Qi and Flavor
A simple visual reference for Chinese Medicine Formulas

Si Wu Tang 四 物 湯

Error in the Chart

Error in the Chart


Source: Secret Formulas to Manage Trauma and Reconnect Fractures Received from an Immortal (c. 846)

Indication: Generalized Blood deficiency and stagnation

Symptoms: Dizziness, blurred vision, lusterless complexion and nails, generalized muscle tension insomnia, palpitations, a thin body lacking strength, irregular menstruation with little flow or amenorrhea, periumbilical and lower abdominal pain. Also for menorrhagia, hard abdominal masses with recurrent pain, restless fetus disorder, or lochioschesis with a firm and painful abdomen, sporadic chills and fever.

Tongue: pale; Pulse: thin, wiry or thin, choppy

The herbs in this formula operate on two main principles, either: Blood in the Blood, and Qi in the Blood. Both Shu Di and Bai Shao are "Blood in the Blood" herbs, while Dang Gui and Chuan Xiong are "Qi in the Blood" herbs. Together, they strongly tonify and regulate the Blood. Sweet and warm, Shu Di nourishes the Yin of the Blood. Bitter, sour, and cold Bai Shao tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Together, they are a strong Blood tonic with a potential for stasis as they are rich and cloying. The "Qi in the Blood" herbs, Dang Gui and Chuan Xiong help remedy that risk by balancing the heavy tonics with invigorating herbs. Warming and moistening, Dang Gui, tonifies and invigorates the Blood and is the "qi herb for the blood". Acrid and warm Chuan Xiong invigorates the Blood and promotes the movement of qi. The acrid nature of both of these herbs has potential to injure the yin, yet it is balanced by astringent (sour) Bai Shao's power to preserve the yin.