Can Chai Hu Excessively Raise the Qi?
When I first learned about Chai Hu, I learned that, among other functions, it serves to “raise the Yang Qi.” In combination with Huang Qi, it is used for this purpose in Li Dong-Yuan’s Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang. Because this function has been attributed to Chai Hu, I learned that I must be very cautious using it. I could over raise the Qi. My guess is that other practitioners are familiar with this caution as well. I was under the impression that I could, in using Chai Hu, raise the pressure in a person’s upper body by sending the Yang up. Indeed, the Formulas and Strategies cautions us to avoid using Chai Hu in cases in which the liver Yang is rising pathologically. Many practitioners take this to the extreme of avoiding Chai Hu for any case of headache or hypertension. Zhang Xi-Chun cautions us in this respect as follows:
“For raising the liver, Chai Hu is the most effective. However when there is a pattern of liver not rising and stomach not descending, Ma Ya should be used instead of Chai Hu. This is because, Chai Hu not only raises the liver, it also can excessively raise the stomach Qi. On the other hand, Mai Ya can not only raise […]