Qi and Flavor
A simple visual reference for Chinese Medicine Formulas

Li Zhong Wan 理 中

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Source: Discussion of Cold Damage (c. 220)

Indication: Middle Jiao Cold due to Spleen/Stomach Yang deficiency

Symptoms: Diarrhea with watery stool, nausea and vomiting, no particular thirst, loss of appetite, abdominal pain that is relieved by warmth and pressure, fatigue, abdominal distention. Also bleeding due to Spleen Yang deficiency, presents as pale blood accompanied by cold extremities. Maybe profuse salivation after chronic illness.

Tongue: pale, white; Pulse: deep, thin

If the middle jiao yang qi is damaged, it results in improper separation of the clear and turbid, and disorders of the ascending and descending qi dynamic. This formula uses a combined strategy to warm the interior to dispel cold, and tonify the qi of the Middle to reinforce the yang functions. Chief Gan Jiang warms the Spleen and Stomach yang to eliminate interior cold. Ren Shen (sweet, bitter, and warm) strongly tonifies the source qi, and regulates the qi dynamic of the middle jiao. Bai Zhu (bitter, sweet, warm) aids Ren Shen and dries dampness. This trifecta of warming, tonifying, and drying is effective to warm and improve this pattern of middle jiao dysfunction. Sweet and warm Zhi Gan Cao harmonizes the actions of the other herbs in this formula.