Febrile disease

A customer had a question about using Ren Shen after a “febrile disease”. This was my quick answer:

There is a hierarchy of the “Shens” from most warming to cooling and we choose the appropriate one for the situation.

Ren Shen, Dang Shen, Xi Yang Shen, Xuan Shen and finally Da Huang (the purgative) was in the old days considered a “Shen” herb (I forgot the name they used to call it- Huang Shen maybe?).

So the febrile diseases are a big discussions. I wish I could go back 1500 years and talk to the people who created the term.

Anyway, febrile means heat of course. Heat is one of the pathogens or “evils”. Damp, Wind, Cold are other pathogens. Anyway, heat is often thought to associated¬†with infectious diseases. The aftermath is tricky. How much of the heat is left “lurking” in the body and how either expel it or put it into a non destructive state.

So we have some formulas:

Huang Lian Jie Du San is for raging fevers/ heat – think a herpes zoster outbreak.

on the other end-

Sheng Mai San – a ginseng based formula for aftermath with no heat signs left. We can use Ren Shen and Wu Wei Zi which warm the body back up after the body has used all its resources on fighting an infection.

And then we have Xiao Chai Hu Tang which is a really interesting combination of an “in between” state of the body having the heat inside yet not strong enough to expel it AND the heat trapped. The heat in this case is trapped in the San Jiao/ Triple Burner an area (?) or special organ (mesoderm or coelom?). Xiao Chai Hu Tang has some heat clearing, some tonification (ren shen or dang shen) and some special herbs like Chai Hu which can stir up the san jiao to let the other herbs do their thing.