Really? Have we lost our past?
Like most practitioners of TCM I looked forward to seeing how the symptoms of the latest influenza would translate into a known pattern. Naturally so I would know how to treat if it came my way. What I see is that it fits with my training and experience. Simple. It progresses in a Shang han lun and Wen bing structure. Easy, right?
What worries me is the circulation of a formula used for prevention of Pneumonia. It was used in China in a major hospital. So it must be good, right? Lets take a look.
huang qi 15 bai zhu 10 fang feng 10 mian ma guan zhong 10 jin yin hua 10 chen pi 6 pei lan 10
Suitable for: Prevention of pneumonia due to viral infections, and the flu
In what way does this increase wei qi?
Mian ma guan zhong is bitter and cold. It kills parasites, clears heat and drains fire toxicity, cools blood and stops bleeding.
Mian ma guan zhong cools the jue yin blood layer while draining Fire causing toxicity. By cooling the blood it stops bleeding due to heat naturally. Meaning it cools the ministerial fire and imperial fire needed to support yang qi or wei qi. Using this herb as a prevention is contradictory to supporting normal health.
Jin yin hua is sweet and cold. It clears heat from the nutritive and blood layer outwards. Meaning it cools the ministerial fire and imperial fire needed to support yang qi or wei qi. Using this herb is contradictory to supporting normal health.
Pei lan is pungent, aromatic and neutral. It clears dampness causing heat without drying and is often used for summer heat. It clears heat without causing excessive dryness. It is used to support the separation of food qi into pure and impure.
It works together with chen pi and bai zhu in this regard.
Lets look at what this formula does not do. Why? Because our strength of treatment comes from identifying patterns of disharmony. Using this formula for prevention of a tai yang wind strike or wind cold or wind heat pattern may work for some clients but it will fail for others.
The jue yin level is connected to the shao yang level. It contains the circulating warm blood that is the ministerial fire. The jue yin is the blood storage and the shao yang is the circulating blood that causes movement or internal wind. Yang qi or wei qi is dependent on abundant warm blood to protect the body.
Qi is the commander of blood. Blood is the mother of qi.
Qi generates blood. Qi moves blood. Qi holds the blood.
Blood nourishes qi.
In this formula there is only huang qi that nourishes warm yang filled blood. There are no other herbs that support the post heaven qi or the pre heaven qi. If you give this formula to a client that has blood deficiency and cold it will make it worse.
The tai yin level is connected to the yang ming level and together they are the post heaven source of qi, blood and fluids. The tai yin represents the bodies dampness and yang ming the dryness. This needs to be balanced. Chen pi, bai zhu and pei lan will move the qi in Earth and help with transforming dampness. If there is too much dryness as in chronic constipation they could make it worse.
The shao yin level is connected to the tai yang level and together they represent the true fire and true water of the body. They are dependent on nourishment from tai yin and yang ming. Huang qi and fang feng do increase yang qi at the surface and both are moistening and warm pungent. They are considered tai yang herbs. If there is a shao yang pattern with flaring of ministerial fire due to stagnation from dampness they will make it worse.
All three yin levels work together to rule the kingdom and keep us healthy.
This is dependent on abundant warm freely circulating blood.
It is almost impossible to used a one size fits all approach in herbal therapy. This formula will help some but for others it will cause weakness due to cooling of the imperial and ministerial fire.
But, what would I do if not allowed to treat the pattern I see or take the pulse? If I was pressured into developing a formula that could be used for preventing any kind of infectious disease I would try to choose a formula that represents the pattern of weakness that I see in my clients every day.
By far the most common patterns I see are a shao yin pattern of weakness due to a deficiency of yang and yin with a shao yang pattern of dampness causing stagnation with a flaring of ministerial fire. For me this makes sense. There is a tendency to over stimulate the imperial heart yang which causes a failure of yin to supply the nourishment needed to contain the yang qi which then becomes reckless and over abundant. This leads to a weakness of the ministerial fire which is naturally dependent on the imperial fire. Weakness in the ministerial fire causes problems in all three burners such as the formation of dampness. This dampness in turn causes problems with the circulation and heat develops and flares outwards.
Therefore the treatment will reflect tonifying and nourishing the shao yin while ensuring that the jue yin and shao yang can circulate freely.
I choose ….wait for it
Shu yu wan
shan yao 30 gui zhi 9 sheng di huang 9 bai shao 6 dang gui 9 chuan xiong 6
mai meng dong 6 ejiao 6 ren shen 6 bai zhu 6 fu ling 6 gan jiang 3
dou huang juan 9 shen qu 9 gan cao 9 da zao 9 jie geng 6 chai hu 6
fang feng 6 xing ren 6 bai lian 1
In deficiency taxation and insufficiency, for the hundred diseases due to wind qi, shu yu wan governs.
This formula can be used for weak patients in a tai yang wind strike pattern or for tonifying and nourishing to increase the wei qi function of yang qi.
Often underrated in effect but probably due to expense; seeing as the number of herbs is 21.
Primary, tai yang
Secondary, yang ming, shao yang, tai yin, shao yin, jue yin
Tai yang, gui zhi warms the surface, chuan xiong clears stagnation on the surface, bai zhu drains dampness on the surface, chai hu clears heat congestion on the surface, fang feng clears cold on the surface while moistening, bai lian clears heat accumulations that prevent proper function
Yang ming, mai men dong moistens stomach, bai zhu dries dampness in stomach, gan jiang dries dampness in stomach, shen qu moves the stomach qi downwards, zhi gan cao tonifies stomach qi while moistening
Shao yang, chai hu clears damp and heat in the san jiao
Tai yin, shan yao tonifies spleen and lung, mai men dong moistens lung, ren shen tonifies lung and spleen while moistening, bai zhu warms and tonifies spleen while drying dampness, gan jiang warms and dries damness in lung and spleen, dou huang juan drains dampness, zhi gan cao tonifies spleen while moistening, da zao tonifies spleen, jie geng disperses qi in lung to clear heat that forms pus and abscess, fang feng raises clear qi and stops diarrhea, xing ren disperses and descends lung qi
Shao yin, shan yao tonifies kidney qi, gui zhi warms imperial fire to warm the ministerial fire, ren shen tonifies original qi, fu ling moves water, zhi gan cao nourishes heart blood
Jue yin, sheng di huang nourishes blood while cooling heat, bai shao nourishes and moves blood, dang gui warms and nourishes blood and cools deficiency heat, chuan xiong moves qi in liver blood, mai men dong nourishes the upper source of water, ejiao nourishes yin and blood, da zao nourishes blood
Thank you Zhang Ji.