Kampo and Eagleherbs


Eagleherbs.com thinks of itself as Chinese Medicinal Herbs. Yet much of the inspiration for our business and treating models is what is called Kampo, what the Japanese call their herbal medicine.


Japanese and Chinese physicians (like all good doctors) will pay particular attention to the chief complaints, affect of the patient and other signs and symptoms. For all Asian medicines, the tongue and pulses are usually examined. With these and other diagnostic tools, a determination of the disease will be made.

In Kampo, the signs and symptoms, along with the disease determine the formula. The disease usually follows the complaint, which the patient will tell you by their symptoms. After the disease is determined then we can refine them according to a further look at the symptoms. These follow some principles of Chinese medicine like hot or cold, interior or exterior, in other words: yin or yang. That’s why we have the hot or not page.

However, in the Chinese modern method particular importance is given to the Zhengduan (診斷 zhěnduàn- pronounced more or less like jun dwan) or a diagnostic pattern. This is unique to Chinese Medicine and must be determined by a highly trained clinical doctor. Because this diagnosis is so particular it would make little sense for us to sell herbs directly to consumers based on “Spleen Qi deficiency” or “wood over-acting on earth” (to name a few common patterns).


The Japanese first incorporated Chinese Medicine way way back when.
This is from the Journal of International Medical Research written by F Yu, T Takahashi, J Moriya, K Kawaura, J Yamakawa, K Kusaka, et al
After World War II Kampo medicine, ushered in a new age in Japan. In 1967, the health insurance authorities began reimbursement for four Kampo drug formulae prescribed by doctors. Reimbursement was available for 147 formulae in 1987 and about 400 formulae in 2000. Thereafter, Kampo spread steadily and rapidly.

From Wiki: Kampō medicine (漢方医学 Kanpō igaku?), alternatively shortened as just Kanpō (漢方?), is the study and further development of Chinese Herbal Medicine in Japan. The fundamental principles of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) came to Japan between the 7th and 9th centuries.[1] Since then, the Japanese have created their own unique system of diagnosis and therapy. Japanese traditional medicine uses most of the Chinese therapies including acupuncture and moxibustion, but Kampō in its present-day sense is primarily concerned with the study of herbs.

Here is rather long article concerning the complexities of evaluating Kampo (and all Chinese medicine in the modern age).Evidence-based Reconstruction of Kampo Medicine: Part-III—How Should Kampo be Evaluated?
Katsutoshi TerasawaKampo agents, being herbal preparations, cannot only be regarded as ‘drugs’, but can also be seen as special ‘foods’, as exemplified by the famous Kampo slogan, ‘Foods and drugs, from the same origin’.

some favorite modifications to calm the shen

Some favorite modifications

Modifications for Mental Focus:

Yuan Zhi 遠志 Chinese senega root; polygala Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae [use caution if pregnant]

Shi Chang Pu 石菖蒲 sweetflag rhizome; acorus Rhizoma Acori Graminei

Yuan zhi and shi chang pu are used in many formulas that for its head-clearing effects. These two herbs are used in Eagle Herbs’ ANX formula.


Modification for Insomnia:

Suan zao ren and ye jiao teng don’t make you drowsy, but they restore your calm you so a timely and appropriate desire to sleep can naturally arise. Suan zao ren has a tasty nutty flavor that goes well with the coffee lover’s tastes. Ye jiao teng tastes like Dang Gui, so you probably won’t notice that taste either way.

Suan Zao Ren 酸棗仁 sour jujube seed; zizyphus Semen Zizyphi Spinosae [use caution if pregnant]

Ye Jiao Teng 夜交藤 corydalis rhizome Caulis Polygoni Multiflori


Modification for anxiety and sweating:

Long Gu (Dragon Bone) and Mu Li (oyster shell) are both heavy substances (minerals, essentially) that are said to anchor the spirit to address jitters, shakes, anxiety or sweating. These two herbs actually help calm jitters and shakes too, best teamed up with Gou Teng mentioned below.

Long Gu 龍骨 dragon bone; fossilized vertebrae Os Draconis

Mu Li 牡蠣 oyster shell Concha Ostreae


Modification for Palpitations:

Sometimes the energetic heat in coffee can get your heart racing, in the same way that very spicy peppers might. Dan shen cools the heat that’s causing a rapid heartbeat or palpitations due to drinking too much or too strong coffee. This herb is actually used quite often in medical applications that support the normal functions of the heart.

