Sheng jiang gan cao tang
sheng jiang 15 ren shen 9 da zao 9 zhi gan cao 12
Sheng jiang gan cao tang treats lung wasting with cough and incessant salivation, dry throat and thirst.
This formula corrects a tai yin pattern that has failed to rise up to the lung to moisten it and there is also accumulation of fluids. This is also correcting the water metabolism by adding healthy fluids and dispersing pathological fluids. This formula disperses more than nourishes.
Sheng jiang prevents the inward collapse of pathogens into the yin levels due to its upward movement. It disperses fluids from tai yin up to the lungs to meet the 100 vessels. It works together with ren shen in raising clear qi upwards. It works together with da zao in that da zao provides the nutritive and sheng jiang and ren shen raise it up.
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.
Ren shen, Ginseng radix is sweet tonifying and nourishing of the spleen, lungs, heart, and kidney. It nourishes yin fluids and therefore is the foremost qi and yin tonic.
The yin fluids from ren shen moderate excessive movement by anchoring yang with yin. It raises the original qi and gathering qi. It strengthens righteous qi and righteous qi is also called true qi and is a combination of original qi and gathering qi. All are dependent on the qi of shao yin and tai yin. Which in turn are dependent on the jue yin and shao yang for the ministerial fire in all three burners.
The use of ren shen makes this formula not only a post heaven qi formula but also a pre heaven qi formula.
Gan cao strengthens the middle by mildly tonifying qi and fluids to protect the stomach. The dose of the gan cao is higher than normal to make use of the moistening action.
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.
Da zao adds material to the tai yin middle to generate heart blood.
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.
The zhi gan cao works together with the ren shen to tonify and nourish the shao yin heart and kidneys.
We see the use of these four herbs often and the reason is because most patterns have some form of weakness in the center or Earth. Since Earth and tai yin are the source of post heaven qi it is important to strengthen this for restoring function. We see these four together with blood tonics like, bai shao, dang gui, gui zhi, sheng di, and huang qi.
Ren shen, sheng jiang, zhi gan cao and da zao form the four common spleen strengthening herbs, they allow the earth element to regain its strength and is called the Fab Four. Fab is short for fabulous. Adding ban xia makes it the Magik Five.