The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement. Its main actions are: 1) regulates the flow of Qi, treats esophageal spasm and 2) clears Phlegm.
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.
In this case Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Phlegm, Qi-Phlegm or Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as menopausal syndrome, morning sickness or globus hystericus for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the five ingredients in Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang helps treat.
Ban Xia is a king ingredient in Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Dried rhizome and tuber
Hou Pu is a king ingredient in Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Dried stem bark, root bark or branch bark
Category: Aromatic herbs that transform Dampness
Hou Pu eliminates the stifling sensation and assists the other key herb (Crow-dipper rhizome) in dissipating the clumps and directing the Rebellious Qi downward. Its ability to regulate the Qi and dry Dampness supports Crow-dipper rhizome in transforming the Phlegm.
Fu Ling is a deputy ingredient in Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried sclerotium
Category: Herbs that drain Dampness
Zi Su Ye is a deputy ingredient in Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried leaf (or bearing young branches)
Zi Su Ye reinforces the ability of Houpu Magnolia bark (Hou Po), one of the key herbs in this formula, to regulate the Qi and break up Stagnation. Entering the Lungs, which govern the throat, the place where the main symptom of Qi-Phlegm is located, this herb also serves as the envoy. It also helps focus the action of the formula on the Lungs Channel and relieves coughing, should it occur.
Sheng Jiang is an envoy ingredient in Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.
Part used: Fresh root
It's important to remember that herbal formulas are meant to treat patterns, not "diseases" as understood in Western Medicine. According to Chinese Medicine patterns, which are disruptions to the body as a system, are the underlying root cause for diseases and conditions.
As such Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to treat three different patterns which we describe below.
But before we delve into these patterns here is an overview of the Western conditions they're commonly associated with:
Menopausal syndrome Morning sickness Globus hystericus Neurosis Neurogenic vomiting Irritable bowel syndrome Hysteria Psychosis Laryngitis Tonsillitis Edema of the vocal cords Goiter Hyperthyroid Esophageal strictures Esophageal spasms
Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang treats menopausal syndrome" for instance. Rather, Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind menopausal syndrome.
Now let's look at the three patterns commonly treated with Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang.
Body Fluids (Jin Ye) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Body Fluids in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick coating
Tongue shape: Swollen
Symptoms: Lumps Edema Nausea Oedema Nodules Fatigue Obesity Vertigo Belching Vomiting Dizziness Moodiness Overweight Bad breath Depression Watery milk Late period Heavy limbs Clear mucus Listlessness Palpitations Irritability Poor appetite Chest pressure Low metabolism Scanty periods Chest fullness Vagina discharge Breast distention Abdominal fullness Shortness of breath Sore and weak limbs Sputum in the chest Feeling of heaviness Thick tongue coating Pale menstrual blood Dizziness or vertigo Numbness in the limbs Thick menstrual blood Sticky menstrual blood Brown vaginal discharge Excessive vaginal discharge No feeling of distension of the breasts
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Phlegm. This pattern leads to symptoms such as chest pressure, nausea, dizziness and feeling of heaviness. Patients with Phlegm typically exhibit slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with sticky coating, thick coating.
Phlegm has a great importance in Chinese Medicine as it is both a condition in and of itself as well as a cause for other diseases.
Qi is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Qi in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Thick white coating
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Qi-Phlegm. This pattern leads to symptoms such as feeling of a lump in the throat which comes and goes, stuffiness of chest and diaphragm, difficulty swallowing and irritability. Patients with Qi-Phlegm typically exhibit slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with thick white coating.
Also often called "plum-stone" or "plum-pit" (梅核, Méi Hé) syndrome or "globus hystericus" in modern medicine, the main characteristic of Qi-Phlegm is a feeling of something caught in the throat that can neither be swallowed nor ejected.
It is the result of a situation that affects the patient... read more about Qi-Phlegm
The Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Thick coating
Tongue color: Red
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach. This pattern leads to symptoms such as belching, abdominal distension, epigastric distension and depression. Patients with Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach typically exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a red tongue with thick coating.
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