Dan Shen 丹蔘 salvia root Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae, Salviae miltiorrhizae Radix [caution]


Modification for tics, tremors, shakes

Gou teng is the gou-to herb for internal wind. Internal wind looks like an over-stimulated nervous system in that it causes body parts to tremble, like wind passing through the leaves of a tree. Gou teng calms tremors, chills the shakes, and sedates the tics that arise from excessive coffee consumption.

Gou Teng 芶藤 stems of gambir vine; gambir, uncaria vine Ramulus Uncariae cum Uncis


Modification to Prevent Indigestion:

As was mentioned above, because of the rich nourishing qualities of a base formula, some elder zhong yi suggest adding a few herbs to this formula to prevent indigestion, bloating, or gas in those who can’t tolerate heavy broths, creams, or tastes.

These three herbs are known to American Chinese medicine students as The Three Candies. They’re sweet, delicious, and help stimulate the digestion so as to make this formula more satisfying in those with sensitive stomachs.

Da Zao 大棗 jujube, Chinese date Jujubae Fructus

Sheng Jiang 生薑 fresh ginger rhizome Zingiberis Rhizoma

Gan Cao 甘草 licorice root Radix Glycyrrhizae [caution]

Mu Xiang is a standard herb to use when the other herbs such as Ginseng- Ren Shen may be too heavy to digest.

Cyperus and Peony Formula (Shu Gan Wan)

Details of Spread the Liver Formula
Chai hu bupleurum is the key root in this formula that regulates intestinal movement.

There are many forms and variations of “Shu Gan Wan” such as “Chai Hu Shu Gan Wan”. Chai hu bupleurum is the key root to all of them.

Cyperus and Peony (Shu Gan Wan) is my “go-to” formula stress-induced digestive problems especially when there is pain. You know, when you have a big test or you have to visit unpleasant relatives and your stomach mysteriously starts hurting.

The (Chinese) Liver is very sensitive to emotions and when the Liver doesn’t move that free flowing “qi/energy” it can attack the (Chinese) Spleen and Stomach system and can cause pain there. This can happen even when you aren’t conscious of anger or being upset. Only that you aren’t happy or facing unpleasant things.

So you can remember when you have had stress and/or bloating that may lead to pain.”Stress-induced” can also mean “hormonal” or PMS, anything coincidental with the time just before or during a woman’s period.

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Huang Lian Shang Qing Pian

Details of Huang Lian Shang Qing Pian

Huang Lian Shang Qing Pian works to clear heat and wind in the Yang Ming Channel. This can manifest as pain in the face, specifically the teeth. This is a very, very draining formula and a person can take it for a few days and it seems to help. Anyone with a toothache should see their dentist obviously but this formula may help in the short term. The main herb – Huang Lian (Coptis) should not be used for more than 5 days or so.
The draining means it moves heat downward and overuse may cause loose stools or diarrhea, so be aware.


  • Huang Lian- Rhizoma Coptidis Recens
  • Zhi Zi- Fructus Gardeniae Jasminoidis
  • Lian Qiao – Fructus Forsythiae Suspensae
  • Man Jing Zi – Fructus Viticis
  • Fang Feng -Radix Saposhnikoviae Divaricatae
  • Jing Jie – Herba Schizonepetae Tenuifoliae
  • Bai Zhi – Radix Angelicae Dahuricae
  • Huang Qin – Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis
  • Ju Hua – Flos Chrysanthemi Morifolii
  • Bo He – Herba Menthae Haplocalycis
  • Da Huang – Radix Et Rhizoma Rhei
  • Huang Bo/Bai – Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis
  • Jie Geng – Radix Platycodi Grandiflori
  • Chuan Xiong – Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong
  • Shi Gao – Gypsum Fibrosum
  • Xuan Fu Hua – Flos Inulae
  • Gan Cao – Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis
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    a bit more on granules


    We have gotten a few emails about our granules. Sometimes people buy from other companies and the taste and texture of the granules are different. Making Granules is relatively new and many of the issues of them have yet to be worked out. Our main distributor is run by Eric Brand and his father, Charlie. Eric has written a book about using granules.

