Sulfur (Liu Huang) Crow-dipper rhizomes (Ban Xia) Fresh ginger (Sheng Jiang)

Chinese: 半硫丸

Pinyin: Bàn Liú Wán

Other names: Pinellia and Sulphur Pill

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that warm and purge

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: ImpotenceConstipationChronic diarrhea and one other condition

  1. Fortifies the Fire at the Gate of Vitality
  2. Expels Cold
  3. Unblocks the Yang
  4. Drains Turbidity

Contraindications: Although this formula is advised for elderly constipation, it should not be... Although this formula is advised for elderly constipation, it should not be taken in cases of Yin or Blood Deficiency. see more

Source date: 1107

Source book: Formulary of the Pharmacy Service for Benefiting the People in the Taiping Era

Ban Liu Wan is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Sulfur (Liu Huang) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1107, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and purge. Its main actions are: 1) fortifies the Fire at the Gate of Vitality and 2) expels Cold.

In Chinese Medicine health conditions are thought to arise due to "disharmonies" in the body as a system. These disharmonies are called "patterns" and the very purpose of herbal formulas is to fight them in order to restore the body's harmony.

From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as constipation in the elderly, chronic diarrhea or impotence for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the three ingredients in Ban Liu Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that Ban Liu Wan helps treat.

The three ingredients in Ban Liu Wan

Liu Huang is a king ingredient in Ban Liu Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Sulfur (Liu Huang)

Part used: The mineral

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidneyLarge intestinePericardium

Category: Herbs for external application

Liu Huang strongly fortifies the Fire at the Gate of Vitality and activates Yang Qi.  Furthermore, its sour taste protects the Yin, keeping Body Fluids in the Intestines to facilitate bowel movement. Warm herbs mostly cause constipation. Sulphur is the only one that is gentle and is able to promote bowel movement.

Learn more about Sulfur (Liu Huang)

Ban Xia is a deputy ingredient in Ban Liu Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia)

Part used: Dried rhizome and tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: LungSpleenStomach

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Ban Xia is acrid and warm, which harmonizes the Stomach, and descends Qi. It is also bitter, which dries turbid Yin.
It thereby focuses the action of the key herb on the Yang
Brightness.

Learn more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia)

Sheng Jiang is an assistant ingredient in Ban Liu Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

3. Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

Part used: Fresh root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: LungSpleenStomach

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Sheng Jiang reduces the Toxicity of the two main ingredients, warms
the Middle Burner, disperses Cold, and facilitates the Qi movement by unblocking the Interstices. It acts as both assistant and envoy. It often used as form of Fresh ginger juice.

Learn more about Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

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