Classic Formulas

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 […]

Second Installment on Jin Gui Cough Formulas

This formula uses Poria (fú líng). On the one hand Poria (fú líng) will lead and gather the fluids so they can be removed through the urination and on the other hand it will treat the source of the generation of fluids. This is why Poria (fú líng) is the principle herb. The ministers are Zingiberis Rhizoma (gān jiāng) and Asari Radix et Rhizoma (xì xīn) which warm the lung, scatter cold and transform fluids. In order to prevent the Zingiberis Rhizoma (gān jiāng) and Asari Radix et Rhizoma (xì xīn) from squandering and scattering the lung Qi, Schisandrae Fructus (wǔ wèi zǐ) is added as an assistant. Schisandrae Fructus (wǔ wèi zǐ) will restrain the lung Qi and stop cough.

Ten Key Formula Families for Cancer

I created this presentation to give you all a chance to see how I’ve applied Dr. Huang Huang’s work for cancer patients.  Dr. Huang Huang is coming to teach at White Pine Healing Arts this July for 3 days on this topic.  I’m really excited for this course.  Already, his teachings on the 10 key formula families has influenced my work with patients suffering from cancer in such a positive way.  I’ve tried to illustrate this in this presentation.  My hope is that this will inspire students and practitioners to study with Dr. Huang.

To access the presentation click here

To get information about Dr. Huang Huang’s July course click here

For information about the 10 Key Formula Family online course click here

Huang Huang on Zhi Gan Cao Tang: Text and Video Presentation

Last February, Dr. Huang Huang gave a 4 day seminar on the Ten Key Formula Families in San Francisco.  Here is a link to view an excerpt of this seminar pertaining to Zhi Gan Cao Tang. (Eric Brand is the translator for this excerpt)   Below is written material about the formula from Dr. Huang Huang, translated by Sharon Weizenbaum.  If you are interested, the entire course is available by going to This Link.

Dr. Huang Huang writes on Zhi Gan Cao Tang

Formula Constituents

Zhi Gan Cao        12-24 grams
Sheng Jiang        9-18
Ren Shen             6-12
Sheng Di Huang  50-100
Gui Zhi                 9-18
E Jiao                   6-12
Mai Men Dong    12-24
Huo Ma Ren        12-24
Da Zao                30-60

Formula Cooking Method

For the above 9 ingredients, use seven sheng of clear wine and eight sheng of water.  First boil eight ingredients to get three sheng and remove the dregs.  Add the E Jiao and warm until it is completely dissolved.  Take one sheng warm and drink 3 times a day.

Original Text

  1. When there is cold damage, knotted pulse and heart pulsations, Zhi Gan Cao Tang rules (177)
  2. The Qian Jin Yi says that Zhi Gan Cao Tang returns the pulse:  It treats deficiency and depletion with sweating and stuffiness with knotted pulsations. This keeps going without cease.
  3. The Wai Tai says that Zhi Gan Cao Tang treats […]
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