Xia Guisheng

Bai Zi Ren 白子仁

How do we get to know herbs?  Zhang Jing-Yue says

“There are many medicinals, each with their own respective natures. Because the countless indications and contraindications are diverse, it is difficult to know them all. If he who uses the medicinals does not grasp the essence, it is inevitable that he will make many mistakes. If he only considers the which governs, or only considers the secondary actions; if he only cares about ‘what benefits this but does not benefit that’, then his ignorance about what is true and the rigidity in his attempts to lasso the wild horse will result in a lack of effectiveness.”

What does it mean to “grasp the essence” of an herb?  Zhang goes on to say:

“There is only one truth for the use of herbs, and that is the mastery over their qi and taste, along with the knowledge of their yin and yang. This way, even though there are many of them, one will be able to grasp their essence.”

We often learn herbs simply in relation to their listed functions.  “What does this herb DO” is the […]

Dysmenorrhea: Cold Causes Pain

Think of a child swimming in cold water and how they start to shiver and develop blue-purple lips, fingers and toes. I have a small spring fed pond behind my clinic. The water is very cold all year round. If I dip my feet into it, within 2 minutes they start to ache. Cold causes blood stasis and this blood stasis causes pain. However, as soon as the child is warmed up, the lips, fingers and toes turn pink again!

Post Partum use of Sheng Hua Tang

Sheng Hua Tang is a formula designed by Fu Qing-Zhu in the 17th century.  It was first written about in his text Fu Qing-Zhu’s Gynecology (Fu Qing-Zhu Fu Ke) It is designed to treat women who are just post partum in order to transform blood stasis so that new blood can be generated.  This is one explanation given for the name of the formula “Generate and Transform Decoction”.  The name of the formula could also be translated as the “Giving Birth Decoction”.  This is possible because  the word for birth in Chinese is 生 Sheng and giving birth is sometimes referred to as the 大化 Da Hua or Great Transformation. (see Formulas and Strategies).  At any rate, this formula is truly excellent for post partum, post miscarriage and post termination patients.

In my own practice I have used Sheng Hua Tang more times than I can count.  I have found it very useful and helpful. I think of it as a formula that ensures that the uterus is clear, clean and warm after birth.  The healthy condition of the uterus after birth can help […]

Opening-Through Presentation

In this entry, I am offering a presentation taken from a class I recently taught.  I went into some detail about the method of opening through.  At the end of the presentation I have included two case studies from my own practice.  The intent of these case studies is to show how the opening through method can be used for pathology in which the main complaint is clearly not gynecological.  In these cases, though this is true, taking into account the blocked menses was clearly an important aspect of the diagnosis and treatment.  I hope you find this as interesting and useful as I do!  Click below to start it.

Opening Through Presentation

益腎通经汤 Yi Shen Tong Jing Tang Boost the Kidneys and Open-Through the Menstruation Decoction

In this next entry on Dr. Xia’s opening through methods, we learn some very interesting principles.  His formula, Yi Shen Tong Jing Tang is indicated for Kidney deficiency type amenorrhea or scanty menstruation.  However the mechanism of the formula works with the Heart’s descending action to both supplement the Kidneys and to open through the menstruation.  This formula and this chapter on the formula illustrates a fundamental aspect of women’s physiology that is not often described.  This is the relationship between the Heart Qi and the vessels of the womb.  The Heart Qi must descend to the womb.

It is also interesting to note that Dr. Xia uses this formula for adolescent women who are suffering from amenorrhea, scanty or late menstruation.  He makes clear that there must be some vaginal discharge present to begin this formula.  In other words, if the woman is completely dry, with no vaginal discharge, the first treatment principle must be to increase moisture.  When the moisture just begins to show – that is the time to use this formula.  After using this formula, the vaginal discharge and ovulation mucous will begin to flow even more abundantly.

Yi Shen Tong Jing Tang

Formula Name:

Yi Shen – refers to supplementing and […]

进退温经汤 Jin Tui Wen Jing Tang Modified Warm the Menses Decoction

This is the next entry in this series of entries.  If you haven’t read the previous 3 entries, I recommend you go back and read them.  Each entry is an expansion of the previous one.

Here we expand on the idea of opening through by looking at blocked menstruation when there is cold.  Dr. Xia has created this formula based on Wen Jing Tang (Warm the Menses Decoction). What i didn’t realize before reading this chapter, is that there is another formula named Wen Jing Tang besides the one from the Jin Gui Yao Lue (Essentials from the Golden Cabinet).  There is a formula of the same name from the Fu Ren Da Quan Liang Fang (Complete Book of Effective Formulas for Women).  The ingredients of this formula are as follows: […]

五味调经散 Wu Wei Tiao Jing San Five Flavor Synchronize the Menstruation Powder

“He substituted Mu Dan Pi for Zhi Zi and Shan Zha for Liu Qu.  He did this because Mu Dan Pi and Shan Zha enter the blood level while Zhi Zi and Liu Qu do not.  Brilliant! ”

Todays entry includes the next section in Dr. Xia Guisheng’s chapter on opening through menstruation.  He uses his formula Wu Wei Tiao Jing Tang (Five Flavor Synchronize the Menstruation Decoction) as a jumping off point to discuss some basic ideas about the treatment of irregular menstruation due to congealed blood.   Wu Wei Tiao Jing Tang is a simple and small formula.  It’s design represents some of the basic principles of working with blood stasis in relation to menstruation and it’s size makes it ideal for combining with other formulas or for adding other herbs. […]

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