Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.
Preparation: Remove residual stems, soak in water, cut in slices and dry.
Dosage: 3 - 9 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Relieves Wind-Damp-Cold painful obstruction. Disperses Wind.
Contraindications*: Should not be used by those who are Yin Deficient or those with Blood Deficiency or by those with Heat signs associated with Yin Deficiency.
Source date: 1178 AD
Number of ingredients: 9 herbs
Formula key actions: Tonifies and harmonizes the Protective and Nutritive Qi. Dispels Wind. Eliminates Dampness.
Fang Feng is a king ingredient in Juan Bi Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Source date: 1550 AD
Number of ingredients: 13 herbs
Formula key actions: Releases the Exterior. Dispels Wind and Dampness. Augments Qi.
Fang Feng is a king ingredient in Jing Fang Bai Du San. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Source date: 1107 AD
Number of ingredients: 14 herbs
Formula key actions: Expel Wind Damp. Relieve pain. Tonify the Liver and the Kidneys. Tonify the Blood and Qi.
Fang Feng is a king ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
In Da Fang Feng Tang, Fang Feng warm and moistening. It expels the Wind, Dampness and Cold and stop joints pain due to external Pernicious Influence invading the Channels and Joints.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Fang Feng belongs to the 'Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior' category. Herbs that release the Exterior aim to to treat the early stages of diseases that affect the upper respiratory tract, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the throat or the skin. TCM believes that External diseases such as colds or allergies can only invade the body if the External environment overwhelms our Wei Qi (the TCM version of the immune system). In order to counteract this invasion Warm/Acrid herbs aim to induce sweating by increasing the flow of sweat to our capillary pores. The belief is that this will expel the disease from the body and stop it from invading further.
As suggested by its category Fang Feng is Warm in nature. This means that Fang Feng tends to help people who have too much 'Cold' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Cold in their body are said to either have a Yin Excess (because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang Deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition Fang Feng can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Fang Feng also tastes Pungent and Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Pungent ingredients like Fang Feng tends to promote the circulations of Qi and Body Fluids. That's why for instance someone tends to sweat a lot when they eat spicy/pungent food. On the other hand Sweet ingredients tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Fang Feng is thought to target the Bladder, the Liver and the Spleen. In TCM the impure water collected by the Kidneys that cannot be used by the body is sent to the Bladder for storage and excretion as urine. The Liver on the other hand is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and the Body Fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions. The Spleen assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body.
Shufeng Liangxue Decoction (consisting of divaricate saposhnikovia root) is effective and safe in treating hormone dependence dermatitis, with the efficacy better and relapse rate lower than those of treatment with Western medicine alone.1
1. Bai YS, Zhou CY, Wang JQ. (2008). Clinical observation on auxiliary treatment of hormone dependence dermatitis by shufeng liangxue decoction. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 28(12):1121-3.