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Supports immunity and ear, nose, and throat health. Traditionally used to promote the body’s immune defenses while soothing pain and discomfort. ∞
The classical formula Chai Hu Gui Zhi Gan Jiang Tang is found in the Shao Yang chapter of the source text. This formula is designed to treat Shao Yang disorder that comes about when a surface pathology (a simple head cold) collapses into the next layer of the body. This is the Shao Yang layer. When the body encounters a pathogen and successfully fights it off in a few days this means the pathogen stayed at the first layer. When the body is unable to clear out that surface layer on its own, often the congested surface layer will have an effect on the next layer down, causing it to become stuck too. This is what we describe as “collapsing into Shao Yang”. Now we have a congested Shao Yang layer, which involves the Gallbladder channel, affecting the entire length of the side body, particularly the rib cage. A key symptom that shows up as a result of gallbladder stagnation are fullness and stiffness along the channel, especially in the ribcage and chest. The second organ system that becomes stuck within Shao Yang is called the “triple burner”. According to Chinese Medicine, the triple burner can be thought of as the pathways in which body fluid moves, working closely with the lymphatic system.
The source texts describe this pattern as having the following characteristics: 1) sweating from the upper body, 2) mildly inhibited urination, and 3) an alternating heat and cold sensation. 1) When the Shao Yang is moving freely, the gallbladder fire is circulated throughout the body. When this circulation stops, as it has here, the fire is unable to move throughout and so it flares upward. We have the symptom of only feeling hot and sweaty in the upper body because the trapped heat will start to rise, just like it would in nature. If it’s not being pushed somewhere else, heat always rises to the top. This heat rising can also cause a powerfully sore throat. 2) Often, we’ll begin to see swollen lymph nodes on the gallbladder and triple warmer channels along the sides of the neck. Stagnant fluid in the triple warmer can create symptoms of stuck fluid in the soft tissue and lymphatic system in the upper body. 3) This alternating hot and cold sensation is often seen in any imbalance at this Shao Yang layer, as the body struggles to free its congestion. The body does this by trying to pivot between pushing energy toward the body’s surface and then back to the body’s core. This struggle between internal and external energy movement manifests as this kind of back and forth temperature dysregulation.
This combination of heat and fluid (called damp heat) trapped in the channels of the head and neck can be the perfect environment for viral and bacterial infection. Western medicine attributes these symptoms solely to the presence of a microbe, but Chinese medicine sees these symptoms as a functional imbalance that leaves the body open to opportunistic infections. Because of this, we go about changing the body’s internal environment to one that is inhospitable to unwelcome pathogens by restoring proper function to the body’s systems.
According to the source text, this formula uses a combination of herbs and minerals designed to restore the natural movement of the Shao Yang layer between the interior and exterior of the body. This allows the gallbladder and triple warmer organ systems to once again have their normal function, dispersing dampness and supporting healthful movement of heat throughout the body. The mineral component of this formula works as a heavy anchor for the rising heat, backing it off of the irritated soft tissue of the throat. We’ve included two additional herbs traditionally used to support transformation of damp heat within the sinus cavity, as well.
Imbalance addressed: Shao Yang disorder with water rheum (damp heat)
Formula Action: Harmonize Shao Yang, warm interior, transform water rheum (damp heat)
Base formula: Chai Hu Gui Zhi Gan Jiang Tang (Bupleurum, Cinnamon Twig and Dried Ginger Decoction)
Ingredients*: Chai hu, Gui zhi, Gan jiang, Mu li, Zhi gan cao, Huang qin, Tian hua fen (Chinese thoroughwax, cinnamon, dried ginger, oyster shell, honey stir-fried licorice root, trichosanthes root)
Additional, symptomatic herbs: cang zhu, xin yi hua (red atractylodes, magnolia bud)
Source Text(s): Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Cold Damage), Jin Gui Yao Lue (Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Cabinet)
Additional ingredients: Filtered water, Non-GMO cane sugar alcohol
*Organic, Non-GMO herbs are used whenever available, all herbs used undergo laboratory testing to ensure they are free from possible impurities or contaminants.
∞These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is for educational purposes only. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.