Medicine in China is not static and many times new “formulas” (groups of herbs – “fang”) are created in research and treatment in hospitals to address certain conditions. Qing Gan Huo Xue Fang seems to be one of those that was brought to my attention recently. We make no claims about its use although the herbs are very familiar to us. Its name means “clear liver move blood formula” and ts Chinese medicine principle is that of “clearing heat and resolving stasis” although it must be remembered that translations should not be corresponded directly to Western medical conditions.

 

Chai Hu – 柴胡 hare’s ear root, thorowax root, bupleurum Radix Bupleuri [caution]

  • This herb helps spread and circulate the qi. This ends up looking a little bit like calming the nervous system from the biomedical perspective, but it also promotes a nice calm, comfortable cool too. This herb should not be used with interferon treatment as it can cause interferon overdose.

Huang Qin  黃苓 baical skullcap root, Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (skullcap), scutellaria, scute Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis [supports pregnancy]

  • Huang Qin clears “heat” in Chinese medical terms.
  • One of the Chinese medicial concepts is that of  the Shao Yang which is not really an organ, more like a depth which is deeper than the skin, but not as deep as the bones. In fact, it is considered to be the “pivot” or hinge between the exterior of the body (skin, lungs, nose) and the interior of the body (stomach and intestines). This location doesn’t have an anatomical counterpart in biomedicine (some say the Shao Yang is the gallbladder, and in some contexts this is correct, just not here.) The key point about the Shao Yang is that if it is clogged up by disease or side effects of drug therapies (or drug addictions) it can undermine many digestive functions. This is its value in Huang Qin Tang as has been studied by researchers. Huang Qin (Rx. Scutellariae) regulates digestive and intestinal functions

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

  • Improves blood circulation and calms the spirit. The blood circulation functions help remove the stagnation that causes pain and swelling.

(Bie Jia   鱉甲 Chinese soft-shelled turtle shell (dorsal aspect) Trionycis Carapax [don’t use if pregnant]) (not included in on-line version)

  • Heavy Shell Sedates Wind. This is another herb that works like the tortoise shell above. Nourishes yin and anchors yang which can give rise to wind if it gets too restless. Note we have omitted Bie Jia because it may soon (if not now) be banned by import have instead added Zhi Mu in a large dosage to help nourish the Yin.

Zhi Mu 知母 anemarrhena rhizome Rhizoma Anemarrhenae Asphodeloidis (added to on-line version)

  • This herb removes “deficiency heat” which is like saying that a car is overheating due to a lack of radiator fluids. When the body lacks fluids, it gets hot. Zhi Mu targets that particular kind of heat, especially when associated with intimate dryness or excessive thirst. Zhi Mu helps nourish fluids even as it clears heat. Very helpful.

Ge Gen   葛根 kudzu root, pueraria Radix Puerariae

  • In Chinese medicine, we use Ge Gen to “generate fluids”.
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