    Basically herbs get processed in slightly different ways depending on the processor. Each herb needs a “binder” or some type of starch for the constituents of the herb essence to stick to. Some use potato, some soy, some the bulk of residue herbs as this binder. Sometimes the ratio is 5:1 and sometimes its up to 10:1. The smaller ratios can be more potent but also more susceptible to clumping over time. Some herbs also need a bigger ratio to be stable. So this is the short answer as to why there are different colors and textures to the granules.

    Our distributers buy from a company called Treasure of the East which is a big company in China which ships to Taiwan and Japan which both have higher standards than the USA.

    So as long as you buy from a reputable company – which is basically anything you can buy in the states from a well-known company on the internet- you don’t have to worry about impurities. The problem comes when you buy from an internet company based in China or go to the smaller shops in a Chinatown, USA. Sometimes their herbs may be “less than pure”. Impurities are a big issue in China and both that country and the western countries are cracking down heavily on bad practices.

    Huang Lian Jie Du San discussion


    Huang Lian Jie Du San (Coptis and Scute Combination) is one of the most commonly and strongest formulas for clearing “heat” from the body. It uses just four herbs: the “three Huangs” (Bai, Qin and Lian). Huang Lian is one of the nastiest tasting things in the world and I LOVE it! There is a Chinese saying that “My life is more bitter than Huang Lian”. The fourth herb, Zhi Zi helps drain the heat that the “huangs” have dislodged.

    However, Huang Lian Jie Du San (Coptis and Scute Combination) is so bitter that it shouldn’t be used for too long. All that bitterness can dry out the stomach and otherwise damage it. I would say if you are unsupervised by someone a week on Huang Lian Jie Du San is enough. Not everything can be cured and if need be anti-biotics might be needed. Sorry to say but sometimes thats how it goes.

    Take care,


    Yan Hu Suo – Single Herb


    About yan hu suo/corydalis: Yan Hu Suo (pronounced yawn-who-so) granules may be used for pain including those caused after exercise.  It doesn’t always take away all the pain but it can help a lot.

    Eagleherbs doesn’t usually sell single herbs (we like formulas/ groups of herbs) but sometimes we find something that can be very effective when used correctly. Yan Hu Suo (Corydalis yanhusuo) is one such herb that is effective for pain. Apparently scientists at UC Irvine have found that the roots of Yan Hu Suo (which has been used for thousands of years for pain in China) contains a compound called dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB). Who knew!? They call this type of research Neuropharmacology. This research was done on rodents so animals were harmed, so be forewarned.

    In traditional Chinese Medicine Yan Hu Suo/ Cordyalis is said to “invigorate blood”. Therefore, it is contraindicated for pregnancy and in modern times is cautioned for use with blood thinners such as warfarin/ coumadin. Dr. Daniel Hsu on the Dr. Oz show mentions that it shouldn’t be used for people with irregular heart beats. Not something I had heard but not bad advice. For everyone start with a small dosages at first while paying particular attention to avoid stomach upset.

    Note that the FDA has not evaluated any claims on Eagleherbs.com.

    You may notice that we often offer Yan Hu Suo as an add-on to existing formulas for pain. We do have other formulas that direct the corydalis more specifically to parts of the body. For more specific problems you can check out other pain formulas on Eagle Herbs including Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang and Juan Bi Tang (shoulder), Zuo Gu Shen Jing Tong Wan (Lower Trunk) as well as xue fu zhu yu tang which targets the chest and shao fu zhu yu tang which targets the lower abdomen. Some of these contain Corydalis and some use other herbs in place. Often you can “add-on” corydalis. 

    100 grams should be about 10 days worth but your needs may vary. Be careful with all pain relievers that it doesn’t upset your stomach. Taking just after a meal is not a bad rule.

    If you have been taking Corydalis and have some experiences to share please write us at service@eagleherbs.com .  I would love to hear how this works for you (or doesn’t). I wouldn’t publish anything that you write.


    take care,




    Availability status: in stock

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    Guiding Herbs for this formula

    We don’t do Black Friday.


    Black Friday is a strange American consumer ritual where stores offer big sales the day after Thanksgiving in late November. And Eagleherbs is a strange site. We would like to think we are a medical site yet we sell directly to the consumer by virtue of self diagnosis. We think that you guys can make reasonable choices when given the right information. If not then you can choose for some quick emails or pay for a full telephone consultation.

    We don’t sell willy nilly to consumers just because we can make a buck. We care about your health and we want to make sure you get the best herbs for your needs. Therefore we don’t do Black Friday. If we can we offer deals and discounts when we can but our job is to get you better.


