen (Fu ling), Astragalus Root (Huang qi), Angelica sinensis (Dang gui), Semen Zizyphi Spinosae (Suan zao ren), Longan Fruit (Long yan rou), Honey-fried Chinese Senega Root (Zhi yuan zhi), Licorice (Gan cao), Jujube (Da zao), Radix Aucklandiae Lappae (Mu xiang), Fresh Ginger (Sheng jiang)

Reviews: used for insomnia, for anemia, for osteopenia (bone density), to improves Cognitive Function in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients, for dementia… Read

Article: THE QI KEEPS THE BLOOD WITHIN THE VESSELS by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D. Read

Withdrawn

Yue Ju Wan

Chinese name: Yue Ju Wan
English name: Escape Restraint Pill

Actions: Activates Qi, releases constraint, and reduces stagnation of Qi, Blood, Damp, Phlegm, Heat, and Food
Indications: Focal Distension, fullness in the abdomen and chest, hypochondriac distension and pain, belching, vomiting, indigestion, acid regurgitation, nausea, reduced appetite, distending breast or lower abdomen pain, dysmenorrhea, and possible cough with copious sputum

Possible Tongue Appearance: Purple, red, or dusky tongue body with a greasy white or yellow coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Slippery and wiry pulse, possibly rapid (although the general attitude is subdued)

Western Uses: Gastrointestinal Neurosis. Gastric or Duodenal Ulcer. Chronic Gastritis. Infectious Hepatitis. Cholecystitis. Cholecystolithiasis. Intercostal Neuralgia

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Chinese name: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang
English name: Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Decoction

Pattern: Middle Jiao (Spleen and Stomach) Qi Deficiency
Actions: Tonifies Spleen Qi and the Middle Jiao. Raises sunken Yang and counters prolapse.

Indications: Weariness, fatigue, weak limbs, and headache. Watery, soft, or loose stools. Spontaneous sweating, shortness of breath, pale complexion, tendency to curl up, and laconic speech. Dislike of cold and a desire for warm drinks. Absence of taste. Fever that is worse upon exertion.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Pale swollen tongue with teeth marks and white coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Empty, weak, and flooding pulse

Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan

Chinese name: Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan
English name: Kidney Qi Pill from the Golden Cabinet

Actions: Tonifies and warms Kidney Yang. Drains damp and water accumulation and promotes urination.
Indications: Weakness and soreness in the lower back and knees, tenderness or tense feeling in the lower abdomen, a cold feeling in the lower half of the body, impotence, spermatorrhea, palpitations, clear and profuse urination possibly with incontinence, water retention, irritability with a difficulty or inability to lay down. Thirst and copious and frequent urination. Leg Qi with sore, weak, numb, and swollen lower limbs and difficulty walking.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Swollen and pale tongue, possibly with teeth marks
Possible Pulse Patterns: Weak and deep pulse, possibly thin or empty

Insomnia

Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan
Chinese name: Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan
English name: Emperor of Heaven’s Special Pill to Tonify the Heart

Pattern: Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency
Actions: Nourishes the Blood and Yin, Tonifies the Heart and Kidneys, clears deficient heat, and calms the spirit

Indications: Anxiety, irritability, palpitations, fatigue, insomnia, easily wakened, restless sleep, inability to think clearly, trouble with concentration, poor memory, forgetfulness, nocturnal emissions, dry throat and mouth, and possible mouth and tongue sores. Neurasthenia. Insomnia. Hypertension, hyperthyroidism

Possible Tongue Appearance: Red tongue with little coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Thin and rapid pulse

Ingredients: Dan Shen (Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae); Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis); Shi Cang Pu (Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii); Dang Shen (Radix Codonopsis); Fu Ling (Poria cocos); Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis); Mai Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis); Tian Dong (Radix Asparagi); Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae); Xuan Shen (Radix Scrophulariae); Yuan Zhi (Radix Polygalae); Suan Zao Ren (Semen Ziziphi Spinosae); Bai Zi Ren (Semen Platycladi); Jie Geng (Radix Platycodonis); Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae).

Review: Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan for Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Efficacy and Safety, by Xi-qian Yang, Ling Liu, Shu-ping Ming, Jie Fang, and Dong-nan Wu. Read

Article: Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, Famous Patent for Nourishing The Heart, by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D. Read

Suan zao ren tang
Chinese name: Suan zao ren tang
English name: Sour Jujube Decoction

Pattern: Liver Blood Deficiency with Heat from Deficiency
Actions: Nourishes Liver and Heart blood Nourishes Yin. Clears deficient heat and calms the spirit.

