Details of Cnidium & Notopterygium Combination
Tao Ren (Peach Pit) supports blood movement.
There is an ancient saying that explains aches and pains in the body. “Where there is flow, there is no pain, and where there is pain there is no flow.” This formula supports the flow of qi and blood. It is especially designed to address aches and pains anywhere in the body.
This formula is said to be especially valuable for cases of joint pain in which the usual choices have been ineffective.
Because the treatment principle is to “move blood”, this formula has the potential to interact with “blood thinners”. If you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin or warfaran, please consult your physician before taking this or any dietary supplement.
If you’ve been asked to take some baby aspirin every day, you can take this formula too, this is not a problem.
“Blood moving” herbs and formulas may also be problematic for those who are pregnant. When you’re taking a formula that’s looking for new, small, clots of blood, the herbs may end up treating a developing fetus as a blood clot. This could potentialy lead to a miscarriage. So, if you’re pregnant, avoid this formula.
This formula is related to a few other formulas that also include the words “zhu yu tang” which translates to “eliminate stasis (of blood)”. Those are: xue fu zhu yu tang which targets the chest, ge xia zhu yu tang (not yet online but available) which targets the upper abdomen, and shao fu zhu yu tang which targets the lower abdomen.
Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang
Drive out Blood Stasis from a Painful Body Decoction
Tao Ren 桃仁 peach kernel, persica Persicae Semen [ don’t use if pregnant]
Hong Hua 紅花 safflower flower, carthamus Carthami Flos [ don’t use if pregnant]
Tao ren is commonly teamed up with Hong Hua. They both support the blood moving functions of the cardiovascular system. They address pain due to blood stagnation which are generally fixed in location and sharp in nature.
Dang Gui 當歸 tangkuei, Chinese angelica root Radix Angelicae Sinensis [ supports pregnancy]
Chuan Xiong 川芎 Sichuan lovage root, cnidium, chuanxiong root Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong
The above two herbs come from Si Wu Tang, which is also our coffee substitute called “ Four Miracle Brew“. Dang Gui (dong quai, etc.) both nourishes the blood and supports its circulation. The other herb is mostly focused on stimulating blood flow.
Mo Yao 没藥 myrrh Myrrha
This herb is used in Chinese medicine to support blood circulation and promotes healing of tissue trauma. It may have entered the Chinese pharmacopeia via the Arabian peninsula. This is one of the two herbs that were given to the baby Jesus (along with frankincense). Makes me wonder if the wise men were providing this herb more for Mary than her baby. Although it isn’t included in this formula, Frankincense is often teamed up with this herb (Myrrh) to address tissue trauma. In the Papyrus Ebers of 1500 B.C., priests recommended both resins for the treatment of wounds, but I digress. :)
Wei Ling Xian replaces Di Long 地龍 earthworm; lumbricus Lumbricus [ use caution if pregnant]
Wu Ling Zhi 五靈脂 flying squirrel feces, pteropus Trogopterori Faeces [ don’t use if pregnant]
The herbs mentioned above also support blood circulation. Wu Ling Zhi is the poop of the flying squirrel. Di Long is earth worm and classically it is used in this formula but because it is no longer available we substitute Wei Ling Xian. The squirrel ingredients have passed through numerous stages where bacteria is killed during the cooking processes, etc. Its safe for ingestion, but if you’re a strict vegetarian, you might want to consider a different formula or see the modification (where we remove these two herbs) below.
Qin Jiao 秦艽 large gentian root, gentiana macropylla root, chin-chiu Radix Gentianae Qinjiao
Qiang Huo 羌活 notopterygium root, chiang-huo Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii
The two herbs listed above both address a superficial invasion of “wind-damp” which are aches and pains that are aggravated by cold weather or have a migrating tendency. One day you hurt here, the next day it’s there, that’s migrating pain.
Xiang Fu 香附 cyperus, nut-grass rhizome Cyperi Rhizoma
This is a general qi-movement supporting herb. Qi stagnation can arise just about anywhere in the body. Qi stagnation pain is unique in that it is dull and radiating, or causes a sense or largeness such as bloating.
Chuan Niu Xi 川牛膝 cyathula root Cyathulae Radix [ don’t use if pregnant]
This herb helps extend the benefits of this formula down into the legs and supports the health of the bones and tendons. You may notice many herbs in Chinese medicine begin with the word “Chuan”. That means its an herb that was grown in Sichuan province. This is the Chinese equivalent of calling something an “Idaho potato”, “Washington apple”, “Florida orange” or “Wisconsin cheese”. Because Sichuan province is known for the highest quality of some herbs, they took on that name over time, but I digress again.
Gan Cao 甘草 licorice root Radix Glycyrrhizae [ caution]
As usual, this sweet gentle herb is added to “ harmonize the ingredients” of this formula. Its sweet nature softens the harsh properties of the other herbs in this formula in the same way that a sweet individual can calm a group of people.