Hou shi hei san
ju hua 40 fang feng 12 bai zhu 12 jie geng 9 huang qin 6 fu ling 3 dang gui 3 gui zhi 3
xi xin 3 chuang xiong 3 gan jiang 3 ren shen 3 mu li 3 fan shi 3
Hou shi hei san treats major wind, with vexing heaviness of the extremities, and aversion to cold with a sensation of insufficiency in the heart.
It treats an internal or external pattern. It calms the wind due to excess. It may have been caused by a deficiency but the manifestation is one of excess. Heat and dampness cause an obstruction of normal free flow of qi and blood. And this in turn causes a loss of function of the limbs.
The main effect of this formula is to clear the way so function can return. Most scholars agree that this formula was added later to the original work. The formula structure is different from the others in the Shang Han Lun. It can prevent a stroke under the right circumstances. I would add the tai yin support of sheng jiang, da zao, and zhi gan cao.
Wiseman writes; When right qi is weak and blood is insufficient the external wind cold evils can easily overcome the deficiency and invade the body. The evil obstructs the movement of qi and blood in the channels and network vessels.
Ju hua, fang feng, muli and fan shi calm the wind and cool the heat. Bai zhu, jie geng, huang qin, and fu ling clear dampness and heat. Dang gui, gui zhi, xi xin, chuan xiong, gan jiang, and ren shen tonify qi and yang.
Ju hua, Chrysanthemi flos is bitter draining of heat in the liver blood and the ministerial fire in the san jiao. It is sweet nourishing of of liver blood.
Ju hua is cold, sweet, and bitter. It clears excess wind with sweet moderation and cools heat especially in the liver channel. It subdues liver wind, stops convulsions and clears the eyes.
Fang feng, Saposhnikoviae radix is sweet tonifying and nourishing of the spleen and lungs. It is sweet tonifying and nourishing of the tai yang and yang ming channels. It is pungent dispersing of the jue yin ministerial fire. It is called the moisturizer of the wind herbs.
Fang feng treats wind and dampness with pungent strengthening of yang qi and it also contains the yin needed to anchor the yang. Fang feng connects the tai yin to the tai yang and yang ming channels.
Ban xia, Pinelliae rhizoma is pungent dispersing of the liver blood and the ministerial fire in the san jiao. It is pungent dispersing of the cold and dampness in the stomach domain, spleen and lung. It transforms tai yin damp phlegm generated from excessive and stagnant cold dampness and counteracts nausea and adverse flow.
Bai zhu dries the middle burner and tonifies the spleen. It metabolizes fluids and so creates room for healthy new fluids. Bai zhu and ren shen are the representative pair for supporting tai yin qi deficiency and damp accumulation. Bai zhu works with gui zhi, fu ling and xi xin in transforming and moving water which moves blood.
Jie geng, Platycodi radix is pungent dispersing of liver blood and the ministerial fire in the san jiao. It is pungent dispersing of the lungs. It is bitter draining of dampness and phlegm in the lungs.
Jie geng opens the lid of the lungs and disperses the upper burner qi. As the Metal element is dispersed it will loosen its punishing grip on Wood.
Huang qin, Scutellaria radix is bitter draining and cooling of heat in the san jiao, stomach domain, lungs, liver, gall bladder, and bladder.
Cold and bitter it is the great cleaner. It clears heat and dampness, in all three burners, and in yang ming, tai yin, shao yang, and jue yin.
In clearing heat it cools blood which when hot gives way to excessive bleeding or flaring of ministerial fire.
Huang qin clears qi layer heat, it clears internal heat in the shao yang and yang ming channels. Used for its affinity with shao yang and jue yin channels where it clears excessive fire flaring upwards, and greatly cools blood to stop internal wind due to heat. It clears gall bladder heat that flares up to the upper burner. It also clears san jiao damp heat through its bitter drying taste and cold cooling nature.
Fu ling, Poria is sweet and neutral. It drains fluids but is not bitter. Fu ling is tonifying the stomach domain, spleen, kidney and bladder to move excess fluids. It moves more than it tonifies.
Fu ling drains fluids through the tai yang bladder and restores the water metabolism. The movement of fluids is the start of movement for blood. By moving water we move blood. Dampness is a form of yin and we move the yin with the fu ling to restore the transformation and transport aspect of tai yin. Tai yin is also the post heaven source of clear qi and yin and blood.
Dang gui, Angelicae sinensis radix is sweet tonifying and nourishing of liver blood and the ministerial fire. It is pungent dispersing of the liver blood and ministerial fire.
Dang gui is the core jue yin liver blood storage herb. Dang gui tonifies blood and nourishes the liver while moving blood and transforming stasis and so protects the jue yin liver blood from heat.
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 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.
Chuan xiong, Ligustici radix is pungent dispersing of the liver and pericardium blood and the ministerial fire in the san jiao.
Mainly enters the liver channel and gall bladder, it regulates, frees and spreads the qi flow of the liver to counter stagnation. It is the core herb for moving qi within blood. Moves liver qi contained in blood allowing the wind to be stilled. The Nei jing states; when blood moves, wind will spontaneously subside.
Xi xin, Asari herba is pungent dispersing of the liver blood and the ministerial fire. It is pungent dispersing of the heart, kidneys and lungs. It is pungent dispersing of the tai yang channel.
Xi xin warms the interior and moves water which moves blood to calm wind.
Gan jiang, Zingiberis rhizoma, dried is warm (or hot) pungent and astringent. Gan jiang is the main herb to warm the tai yin level and treat excessive dampness by introducing yang ming dryness in tai yin dampness.
Warms the interior and especially tai yin. It warms the fluids in the lungs and spleen, while assisting in dispersing cold from the body surface. Together with xi xin they form the core pair to treat internal stagnant fluids.
Gan jiang anchors the yang of gui zhi, xi xin, and chuang xiong with its stagnant heat.
Mu li, Ostrea concha is salty softening of hardness in the abdomen and stomach domain. It is astringing fluids into the kidney and stomach organs.
Muli astringe liver wind and settles rebellious yang.
Fan shi, Alumen, Potassium aluminium sulfate is sour and astringing of fluids. It is cold, astringent and sour. It stops diarrhea and vaginal bleeding if due to heat and deficiency.
Fan shi is sour collecting which calms excessive wind.