Indications: Anxiety, irritability, restlessness, inability to or difficulty in falling asleep, palpitations, night sweats, dizziness, vertigo, thirst, dry mouth and throat

Possible Tongue Appearance: Dry and red tongue with little coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Wiry, then, and rapid pulse

Ingredients: Spiny Jujube Kernel Processed (Chao Suan Zao Ren), Anemarrhena Rhizome (Zhi Mu), Chuanxiong Rhizome (Chuan Xiong), Poria (Fu Ling), Licorice Root (Gan Cao)

Gui Pi Tang
Chinese name: Gui Pi Tang
English name: Restore the Spleen Decoction

Pattern: Spleen Qi deficiency with Heart Blood and Yin deficiency
Actions: Tonifies Blood and Qi – Nourishes the Heart and strengthens the Spleen.

Indications: Fatigue, poor memory, palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, phobias, poor sleep or dream disturbed sleep, poor appetite, sallow complexion, withdrawal, low-grade fever, and night sweating. Early periods with loss of excess pale blood, continuous spotting, blood in the stool, leukorrhea, metrostaxis, and metrorrhagia.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Pale tongue with a thin white coat, possibly swollen
Possible Pulse Patterns: Thin and weak pulse

Ingredients: Ginseng (Ren shen), Atractylodes Rhizome (Bai zhu), Hoelen (Fu ling), Astragalus Root (Huang qi), Angelica sinensis (Dang gui), Semen Zizyphi Spinosae (Suan zao ren), Longan Fruit (Long yan rou), Honey-fried Chinese Senega Root (Zhi yuan zhi), Licorice (Gan cao), Jujube (Da zao), Radix Aucklandiae Lappae (Mu xiang), Fresh Ginger (Sheng jiang)

Reviews: used for insomnia, for anemia, for osteopenia (bone density), to improves Cognitive Function in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients, for dementia… Read

Article: THE QI KEEPS THE BLOOD WITHIN THE VESSELS by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D. Read

Anxiety with potential gastrointestinal issues

Ban Xia Hou Po Tang - Globus Hystericus

Chinese name: Ban Xia Hou Po Tang
English name: Pinellia and Magnolia Bark Decoction

Pattern: Qi Stagnation with Phlegm, Plum-Pit Qi
Actions: Moves Qi and disperses nodules. Descends rebellious Qi. Resolves phlegm.

Indications: Plum-Pit Qi – A subjective feeling that something is stuck in the throat, usually due to emotional upset. A fullness, oppression, or stifling sensation in the chest and hypochondria. Cough with white sputum, nausea and vomiting. Globus Hystericus. Hysteria. Gastro-intestinal Neurosis. Esophagospasm. Chronic Laryngitis. Tracheitis.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Dusky or normal with a greasy or moist white tongue coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Wiry and slippery pulse

Ingredients: Pinellia rhizome cured (Zhi Ban Xia), Magnolia bark (Hou Po), Poria sclerotium (Fu Ling), Ginger rhizome fresh (Sheng Jiang), Perilla leaves (Zi Su Ye).

Reviews: used for anxiety, for reducing Pneumonia Risk in Older Adults With Dementia, on the Swallowing Reflex in Parkinson’s Disease… Read

Wen Dan Tang - Panic attack
Chinese name: Wen Dan Tang
English name: Warm the Gallbladder Decoction

Actions: Clears Gallbladder heat, regulates Qi, reduces phlegm, and regulates the stomach
Indications: Timidity. Over-thinking. Nausea and vomiting, bitter taste, sour regurgitation, dizziness, vertigo, anxiety, palpitations, insomnia, slight thirst, and gnawing hunger. Seizures with copious sputum and focal distension in the chest.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Red with a greasy yellow coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Rapid and slippery pulse. Rapid wiry pulse

Ingredients: Pinellia Rhizome Processed With Ginger (Jiang Ban Xia), Unripe Bitter Orange Processed (Fu Chao Zhi Shi), Bamboo Shavings Processed (Jiang Zhu Ru), Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi), Licorice Root Processed (Mi Gan Cao), Poria (Fu Ling), Fresh Ginger Root Rhizome (Sheng Jiang), Jujube Fruit (Da Zao)

Gan Mai Da Zao Tang

Chinese name: Gan Mai Da Zao Tang
English name: Licorice, Wheat, and Jujube Decoction

Pattern: Restless Organ Syndrome (Zang Zao)
Actions: Nourishes the Heart and calms the Spirit. Harmonizes the Middle Jiao.

Indications: Depression, moodiness, frequent melancholy and crying, sadness, frequent yawning, restless sleep with possible sweating, in severe cases there can be abnormal speech and behavior. Hysteria. Mania. Convulsions

Possible Tongue Appearance: Red tongue with thin coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Thin rapid pulse

Ingredients: Xiao Mai (Fructus Tritici) ~ Da Zao (Fructus Jujubae) ~ mix-fried Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae)

Review: Antidepressant-like effects of Gan-Mai-Dazao-Tang via monoamine regulatory pathways on forced swimming test in rats. Read

Bao He Wan

Chinese name: Bao He Wan
English name: Preserve Harmony Pill

Pattern: Acute and mild food stagnation
Actions: Promotes digestion and reduces food stagnation. Dries damp and clears heat.