    What the heck is the “Chinese Liver?”


    When the Chinese medicine practitioner talks about the “Liver” you can think of two biomedical systems that may apply. The first is hormonal (in the sense of female hormones). Many issues that we treat with Chinese herbal medicine are aggravated or induced on some monthly regularity. These usually track back to the Chinese “Liver” and are treated accordingly.

    The other common translation for “Liver” is anything induced or aggravated by emotional stress. This is extremely common. Even the term “hypochondriac” can be applied to the Chinese Liver. “Hypo” means “below” and “chondria” means ribs. People with a stuffy pain below the ribs that is aggravated by emotional sensitivity or stress were often set aside as having psychological problems rather than medical problems. Chinese medicine doesn’t separate these two aspects of the person. OF COURSE the mind can generate physical problems, and physical problems can affect our emotions and spirit. Pain below the ribs is something of a key symptom associated with the Liver in Chinese medicine.

    Hypochondriacs are welcome in Chinese medicine. :)

    Okay, so I think we’ve lightly covered this “Liver” definition. Now, let’s explain how the Liver can generate these particular headache patterns.

    In Chinese medicine there are these ancient sayings that are used to explain how and why problems arise in the body. Some of the ancient sayings that go into explaining the Liver based headaches include:

    The Liver opens to the eyes.

    Problems with vision or the eye are treated through the Liver. The Liver is connected to the eyes via the acupuncture channels, not the superficial ones that we can needle, but the deeper ones that connect internal organs to sensory organs such as the Liver and the eyes. So, pain behind the eyes are assumed to be some sort of stagnation of qi-energy or blood in the channel that connects to the back of the eyes. Also, the pre-migraine “scintillations” or aura falls into this Liver/Eye connection.

    The Liver has an interior-exterior relationship with the Gallbladder.

    Biomedicine recognizes that the liver produces bile which is then stored in the gallbladder. This is somewhat self-evident if you can open up the body and look. However, what is unique about Chinese medicine is the recognition that if the Liver gets over-stressed or the monthly cycle isn’t flowing well, the Liver can get hot. Because of the close relationship between the Liver and Gallbladder, there is an intimate relationship between the Liver and Gallbladder channels. So, when the Liver gets hot, this heat can rise up into the Gallbladder channel. The Gallbladder’s channel zig-zags on the side of the head. Pain occurring there is usually assumed to have some sort of relationship with the Gallbladder and by extension, the Liver.

    The Liver’s climate is wind.

    Wind comes from two places according to Chinese medicine. One is the exterior. This would be defined biomedically as the common cold, flu or seasonal allergies.

    Interior wind causes with tics, tremors, and inappropriate jerky movements. Interior wind generally arises from the Liver. So again, any menstrual irregularity can cause wind, as well as emotional stress. Certainly we’ve all had the experience of facial tics when upset, or a shaky body when bluffing during a high-stakes game of poker.

    When wind arises from the Liver, it can easily travel upward into the head via the Liver and/or Gallbladder channel. For this reason, stress that generates internal wind can clog up the channels that go through the head giving rise to one-sided headaches or headaches that favor the temples. Even ear-ringing can be tracked down to Liver wind, especially when aggravated by emotional stress.

    So, to generate headaches, the Liver can get hot, it can produce wind, or it can also become hyperactive. Functionally speaking, the Liver is in charge of maintaining the free-flow of qi in the body. This is going to look like nervous system functions in biomedicine.

    Looking through the eyes of Chinese medicine, the Liver sprays its qi-energy outward, much like the heart pumps blood only in one direction, but because the cardiovascular system is a closed loop, the blood always returns to the heart. Qi-energy is similar. The acupuncture channel system is, like the cardiovascular system a closed loop.

    But the outward pushing function of the Liver can become excessive at times, again usually secondary to stress or the female’s monthly cycle. This leads to an excessive amount of qi-energy rising to the head where it becomes a pounding headache. The goal then is to relax the Liver and help the qi-energy to descend out of the head. While herbs are used to directly calm the Liver, heavy herbs such as bones and shells are used to help that qi-energy descend out of the head. This experience from the perspective of the patient is that they’ll feel headaches after getting angry or frustrated. “Rising qi” is in the Chinese language sometimes translated to “anger” in English.

    Be well, be VERY well.