Gastrodia and Uncaria Decoction (Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin)

Details of Gastrodia and Uncaria Decoction
Gou teng's "hooks" are said to "hook" the internal wind to calm muscle spasms, tics, tremors, and the like.

Gou teng’s “hooks” are said to “hook” the internal wind to calm muscle spasms, tics, tremors, and the like.

Alternative Names

  • Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin

If you feel like your head is about to explode, you’re reading the right page.

This is a great chill pill for just about any problem that arises in the head due to stress, anger, frustration, rage, etc.

It’s something of a late comer to the Chinese medicine formulary. Created in the 20th Century, it represents a new style of formulation in China whereby traditional herbs for traditional problems are teamed up with herbs chosen for their Western medicine (scientific biomedicine) indications such as high blood pressure.

In America, we use it for stress-induced headaches and dizziness, among other things that a physician would recognize as hypertensive symptoms and the Chinese medicine practitioner would call “internal wind.”

If you may have high blood pressure, it is essential that you monitor yourself on a regular basis. Taking this formula for high blood pressure is not effective for everybody, nothing works for everybody. Getting a blood pressure cuff for use at home is inexpensive and can be easily found online or in your local drug store. Many drug stores also offer a free blood pressure screening that you can use at your convenience. This formula is not intended as a replacement to drugs for hypertension, however after a consultation with your doctor, you may find that this formula can help you lower your anti-hypertension drug dosage or forego them altogether.

Ingredients

Tian Ma 天麻 gastrodia rhizome Rhizoma Gastrodiae Elatae

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

  • This formula is named after these first two ingredients. Their job in this formula is to simply extinguish “internal wind” which causes dizziness and headaches.

Shi Jue Ming 石决明 abalone shell Concha. Haliotidis

  • There is more than one way to extinguish internal wind. You can use herbs such as those listed above, or you can weigh it down with something heavy like an abalone shell.

Zhi Zi 梔子 cape jasmine fruit, gardenia Gardeniae Fructus

  • This herb helps remove heat from the (Chinese concept of the) Liver. A hot Liver can catch on fire, fires generate an upward flow of wind. So, what makes a Liver hot? Certainly there are some toxic substances such as excessive quantities of alcohol, but also the Liver is very sensitive to anger, frustration, rage, etc. The Liver can get hot as a PMS thing too.

Huang Qin 黃苓 baical skullcap root, scutellaria, scute Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis [supports pregnancy]

  • Like Zhi Zi above, this herb clears heat, however instead of focusing on the Liver, it actually cools the Gallbladder channel. The Liver and Gallbladder are a yin/yang pair in Chinese medicine. That’s kind of like saying they’re married. When the Liver gets hot, that heat rises up in the Gallbladder channel which traverses the sides of the head. That’s why headaches associated with Liver wind can be located on one side or the other of the head. Yes, this is a migraine.

Yi Mu Cao 益母草 Chinese motherwort, leonurus Herba Leonuri Heterophylae, Leonuri Herba [use caution if pregnant]

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

  • The two herbs listed above both act on the blood flow. Yi Mu Cao keeps the blood moving through the Liver which helps keep it cool, while Chuan Niu Xi directs blood downward. This downward directionality keeps that large distended feeling in your head down to a minimum. The assumption is that there is too much blood rising upward, so the therapeutic goal is to guide it downward.

Du Zhong 杜仲 Eucommiae Cortex eucommia bark [supports pregnancy]

Sang Ji Sheng 桑寄生 mulberry mistletoe stems; taxillus, mistletoe Ramulus Sangjisheng

  • The two herbs above nourish the Kidney and Liver. A nourished liver (meaning more blood and fluids to keep it moist) prevents the Liver from heating up and generating wind. Additionally, Du Zhong is well known for its blood pressure lowering functions.

Ye Jiao Teng 夜交藤 crydalis rhizome Caulis Polygoni Multiflori

Fu Shen 茯神 spirit poria Poriae Sclerotium pararadicis

  • These two herbs are calming. Calming is good. Why wouldn’t you want to be calm? They help you sleep too.
<span=”RecommendedDoseSchedule”>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 (?):

  • 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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Additions for aches and pains
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7 comments on “Gastrodia and Uncaria Decoction (Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin)

  1. My chinese doctor gave me this for mania after feeling my pulse and looking at my tongue. Do you have a better suggestion?

  2. I have a steady “brain fog” and often feel off balance or dizzy, which gets worse with increased activity or stress. Walking outdoors for more than 10 minutes or so sets in the diziness. I also have a slight ringing in the ears, high blood pressure and a constant feeling of tightness in both legs (the skin actually feels tight) which may be related. Would this formula help with that or is there something better? Thanks

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