Ginseng and Longan Combination (gui pi tang)

Details of Ginseng and Longan Combination

Alternative Names

  • Spleen-Returning Decoction
  • Back to the Spleen Decoction
  • gui pi tang
  • kuei pi tang
  • kihi to
  • Kihi-tō
  • 帰脾湯
  • きひとう
  • TJ65; TJ-65; TJ 65
  • guī pí wán
  • 归脾丸

Benefits

  • supports digestive functions,
  • regulates intestinal functions
  • promotes general energy level
  • regulates sleep
  • regulates menstrual periods

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
Pale tongue body with tooth indentations

The Gui Pi Tang tongue: pale body with tooth indentations

However, there are other indications associated with the use of this formula, even though they may have nothing to do with bleeding. Rather, it is the lack of Spleen qi’s digestive functions that can lead 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 such as:

  • insomnia at night with fatigue during the day
  • heart palpitations
  • anxiety
  • worry
  • restlessness
  • inability to concentrate or remember
  • (sexual) performance anxiety (causing erectile dysfunction)

While the herbs in this formula focus on treating this disharmony from the inside, one can also employ techniques to treat it from the outside. In particular, this condition of Spleen qi and Heart blood deficiency commonly arises from excessive intellectual activity. That can deplete the Spleen qi. Common causes for this kind of Spleen qi deficiency arise from any of the following:

  • Overthinking or worry
  • Excessive study or mentle activity
  • Excessive time working on the computer (I feel for you!)

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!

Ingredients

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    黨參 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?

Recommended for these body types:
Balanced

Balanced

Slightly Delicate

Slightly Delicate

Delicate

Delicate

Recommended for these thermal natures:
Neutral

Neutral

Cool

Cool

Cold

Cold

<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
Shipping
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Availability status: in stock

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15 comments on “Ginseng and Longan Combination (gui pi tang)

  1. This is one of the more delicious formulas available in the Chinese herbal pharmacy. As such, using it as an extract powder that is stirred into hot water and drunk as a tea is a great way to enjoy the healthful properties of this formula as well as a delicious beverage.

    Some folks just dump the powder on to their tongue and wash it down with some water. That works too.

  2. I tried to find a decent picture of a pale tongue with teethmarks. The best I could find is included in this article. However, if you look carefully, there are red dots at the tip and a yellow coating atop. It is also slightly purple. These aren’t the best indications for the use of this formula, but the pale body color with the teethmarks is. So, look for that.

  3. My girl at 4 years old has all the above symptoms. Is the above concoction suitable for my girl? She is weak.

  4. Hi Annie, the symptoms described above can be addressed by this formula, but of course I am simplifying things from the practice of Chinese medicine to something I can explain online. So, I don’t know if the formula here is going to help your daughter, however the good news is that this formula is exceedingly safe, even for kids, and so the risk of any problems is next to nil.

    Because this formula is kind of delicious, you should probably get some of the powder and simply add it to your daugther’s juice or other drink. It melts better when it is stirred into a warm fluid than a cool one, but you can always sprinkle the “flavor crystals” atop her food too. Use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, 3x daily.

    You can monitor her bruising to decide how this formula is working for her, but because this issue is due to “deficiency”, give it a little more time than let’s say a medicine for headache. Try it out for a month minimum.

  5. I was just given this formula by an acupuncturist, and I do exhibit many of the symptoms listed above, but I’d like to know if any of the herbs contained in this formula are estrogenic. I do have spotting between periods, but I have endometriosis and absolutely cannot take any estrogenic herbs or my condition will be worsened. If you have any information on this, I would be very grateful. Thank you.

  6. If this formula is the right one for you, it will not aggravate your other problems, more likely it’ll help address them. In private practices, this formula is commonly used to treat spotting between periods and other gynecological issues.

  7. I have medicine from the hospital because I have a menstrual flow over 4 weeks now ( very heavy). My shiatshu therapist gave me this powder. Can I use it together?

  8. Hi Karen, I don’t know of any interaction issues with this formula, so it should get along with everything else. Again, this is a very benign formula that is well-tolerated by everybody. However I don’t know what you’re taking and I encourage you to also ask your doctor who prescribed your anti-bleeding medicine.

  9. Hi ,I’m a 53 yr old male with lowT and low libido,haven’t been sleeping well for over 1 year .been told I have kidney heart disharmony.what would u recommend for my conditions ,would love to just feel better!!thanks so much

  10. I am a Chinese medicine student and love up your website. Is there a book you recommend for understanding formulas better? Beside Bensky.
    Thank you

  11. Susan, actually I haven’t read all of the new formulas book. I would suggest you really read the introduction to both the Bensky formula and single herbs book. Other books would be Jason Blalack’s book from his teacher. Huang Huang on the 10 formula families. To learn the formulas look at Jake Fratkins or other patent books. These help just look at symtomology without the advanced stuff that Bensky has. Once you get to Shang Han Lun look at some Kampo books. Hope this helps.

  12. Hello.
    I was recommended to take Gui Pi Tang, so I found your website, very helpful. However, I had question. I found another website bluedragonherbs that have similar formula except one additional formula: Saussurea; Aucklandia
    Mu Xiang
    Radix Auklandia Lappae
    Would you be kind to let me know what is this formula for and why is it not in your formulation?
    Thanks much…
    We are in the process of trying to get pregnant.

  13. Mu Xiang is often in the formula and sometimes not. It helps regulate the stomach and to help the other herbs digest. Its not a vital herb in this formula but I’m also not sure why we don’t include it here. Sometimes herbs get scarce or super expensive so we can’t include them. It could also be that we used to buy full formulas from a distributor and they didn’t include it so to prevent confusion we left it out. Nowadays we make most of the formulas individually so we may put Mu Xiang back in.

    That being said, Blue Dragon is a great company also. Michael is a friend and I worked for him at one time.

  14. I was recently given the Ginseng & Longan Formula by my LAc for digestive problems. Your website explained this herb very thoroughly and I can relate to a lot of the other symptons talked about. Thank you very much. This has helped me understand the Ginseng & Longan Formula.

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