Details of Diffuse Pain Decoction

Migrating aches aggravated by damp weather?

Cinnamon twig is a great blood mover which treats pain.

The Diffuse Pain Decoction was originally conceived of addressing the painful influences of exposure to wind or damp weather. Back in the 1170s, that was a pretty good idea, well before we enjoyed so much control over our environment.

Even with central heating and air conditioning autoimmune disregulation or changes in barometric pressure can still give rise to these aches and pains.

Pains that migrate are due to “wind”. One day it’s right here, then the next day it has moved over to the other side. That’s said to be wind clogging up the channels.

Dampness from the environment is as easy to recognize as the well-known arthritic pains that are arise with rainy weather. Dampness makes the limbs feel heavy and numb too. If the dampness goes a little more deep, it can generate dizziness or the sensation of a heavy head.

This formula is one of those “root & branch” treatments too. The branch means the symptoms that are due to the invasion of wind or damp as described above. Treating the root means strengthening the qi and blood since they prevent wind or damp from getting into the body.

Qi is the energy that can prevent the dampness from entering the body, so we stimulate the qi of the lungs as it is this qi that regulates the opening and closing of the skin pores. We use Huang Qi (Rx. Astragalus) to promote this lung qi. To address the wind, we recall an ancient treatment principle that suggests one treat the blood to expel the wind. This is done with the herb Dang Gui (Rx. Angelica Sinensis) and Bai Shao (Rx. Peony Alba).

This formula is best used to promote joint health when there are no visible deformities to the bones or tendons. If there are, consider Angelica Pubescens and Sang-Ji-Sheng Decoction instead.

Alternative Names

  • Remove Painful Obstruction Decoction
  • Chuan Pi Tang
  • Juan Bi Tang
  • ChuanPiTang
  • Impediment-Alleviating Decoction
  • Blockage-Relieving Decoction
  • Diffuse Pain Decoction
  • Notpterygium and Tumeric Combination

Ingredients

Qiang Huo 羌活 notopterygium root, chiang-huo Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii

Fang Feng 防風 saposhnikovia root, ledebouriella root, siler Radix Ledebouriellae Divaricatae

  • The two herbs listed above are doing the heavy lifting in this formula. They’re both used for “dispelling wind-damp” to address migrating aches that are aggravated by damp weather. They’re very aromatic herbs, something like Ben Gay© or Tiger Balm©. They have that nose-opening quality. That second herb “fang feng” actually translates to “guards against wind”.

Dang Gui 當歸 tangkuei, Chinese angelica root Radix Angelicae Sinensis [supports pregnancy]

Bai Shao 白芍 white peony root, peony Paeoniae Radix alba [supports pregnancy]

  • The two famous herbs above help nourish the blood according to Chinese medicine theory. As it turns out, blood is the antidote to wind pain. Wind can be described as aches that move about the body. Wind due to blood deficiency is also implicated in itchy skin due to dry skin.

Jiang Huang薑黄 turmeric rhizome Rhizoma Curcumae Longae, Curcumae longae Rhizoma [don’t use if pregnant]

  • Jiang Huang has become something of an integrated medicine darling of late. This is tumeric. Its job in this formula is to stimulate the movement of qi-energy and blood in the shoulders and upper arm to address tension and discomfort in the upper limbs.

Huang Qi 黃耆 astragalus root, milk-vetch root, milkvetch root Astragali Radix

  • Just as nourishing the blood can help to eliminate wind, so it is that Huang qi boosts the qi-energy to eliminate the damp. So, that’s good for that heavy numb stiff feelings in the body.

Da Zao 大棗 jujube, Chinese date Jujubae Fructus

Sheng Jiang 生薑 fresh ginger rhizome Zingiberis Rhizoma

  • These two herbs act on the dance between the qi and blood in this formula. Nourishing the blood is essential to address the wind and boosting the qi-energy is required for the damp. The two herbs listed above work to support and regulate these two opposing but complimentary functions.

Zhi Gan Cao 炙甘草 licorice root Radix Glycyrrhizae prep. [caution]

  • This sweet herb acts just like a sweet person in a room. They exert a calming mood. In an herbal context, calming the herbs means that they act more gently with less harsh qualities that may cause side-effects.
Diffuse Pain Decoction (JBT) Modifications

Herbs added to guide the efficacy of this formula to the upper limbs:

    Sang Zhi 桑枝 mulberry twig,morus twig Ramulus Mori Albae

    Gui Zhi 桂枝 (Saigon) cinnamon twig, cassia twig Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae

    • These two herbs can be added to address discomfort in the neck and shoulders. These herbs are both twigs. According to the “doctrine of signatures”, tree parts that look like body parts may have therapeutic benefits for that body part. These twigs are essentially the arms of a tree. As such, it is easy to remember that they’re beneficial for problems in the upper limb (from the shoulder to the fingers). The cinnamon twig tastes good too. :)

Herb added to guide the efficacy of this formula to the lower limbs:

    Chuan Niu Xi 川牛膝 cyathula root Cyathulae Radix [don’t use if pregnant]

    • This is another herb has two important functions in this formula. It supports blood circulation, and the blood’s oxygen carrying functions. “Niu Xi” means ox knee, actually. Apparently this herb has nodules that resemble the knee of an ox. I don’t know what an ox knee looks like either, but there you go.
Adult Dosage

This formula can be used to support health with or without symptoms. If symptoms are present, take 1 level teaspoon of the powder (8 capsules) three times daily. When symptoms are not present, take 1/2 level teaspoon (4 capsules), two times daily. Empty stomach is best for efficient absorption, but not essential. [More…]

At this dosage, your order will last approximately this long (?):

  • 100 grams powder (capsules or powder): 8 to 25 days
  • 200 grams powder (powder only): 19 to 56 days
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