Herb Formulas Notebook

Gui Zhi Jia Shao Yao Tang

(Cinnamon Twig Decoction plus Peony)

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Source: Discussion of Cold Damage (c. 220)
Author: Zhang Ji / Zhong-Jing

Category: Formulas that Release the Exterior

Pattern: Taiyang stage Wind-Cold or Wind attack with Exterior deficiency being transmitted to Taiyin

Key Symptoms: Abdominal fullness and occasional pain, aversion to drafts (including intolerance of open windows and needing to wear a scarf or protective clothing), sweating at any time of day or night (may be spontaneous or triggered by activity, stress or wind), fever or other heat symptoms
Secondary Symptoms: Headache, stiff neck, nasal obstruction, aching and pain in the extremities (especially arms and shoulders), dry heaves, flushing, constipation

Tongue: May have white coating but not always
Pulse: Floating and either lax or frail
Abdomen: Full with tension in rectus abdominis

Gui Zhi 9g
Bai Shao 18g
Zhi Gan Cao 6g
Sheng Jiang 4sl
Da Zao 3-4pc

Preparation: Decoction.

Actions: Releases pathogens from the muscle layer, regulates Ying and Wei

Contraindications: Exterior Cold and interior Heat, or internal Dampness

This is a variation of Gui Zhi Tang with double the quantity of Shao Yao. Bai Shao is the type usually used although the Shang Han Lun did not differentiate between Bai Shao and Chi Shao.

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.