Details of Codonopsis and Longan Combination
This is a well-known variation of Ginseng and Longan Combination, also called Gui Pi Tang. Dang Shen (Codonopsis) is often substituted for Ginseng, not just in this formula, but in many, many others. So much so, that we often have to check the label from our distributor in those cases when we buy the pre-mixed formulas. Truthfully, there is not much difference between them but often people prefer one over another.
- Spleen-Returning Decoction
- Back to the Spleen Decoction
- gui pi tang
- kuei pi tang
- kihi to
- TJ65; TJ-65; TJ 65
- guī pí wán
- Overthinking or worry
- supports digestive functions,
- regulates intestinal functions
- promotes general energy level
- regulates sleep
- regulates menstrual periods
- Excessive study or mental activity
- Excessive time working on the computer (I feel for you!)
- insomnia at night with fatigue during the day
- heart palpitations
- inability to concentrate or remember
- (sexual) performance anxiety (causing erectile dysfunction)
There are several conditions associated with the use of this formula. When the lack of Spleen qi’s digestive functions leads to a deficiency of blood there is some overlap with the biomedical concept of anemia, but they don’t line up perfectly.
In particular, indications of “Spleen qi and Heart blood deficiency” can include many symptoms associated with some sort of disregulation of the brain chemistry or neurotransmitters.
In particular, this condition of Spleen qi and Heart blood deficiency commonly arises from excessive intellectual activity. That can deplete the Spleen qi. For that reason we often call it the “students formula”.
So, while you’re taking your herbs, try and get outside for a walk once a day. Pet your cat or wrassle with your kids. Get out of your head now and then and your Spleen qi will thank you!
The Chinese concept of the “Spleen” (capitalized) is not the same as the biomedical “spleen” (lower-case). The Chinese medicine Spleen has a few functions. It is the power behind digestive processes; it holds things up and is thus implicated in prolapsed organs; and finally it is said to govern the blood which has to do with keeping the blood flowing appropriately within the blood vessels. There are two causes for inappropriate bleeding, this is one of them (the other is “heat in the blood“.)
If you bruise easily, or find bruises on your body but don’t remember bumping into anything, you may have a Spleen qi deficiency, specifically that Spleen function that keeps blood within the vessels.
This formula regulates the flow of blood and supports the structural integrity of the blood vessels. Those who may benefit from this support could have the following transitory symptoms:
- bleeding gums (pale and watery blood)
- spotting between periods
- heavy menstrual flow (pale and watery blood)
- prolonged menstrual flow
- easy bruising
Long Yan Rou 龍眼肉 flesh of the longan fruit, longan Longan Arillus
- This is the single herb that, to me, really sums up this formula. It is unique in that it does exactly what this formula in general does. This herb, a delicious fruit in its own right, supports the Spleen qi digestive functions that are specific to the creation of blood.
Dang Shen Radix Codonopsis
- Dang Shen is used a larger dose here as its easier to digest than Ren Shen. Because this formula helps digestion, not having the “heavier” Ren Shen is an asset.
Huang Qi 黃耆 astragalus root, milk-vetch root, milkvetch root Astragali Radix
- These two potent herbs are famous for stimulating the digestive functions of the Spleen. Huang Qi astragalus is also used to lift the Spleen qi, which is required in this formula to lift nutrients from the digestive organs up to the Heart where they are transformed into blood. (I know, this isn’t scientific, but it is Chinese medicine theory.)
Bai Zhu 白术 , bai shu ovate atractylodes, (white) atractylodes rhizome [supports pregnancy]
Fu Shen 茯神 spirit poria Poriae Sclerotium pararadicis
- The above two herbs are another pair of Spleen tonics, but they also excrete fluids. The outcome of a weak Spleen is often an abundance of fluids that we call “dampness” in Chinese medicine. These two herbs help you pee out any extra water that may be stored in your body. This is a common outcome of Spleen qi deficiency. Fu Shen spirit poria has the added benefit of being a calming herb as well.
Dang Gui 當歸 tangkuei, Chinese angelica root Radix Angelicae Sinensis [supports pregnancy]
Suan Zao Ren 酸棗仁 sour jujube seed; zizyphus Semen Zizyphi Spinosae [use caution if pregnant]
- The above two herbs are both tonics for the blood. While the root cause of the lack of blood (and neurotransmitter disharmonies) is the digestive weakness (Spleen qi deficiency), the branch or more superficial symptom is a lack of blood in the body. These two herbs specifically target the creation of more blood. Suan Zao Ren zizyphus is also a famous herb for promoting healthy sleep.
Yuan Zhi 遠志 Chinese senega root; polygala Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae
- This herb is used in support of the psychological benefits of this formula. The Yuan in Yuan Zhi means “far (away)” and the Zhi is an aspect of the mind. Note that there is the heart written into the character. The “spirit is stored in the heart” and this formula is for “Spleen qi and Heart blood”. That means that Ginseng and Longan Combination is famous for regulating those nervous system functions associated with concentration, memory, anxiety, and heart palpitations.
Zhi Gan Cao 炙甘草 licorice root Radix Glycyrrhizae prep. [caution]
- These three herbs (known to Americans as the “three candies”) support the digestion and serve as a first wave of herbs to help a weak digestive system absorb this formula. After all, if you can’t digest, how can you benefit from these herbs?
The label on the bottle gives you a good guideline as to the dosage but don’t feel like you have to follow them that exactly (but take your herbs responsibly). The most important thing is to to take a dosage (and when) that feels right for you.
Here are some general rules: A Big Dosage for Short-lived but intense issues: 3 teaspoons (6 capsules), or 1 level tablespoon of the powder (6-8 capsules) three times daily. A Smaller Dosage for Lingering low-grade concerns: 2 teaspoons (4 capsules), or 1/2 tablespoon 2 times daily.
At this dosage, your order will last approximately this long (?):
- 50 grams powder (capsules only): 4 to 14 days.
- 100 grams powder (capsules or powder): 8 to 25 days
- 200 grams powder (powder only): 19 to 56 days
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