Gui zhi tang
gui zhi 9 bai shao 9 sheng jiang 9 da zao 9 zhi gan cao 6
In tai yang disease, with headache and fever, sweating and aversion to wind, gui zhi tang governs.
When one has no other illnesses, but occasionally has fever, and spontaneous sweating that don’t cure, then this is disharmony of protective qi, and the promotion of sweating ahead of time will cure, gui zhi tang is indicated.
Taking hot gruel and covering the body with a blanket after taking the decoction warms the body and ensures a generalized mild sweat.
To understand gui zhi tang is to understand other formulas. The perfect balance is achieved by so few herbs which makes it an example in how to restore the balance between wei qi and ying qi at the surface. It treats a deficiency pattern of tai yang wind strike. The deficiency is one of yang which gives rise to feelings of cold but also a deficiency of yin which causes a loss of yang.
Wind and cold as climatic qi dries and cools the fluids on the surface which causes an imbalance. The yang is no longer anchored and floats. We see this as sweating with a feeling of chills. We need to warm and move yang qi but also anchor it in yin.
The sweat must not be made to flow too freely or recovery will not take place. If the disease is resolved after the first dose, the medication must be discontinued but if there is no sweating, then another dose must be given. If the disease is severe, shorten the interval between doses and administer the three doses in a half day. Observe the patient carefully throughout the day and if the symptoms are still present, repeat.
This line describes the main function of gui zhi tang as being the resolution of the muscle layer, which is achieved by mildly promoting sweat and regulating ying and wei.
Gui zhi, Cinnamomi cassiae ramulus is pungent sweet and warm dispersing of the imperial and ministerial fire. It warms and tonifies the shao yin and jue yin. In doing so it warms and tonifies the whole body.
Gui zhi is the emperor because it warms the Wood to stir the imperial Fire. It warms the blood which tonifies the heart yang.
Gui zhi and sheng jiang are warm pungent yang herbs. They warm and move the blood and disperse the cold. 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.
Sheng jiang, Zingiberis rhizoma recens is pungent dispersing of the liver and pericardium blood and the ministerial fire in the san jiao. Sheng jiang is pungent dispersing of dampness and cold in the stomach domain, spleen and lung. Sheng jiang is pungent connecting of the tai yin with the tai yang. It supports raising of the clear qi to the chest and the 100 vessels.
Sheng jiang is pungent warm dispersing and is supporting gui zhi in warming the interior and surface.
Sheng jiang is pungent and warm, it helps gui zhi to clear cold on the surface, further it can harmonize the stomach and stop belching. The sweat promoted with sheng jiang originates from tai yin earth and prevents the inward collapse of pathogens into the yin levels due to its upwards movement.
Bai shao, Paeoniae radix lactiflora is sour, bitter and cool. It is sour collecting of yin fluids and blood. It is bitter descending of heat. It nourishes dryness in yang ming and the jue yin. It descends Earth and Metal and calms Wood wind. If gui zhi is the emperor then bai shao is the queen.
Bai shao nourishes yin and astringes the nutritive, recollecting the scattered nutritive, further it mildly moves the nutritive blood and opens stagnation. It replenishes the nutritive ying layer and clears deficient heat while moistening tendons and connective tissue. Bai shao keeps the pungent herbs from dispersing too much.
Da zao, Jujubae fructus is sweet tonifying and moderating. It tonifies and nourishes the stomach domain, spleen, lungs, and heart. It directly nourishes the shao yin heart.
Gui zhi, da zao and zhi gan cao tonify and nourish the heart. Da zao calms excessive movement of Wood wind.
Sweet and neutral it tonifies qi of the middle and Earth. It tonifies the stomach and spleen. It mainly tonifies the spleen qi. It also nourishes the heart qi and blood.
Da zao is sweet and neutral and can benefit qi and tonify the middle. The combination of da zao and sheng jiang tonifies the spleen and harmonizes the stomach. Da zao combined with bai shao strengthens the creation of fluids through sweet and sour.
Zhi gan cao, Glycyrrhizae radix prep is sweet tonifying and nourishing of all organs but especially the heart.
Zhi gan cao is sweet and mildly warm tonifying and nourishing of yin fluids. It nourishes yin fluids in the tai yin and shao yin. It calms wind in the jue yin.
It balances the pungent gui zhi and sheng jiang with its sweet moderation and nourishing.
Zhi gan cao replenishes the nutritive ying layer and clears deficient heat while moistening tendons and connective tissue, and so often combined with bai shao. It strengthens qi and moderates other pungent herbs from being too dispersing. It also moistens to which prevents excessive drying from pungent herbs.