Qi and Flavor
A simple visual reference for Chinese Medicine Formulas

Xiao Jian Zhong Tang 小v 建 中 湯

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Source: Discussion of Cold Damage (c. 220)

Indication: Consumptive deficiency cold leads to insufficient transportation and transformation

Symptoms: Intermittent, spasmodic abdominal pain that responds favorable to local application of warmth and pressure, lusterless complexion, reduced appetite. Also, may have low-grade fever, palpitations, irritability, cold and sore extremities with nonspecific discomfort, dry mouth and throat.

Tongue: pale, white coat; Pulse: thin, wiry, moderate

Yi Tang, sweet an warm, distilled from earthly grains has been described as the "quintessence of a quintessence" (Records of Thoughtful Differentiation of Materia Medica). With earth as its essence, it is suited to tonify the middle jiao with a backdrop of contradictory symptoms: heat/cold and constraint/deficiency. Yi Tang tonifies qi and blood, generates fluids, alleviates thirst, and moderates spasmodic abdominal pain. Yi Tang is synergistic with Gui Zhi Tang, harmonizing the Ying and Wei. The double dosage of Bai Shao (cold, bitter, and sour) serves to supplement the blood and move the focus to the interior, yet warm Yi Tang negates the dosage of the cold temperature of Bai Shao.

This formula uses sweet and warming herbs to tonify the cold of deficiency, and balances these wtih acrid and sour to harmonize the Ying and Wei.

This formula utilizes a fundamental strategy in Chinese medicine: combining acrid and sweet herbs to promote the transformation into yang, and sour and sweet herbs to promote the transformation into yin.