Indications: Epigastric and abdominal distention (bloating) and fullness with intermittent pain. Acid regurgitation, belching, nausea and vomiting, and loss of appetite. Constipation or Diarrhea.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Greasy yellow or sticky yellow coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Slippery pulse

Ingredients: Hawthorn Fruit (Shan zha), Massa Fermentata (Shen qu), Pinellia Tuber (Ban xia), Hoelen (Fu ling), Tangerine Peel (Chen pi), Forsythia fruit (Lian qiao), Semen Raphani Sativi (Lai Fu Zi)

Harmonising formulas

Si Ni San

Chinese name: Si Ni San
English name: Frigid Extremities Powder

Pattern: Liver (Qi Stagnation) attacking the Spleen and Stomach
Actions: Spreads Liver Qi and regulates the Spleen. Eliminates internal heat and reduces stagnation.

Indications: Cool or cold extremities (fingers and toes). Possible irritability with distension and fullness in the epigastria and chest. Bitter taste in the mouth and dry throat. Possible abdominal pain with diarrhea. Dysmenorrhea and distending breast pain.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Red or dusky tongue with a yellow coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Wiry pulse, possibly rapid

Ingredients: Bai Shao (Radix Alba Paeoniae) ~ Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri) ~ Zhi Shi (Fructus Immaturus Aurantii) ~ mix-fried Gan Cao (Radeix Glycyrrhizae)

Review: Screening of the antidepressant-like effect of the traditional Chinese medicinal formula Si-Ni-San and their possible mechanism of action in mice. Read

Chai Hu Shu Gan Tang
Chinese name: Chai Hu Shu Gan Tang
English name: Bupleurum Powder to Spread the LiverActions: Spreads Liver Qi. Promotes Qi circulation. Harmonizes the Blood. Alleviates pain
Indications: Depression. Easily angered. Hypochondriac pain and distention. Alternating fever and chills. Chest fullness. Bitter taste in mouth. Fidgeting. Abdominal pain and cramps. Breast distention and pain. Irritability. Dysmenorrhea. Irregular menstruation. Amenorrhea

Possible Tongue Appearance: Pink. Thin and white coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Wiry or Tight

Ingredients: Radix Bupleuri Chinensis (Chai hu), Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae (Chen pi), Radix Paeoniae Lactiflorae (Bai shao), Fructus Aurantii (Zhi ke), Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong (Chuan xiong),
Rhizoma Cyperi Rotundi (Xiang fu), Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis (Gan cao).

Review: Treatment of depression with Chai Hu Shu Gan San: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 42 randomized controlled trials, by Yan Sun,  Xia Xu, Jinping Zhang and Yuanyuan Chen. Read

Xiao Yao San

Chinese name: Xiao Yao San
English name: Rambling Powder, Free and Easy Wanderer

Pattern: Liver Qi Stagnation with Blood Deficiency
Actions: Spreads Liver Qi and relieves stagnation. Tonifies the Spleen and nourishes the blood.

Indications: Irritability, depression, and moodiness. Fatigue, headache, and dizziness. Hypochondriac fullness or pain. Breast distention, irregular menstruation, and dysmenorrhea. Bitter taste in the mouth, dry mouth and throat, and poor appetite.

Possible Tongue Appearance: Pale red tongue
Possible Pulse Patterns: Wiry and deficient pulse

Ingredients: Bupleurum root (Chai Hu), Angelica sinensis (Dang Gui), Chinese peony root (Bai Shao), atractylodes rhizome (Bai Zhu), Poria sclerotium (Fu Ling), Chinese mint aerial part (Bo He), Ginger rhizome fresh (Sheng Jiang), Chinese licorice root (Gan Cao).

Review: Chinese Herbal Formula Xiao Yao San for Treatment of Depression: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Read

Yue Ju Wan

Chinese name: Yue Ju Wan
English name: Escape Restraint Pill

Actions: Activates Qi, releases constraint, and reduces stagnation of Qi, Blood, Damp, Phlegm, Heat, and Food
Indications: Focal Distension, fullness in the abdomen and chest, hypochondriac distension and pain, belching, vomiting, indigestion, acid regurgitation, nausea, reduced appetite, distending breast or lower abdomen pain, dysmenorrhea, and possible cough with copious sputum

Possible Tongue Appearance: Purple, red, or dusky tongue body with a greasy white or yellow coat
Possible Pulse Patterns: Slippery and wiry pulse, possibly rapid (although the general attitude is subdued)

Western Uses: Gastrointestinal Neurosis. Gastric or Duodenal Ulcer. Chronic Gastritis. Infectious Hepatitis. Cholecystitis. Cholecystolithiasis. Intercostal Neuralgia