|Bai Shao (White Peony) – Traditionally used in Chinese Medicine |
to calm and curb the liver yang and alleviate pain from disharmo-
ny between the liver and spleen. Used to “soften and comfort” the
liver, stop painful spasms in the abdomen, stop cramping pain or
spasms in the hands and feet, and alleviate abdominal pain as-
sociated with dysenteric disorders.
Bai Zhu (Atractylodes Macrocephala [alba] Rhizome) – Used in
TCM to tonify the spleen and augment the Qi; for spleen or stom-
ach defciency with symptoms such as diarrhea, fatigue, lack of
appetite, and vomiting. Strenthens the spleen and dries damp-
ness; for digestive disorders due to spleen yang failing to rise,
with loss of its ability to transform and subsequent accumulation
Dang Gui [Shen] (Tangkuei) – Used for its reputed ability to tonify
the blood and regulate the menses: for patterns of blood def-
ciency with such symptoms as a pallid, ashen complexion; for tin-
nitus, blurred vision, and palpitations. Commonly used for blood
defciency associated with menstrual disorders such as irregular
menstruation, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, etc. Invigorates and
harmonizes the blood and disperses cold.
Fu Shen (Poria [Cortex]) – Known traditionally for draining damp-
ness, strengthening the spleen and harmonizing the middle burn-
er; promotes urination, transforms phlegm, quiets the heart and
calms the spirit. For loss of appetite, diarrhea, headaches, palpi-
tation, dizziness, forgetfulness, and insomnia.
Chai Hu (Bupleurum) – TCM practitioners believe it resolves less-
er yang disorders and reduces fever; spreads liver Qi and relieves
constraint with such symptoms as dizziness, vertigo, chest and
fank pain, emotional instability, or menstrual problems. Also has
been used for disharmonies between the liver and spleen with
such symptoms as epigastric and fank pain, a stifing sensation
in the chest, abdominal bloating, nausea and indigestion.
Bo He (Mint) – Thought to disperse wind-heat for patterns with fe-
ver, headache and cough. The TCM practitioner believes it allows
constrained liver Qi to fow freely. It is commonly used for such
symptoms as pressure in the chest or fanks, emotional instabil-
ity, and gynecological problems.
Gan Cao (Licorice) – Reputed for tonifying the spleen
and augmenting the Qi. Said to clear heat and relieve
fre toxicity, moderate spasms and alleviate pain of the
abdomen or legs. Due to the sweet, neutral and moder-
ating properties, it is used often to moderate herbs that are hot or cold and mitigate the violent properties of other herbs.
It is thought to lead and conduct other herbs into the twelve pri-
Gou Teng (Gambir) – Used traditionally to eliminate wind and al-
leviate spasms; for liver heat patterns seen as tremors, seizures,
and eclampsia; for cooling and draining the liver in conjunction
with symptoms of headache, irritability, red eyes, dizziness and
Mu Dan Pi [Su] (Moutan) – Chinese botanical that has been used
to clear heat and cool blood; for such symptoms as nosebleeds,
bloody mucus, vomiting, profuse menstruation, and bruises. It
is commonly used to clear ascending liver fre with symptoms of
headache, eye pain, fank pain, fushing, and menstrual imbal-
ances. It is believed to drain pus and reduce swelling and has
been used topically for sores or internally for abscesses.
Sheng Jiang (Fresh Ginger) – Used in TCM for releasing exterior
cold patterns; for warming the middle burner and alleviating vom-
iting; to disperse cold and stop coughing; to reduce the toxicity of
other herbs and to adjust the nutritive and protective Qi, allowing
for improvement of conditions through sweating.
Xiang Fu (Cyperus Rhizome) – Used in Chinese Medicine to spread
and regulate liver Qi, for congested liver with hypochondriac pain
and epigastric distention, facilitates harmony between liver and
spleen. Used to facilitate the fow of liver Qi in gynecological disor-
ders with such signs as dysmenorrheal or irregular menstruation;
it is thought to regulate menstruation and alleviate pain.
Zhi Zi [Shan] (Gardenia) – Chinese botanical that has been used
in TCM to clear heat and eliminate irritability, fever, restlessness,
insomnia, delirious speech; to drain damp heat seen symptomati-
cally as painful urinary dysfunction, jaundice; to cool blood and
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