Gui zhi gan cao tang
gui zhi 12 zhi gan cao 6
We can learn much about the balance between the yang and yin aspects in a formula, but also in treating pathology by understanding gui zhi gan cao tang.
When too much (another version uses copious) sweating has been promoted, and the person crosses both hands to cover one’s heart, with palpitations under the heart, and a desire to apply pressure, gui zhi gan cao tang governs.
Sweat is the fluid of the heart and it is produced from the steaming of body fluids by yang qi. Excessive promotion of sweat can cause the yang qi to leak out with the sweat, depleting the heart yang, and resulting in palpitations and restlessness, which can be eased by the pressure of the hands on the chest.
This illustrates the mutual dependence of warm dynamic protecting functional yang qi and nourishing fluid structural yin qi. Any loss of fluids can lead to a loss of yang and in this case it is sweat. Recently a client of mine had just given blood and ended up with palpitations. Another client of mine ended up with palpitations after vomiting.
To tonify yang qi of the heart we use the taste combination of pungent and sweet.
The taste of warm pungent herbs adds movement and warmth and any excessive movement is controlled or calmed by the moderating sweet taste.
Zhi gan cao, Glycyrrhizae radix praep mix fried with honey
Zhi gan cao contains both a yang and yin aspect that is mostly yin and slightly yang.
It is yang because it tonifies. It is yin because it moistens, nourishes, calms and moderates.
Zhi gan cao is an Earth herb because it nourishes and directly tonifies Earth. Zhi gan cao warms cold and generates dampness in the form of fluids. It tonifies and nourishes yang ming stomach and tai yin spleen.
It directly tonifies and nourishes shao yin heart blood.
Gui zhi, Cinnamomi cassiae ramulus
Gui zhi contains both a yang and yin aspect that is mostly yang and slightly yin.
It is yang because it warms, moves blood, tonifies function, and transforms water. It is yin because it nourishes blood. It is much more yang than yin.
Gui zhi is a Fire and Wood herb because it warms Wood which is the mother of Fire to support the imperial and ministerial Fire.
Gui zhi warms cold and creates wind as movement in the jue yin liver blood. It nourishes and tonifies shao yin heart blood. It puts the emperor back on the throne. It transforms Water by warming the tai yang bladder organ.
Gui zhi is one of the most important herbs in that it warms the heart yang which warms imperial fire. When the emperor is strong there is peace in the kingdom.
Gui zhi opens the vessels and promotes flow of blood, it is one of the most important herbs for moving blood. It warms the vessels and heart and moves stagnant and congealed blood.
Gui zhi frees the flow of yang of the channels and organs of tai yang to help expel evils.
Gui zhi opens channels and promotes blood and fluids movement.
The yang and yin aspects of each herb complement each other. Together they create more heart yang while anchoring it in yin.
Let’s look at some formulas that use this pair to tonify shao yin heart blood.
Gui zhi jia gui tang
gui zhi 15 bai shao 9 sheng jiang 9 da zao 9 zhi gan cao 6
When was promoted with a burning needle, and the needle location was invaded by cold, there will be a papule that will turn red, for then imperatively running piglet will arise, and qi will surge upward from the lower abdomen striking the heart, for then one should burn one moxa cone on each papule, and gui zhi jia gui tang can be given, which is an extra two lian of gui zhi.
In this formula the dose of the gui zhi has been increased to create more Wood wind to anchor the yang qi back downwards in the abdomen for treating running piglet qi.
Gui zhi qu shao yao tang
gui zhi 9 sheng jiang 9 da zao 6 zhi gan cao 6
In tai yang disease, when after precipitation the pulse is skipping and there is fullness in the chest, gui zhi qu shao yao tang governs.
Obviously bai shao has been removed from gui zhi tang. Taking out the sour collecting nature of bai shao will increase the Wood wind to tonify Fire and the shao yin heart blood.
This is a tai yang exterior pattern where inappropriate purging has adversely affected the chest yang. The qi dynamic is affected, resulting in fullness in the chest and a hasty pulse. A hasty pulse or cu mai also known as a skipping pulse refers to a rapid and irregular pulse which can indicate extreme heat agitating qi, heart fire, heart qi deficiency or the obstruction of the flow of qi and blood.
Gui zhi qu shao yao jia shu qi long gu mu li jiu ni tang
gui zhi 9 sheng jiang 9 da zao 6 zhi gan cao 6 fu zi 9 long gu 9 mu li 9
For fire evils (burns) gui zhi qu shao yao jia shu qi long gu muli jiu ni tang governs.
In cold damage with a floating pulse, after the doctor has forced and hijacked with fire, there is death of yang, which imperatively causes fright and mania, and disquietude in both, lying and standing, gui zhi qu shao yao jia shu qi long gu muli jiu ni tang governs.
It treats a weak yang that is floating up and outwards either causing sweating or palpitations and fear and fright. Fear and fright is what we call panic attacks. There will be mental unrest and vexation due to the floating yang.
This formula is also based on gui zhi tang and also the bai shao has been removed but now fu zi has been added to increase the Wood wind to tonify Fire. The long gu will anchor the yang downward and keep the formula from getting excessively warm.
This taxation formula augments the heart yang, eliminates turbid phlegm and sedates and calms the heart shen, use for fear and fright and exhaustion. It treats weak heart yang while supporting tai yin.
Originally shu qi, Dichroae folium was used but we now use fu zi. Shu qi is toxic, warm, bitter, and pungent. Bitter drains and we want to nourish yin and blood while tonifying yang so it makes sense to use fu zi. Draining is normally drying of fluids.
Zhi gan cao tang
sheng di huang 48 mai men dong 12 ejiao 6 ren shen 6 hou ma ren 12 gui zhi 9 sheng jiang 9 da zao 18 zhi gan cao 12
For cold damage with a pulse that is bound and intermittent and stirring heart palpitations, zhi gan cao tang governs.
Zhi gan cao tang treats deficiency taxation with insufficiency, there is sweating and oppression, a knotted pulse and palpitations, and although activities and movement is regular, it will not last more than one hundred days, and in dangerous cases, one day after eleven days.
Zhi gan cao tang also contains gui zhi tang but with bai shao removed and for the same reason of treating the heart yang deficiency. Since the nature of this formula is mostly yin you may want to consider increasing the dose of gui zhi or even adding fu zi and long gu.
The yang and yin aspects of a formula have a great impact on what and how the treatment will work. Gui zhi gan cao tang and its use in other formulas illustrates this nicely.