Details of Bupleurum and Peony Formula Jia Wei Xiao Yao San
Bupleurum unsticks what is stuck.
This is our most requested formula. It is really good for many forms of stress, frustration, anger and PMS. It seems it shows up in have the categories we have.
When the (Chinese concept of the) Liver is out of balance, its function of ensuring the free-flow of qi is compromised. This free-flow of qi is many neurological functions in biomedical terms. Where there is stagnation, there is often heat. This can cause one to get
angry, frustrated, or give rise to PMS.
One of the cardinal signs for
Xiao Yao or Jia Wei Xiao Yao is when a person gets really angry, really suddenly over something that in reality is very small. In other words, we keep something bottled up until a little thing “sets us off”. Most of the time we use Jia Wei Xiao Yao because it clears more heat than Xiao Yao. And anger often translates as heat.
“Jia Wei” means “added ingredients (lit:flavors) and so Jia Wei is
Xiao Yao with those two extra ingredients. Jia Wei Xiao Yao is Rambling Powder ( Xiao Yao San) plus two herbs to “cool the blood”.
This formula also contains some Dang Gui and Bai Shao which build the blood. For that reason women especially gravitate to Jia Wei and regular Xiao Yao Wan. (Because in Chinese Medicine, women are all about the blood.)
regulates the emotions in those with
symptoms that are aggravated by stress or menstrual cycle cools temporary
hot flashes calms
restlessness, frustration, or impatience in those who are easily angered. Don’t hurt your neck nodding so vigorously, you know who you are. :) regulates sleeping for those having
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep relaxes
neck and shoulder tension regulates the
menstrual cycle supports
vaginal health relaxes
pre-menstrual tension supports
bladder health. supports pain-free flow of qi and blood
Chai Hu 柴胡 hare’s ear root, thorowax root, bupleurum Radix Bupleuri [ caution]
Bo He 薄荷 field mint, mentha Herba Menthae Haplocalycis
Chai hu is the herb that helps move that Liver qi because qi stagnation can cause a
dull aching beneath the ribs, on the flanks, or on the sides of the head in the case of migraine headaches. Bo he helps move this Liver qi, and it tastes good too.
Zhi Zi 梔子 cape jasmine fruit, gardenia Gardeniae Fructus
Mu Dan Pi 牡丹皮 moutan root bark, tree peony root bark Cortex Moutan Radicis
These are the two herbs that are added to
Rambling Powder (Xiao Yao San). That’s why the original name of this formula was Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San, the “Dan” comes from Mu Dan Pi and the “Zhi” comes from Zhi Zi. They cool the Liver basically. When the Liver is hot, the heat rises to the Heart which disturbs the spirit, giving rise to impatience, frustrations, irritability, and restlessness.
Dang Gui 當歸 tangkuei, Chinese angelica root Radix Angelicae Sinensis [ supports pregnancy]
Bai Shao 白芍 white peony root, peony Paeoniae Radix alba [ supports pregnancy]
The two herbs above serve to nourish the blood and yin-fluids that keep the Liver lubricated and functioning harmoniously. When the Liver gets dry, the qi can stagnate, and that’s what this formula is treating, “Liver qi stagnation”.
Also, Chai hu is a drying herb which can damage the yin-fluids of the Liver, so Bai Shao is commonly used with Chai hu just to moderate this effect.
Zhi Gan Cao 炙甘草 licorice root Radix Glycyrrhizae prep.
Gan cao is commonly added to formulas to
harmonize all the ingredients so they work gently without side-effects. The fact that this sweet herb (the literal translation of gan cao) is honey fried, it is mostly focused then on the functions of the Stomach because the two added herbs in this formula (zhi zi and mu dan pi) are capable of being too cold for the stomach.
Fu Ling 茯苓 sclerotium of tuckahoe, China root, hoelen, Indian bread Poria Cocos
Bai Zhu 白术 , bai shu ovate atractylodes, (white) atractylodes rhizome [ supports pregnancy]
Sheng Jiang 煨薑 ginger rhizome Zingiberis Rhizoma
These three herbs (along with the zhi gan cao above) are used to prevent the Liver problems from spreading into the
digestive functions which they commonly do. This formula strengthens the digestion while it prevents the Liver (nervous system) from causing problems in the digestive tract. Ginger prevents nausea too, which is a common effect of stress-induced Liver qi stagnation such as you might find with a migraine or excessive emotion.