Herb Formulas Notebook

Cang Er Zi San

Xanthium Powder

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Source: Formulas to Aid the Living (1253)
Author: Yan Yong-He

Category: Formulas that Expel Wind

Pattern: Retained Wind pathogen obstructing the Wei Qi

Key Symptoms: Unrelenting nasal discharge, nasal obstruction
Secondary Symptoms: Purulent discharge, frontal headache, migraine headaches, dizziness

Tongue: Thin or greasy white coating

Cang Er Zi 6-9g
Xin Yi Hua 3-6g
Bai Zhi 6-9g
Bo He 3-6g (add near end)
Cong Bai 3-6g

Preparation: Decoction. Do not cook for more than 10 minutes.

Actions: Disperses Wind, alleviates pain, unblocks the nose

Contraindications: Due to its singular focus of expelling Wind of no particular type it should not be used unmodified for Wind-Heat, Wind-Cold or in patients with underlying Qi or Yin deficiencies for which there are better formulas. It is often appended to other formulas to focus the clearing action on the sinuses.

Ploberger (2017), in Westliche und traditionell chinesische Heilkräuter, offers the following alternative using western herbs:

Herba Thymi(Thyme)4g(Emperor)
Pericarpium Citri ret.(Mandarin Peel)3g(Minister)
Radix Glycyrrhizae (Toasted Licorice)3g(Minister)
Rhizoma Zingiberis recens(Fresh Ginger)3g(Minister)
Herba Menthae(Peppermint)3g(Assistant)

Research Links:
Science Direct
Google Scholar
Journal of Chinese Medicine
American Dragon

Reference Notes: (click to display)

These pages are intended to assist clinicians and are not intended for self-diagnosis or treatment for which a qualified professional should be consulted.