Si ni san
chai hu 12 zhi shi 12 zhi gan cao 12 bai shao 12
When in shao yin disease there is counter flow cold of the limbs, the person may cough, or have palpitations, or inhibited urination, or pain in the abdomen, or diarrhea with rectal heaviness, si ni san governs.
This is the representative formula for deficient pivoting of the middle. It unblocks the yang ming, shao yang and tai yin.
It treats shao yang and yang ming. It clears damp and heat and descends the stool. It restores the balance between the Wood and Earth in that Wood provides the warmth for proper function and Earth prevents excessive drying from the warmth by providing moisture as dampness and blood.
It restores the transport of heavenly qi and nourishes the storage of earthly qi.
Why shao yin? Counter flow cold can arise in shao yang and shao yin. When shao yin gets weak all other levels are affected and especially the ministerial fire in the san jiao. Wang Shu He organized the formulas. We may never know what he was thinking.
Chai hu, Bupleuri radix is bitter draining of damp and heat in the liver, gall bladder and san jiao. It is pungent and aromatic dispersing of heat in liver blood and the ministerial fire in the san jiao.
It clears the shao yang exterior and disperses heat. It is the core shao yang herb. On the exterior chai hu relieves the surface from wind heat evils, while on the interior it frees the body from evils that have entered the shao yang realm and have transformed into heat. It clears the muscles of damp and it disperses heat.
Chai hu frees the flow of Wood qi of the liver and gall bladder. The transformation of Earth relies on the free movement of the element Wood. It decongests the liver and gall bladder so that pivoting of the middle can occur. Earth transforms and transports food qi and the clear qi goes up and the turbid qi goes down.
Zhi shi, Aurantii fructus immaturus is bitter draining and descending of the stomach domain. It is bitter draining of the liver, gall bladder and san jiao.
Zhi shi moves the gall bladder qi downward and promotes yang ming descent. Zhi shi moves the shao yang gall bladder qi downward to descend yang ming stomach and large intestine qi and restores the descent of qi to eliminate stagnation and create space for the rising of clear yang of jue yin liver and tai yin spleen. Used together with chai hu, chai hu aides the ascension of liver qi and zhi shi aids the descent of gall bladder qi, and so restores the pivotal impairment of the middle.
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.
Bai shao nourishes blood and softens the liver while harmonizing and pacifying the blood layer. It relaxes Metal so descending can occur by moistening. Metal controls Wood, meaning that the descending action of the large intestine and the lung must balance the rise of Wood.
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.