Saposhnikovia roots (Fang Feng) Notopterygium roots (Qiang Huo) Prepared aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) Prepared rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) Eucommia bark (Du Zhong) Achyranthes roots (Niu Xi) Ginseng (Ren Shen) Milkvetch roots (Huang Qi)

Da Fang Feng Tang

Chinese: 大防风汤

Pinyin: Dà Fáng Fēng Tāng

Other names: Major Saposhnikovia Decoction

Number of ingredients: 14 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that dispel Wind-Damp

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: LumbagoMyelitisTinnitus and eighteen other conditions

  1. Expel Wind Damp
  2. Relieve pain
  3. Tonify the Liver and the Kidneys
  4. Tonify the Blood and Qi

Contraindications: Not for external Heat Pernicious Influence invading Channels and Joints

Source date: 1107 AD

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

Da Fang Feng Tang is a 14-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Saposhnikovia Roots (Fang Feng) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1107 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Wind-Damp. Its main actions are: 1) expel Wind Damp and 2) relieve pain.

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 Da Fang Feng Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as arthralgia, common cold or dysenteric wind for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the fourteen ingredients in Da Fang Feng Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Da Fang Feng Tang helps treat.

The fourteen ingredients in Da Fang Feng Tang

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.

1. Saposhnikovia Roots (Fang Feng)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: BladderSpleenLiver

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

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.

Learn more about Saposhnikovia Roots (Fang Feng)

Qiang Huo is a deputy ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Notopterygium Roots (Qiang Huo)

Part used: Dried rhizome and root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: BladderKidney

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Qiang Huo works with the key herb in expelling the Wind Damp, unblocking the Channels and stopping obstruction pain in the joints.

Learn more about Notopterygium Roots (Qiang Huo)

Zhi Fu Zi is a deputy ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi)

Part used: Processed daughter root

Nature: Hot

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidney

Category: Herbs that warm the Interior and/or expel Cold

Zhi Fu Zi warms the Channels and supports the Yang. It also helps relieve obstruction pain in the joints by expelling Damp Cold.

Learn more about Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi)

Shu Di huang is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

4. Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Part used: Prepared dried root tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Shu Di huang warms and tonifies the Liver as well as the Kidneys. It strengthens the Channels, bones and tendons. It also invigorates and tonifies Blood at the same time. It is one of the four ingredients for the formula Si Wu Tang which is commonly use for Blood tonifying and invigorating purpose.

Learn more about Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

Du Zhong is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. Eucommia Bark (Du Zhong)

Part used: Dried stem bark

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

Du Zhong warms and tonifies the Liver as well as the Kidneys. It also strengthens the Channels, bones and tendons.

Learn more about Eucommia Bark (Du Zhong)

Niu Xi is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. Achyranthes Roots (Niu Xi)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

Niu Xi warms and tonifies the Liver as well as the Kidneys. It also strengthens the Channels, bones and tendons.

Learn more about Achyranthes Roots (Niu Xi)

Ren Shen is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Ren Shen tonifies the Spleen so as to support the generating of the Blood and Qi. It is also one of the four ingredients of the formula Si Jun Zi Tang that is commonly used for Qi and Blood tonifying.

Learn more about Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Huang Qi is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

8. Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Huang Qi tonifies the Spleen so as to support the generating of the Blood and Qi. It is also one of the four ingredients of the formula Si Jun Zi Tang that is commonly used for Qi and Blood tonifying.

Learn more about Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Bai Zhu is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

9. Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Bai Zhu tonifies the Spleen so as to support the generating of the Blood and Qi. It is also one of the four ingredients of the formula Si Jun Zi Tang that is commonly used for Qi and Blood tonifying.

Learn more about Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Gan Cao is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

10. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Gan Cao tonifies the Spleen so as to support the generating of the Blood and Qi. It is one of the four ingredients of the formula Si Jun Zi Tang that is commonly used for Qi and Blood tonifying. It also harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Dang Gui is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

11. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Dang Gui invigorates and tonifies Blood at the same time. It is one of the four ingredients for the formula Si Wu Tang which is commonly use for Blood tonifying and invigorating purpose.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Bai Shao is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

12. White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: SpleenLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Bai Shao invigorates and tonifies Blood at the same time. It is one of the four ingredients for the formula Si Wu Tang which is commonly use for Blood tonifying and invigorating purpose.

Learn more about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Chuan Xiong is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

13. Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLiverPericardium

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

Chuan Xiong invigorates and tonifies Blood at the same time. It is one of the four ingredients for the formula Si Wu Tang which is commonly use for Blood tonifying and invigorating purpose.

Learn more about Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

Long Yan Rou is an assistant ingredient in Da Fang Feng Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

14. Longans (Long Yan Rou)

Part used: Dried flesh of the fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeart

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

In general Long Yan Rou's main actions are as follows: "Nourishes the Blood. Calms the spirit. Relieves fatigue, especially mental fatigue."

In the context of Da Fang Feng Tang, it is used because it tonifies Qi and Blood.

Learn more about Longans (Long Yan Rou)

Da Fang Feng Tang is used to treat Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles

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 Da Fang Feng Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Arthralgia Common cold Dysenteric Wind Crane’s Knee Wind Paralysis Gouty arthritis Idiopathic edema Malnutritional edema Muscle atrophy Paresthesia Lumbago Facial paralysis Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis Myelophthisis Myelitis Monoplegia Neuralgia Fibromyalgia Hemiplegia Tinnitus

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Da Fang Feng Tang treats arthralgia" for instance. Rather, Da Fang Feng Tang is used to treat Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles, which is sometimes the root cause behind arthralgia.

Now let's look at Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Da Fang Feng Tang.

Wind is one of the pathogenic factors in Chinese Medicine. Learn more about Wind in Chinese Medicine

Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles

Pulse type(s): Floating (Fu)

Symptoms: Fever Joints pain Aversion to wind

Da Fang Feng Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles. This pattern leads to symptoms such as joints pain, aversion to wind and fever. Patients with Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles typically exhibit floating (Fu) pulses.

It is a type of the Painful Obstruction Syndrome (Bi Syndrome 痹证). The Chinese name is called Xing Bi or Feng Bi (行痹 / 风痹). 

This patter is similar to Cold invading the channels and joints. Both patterns evolve joints pain and stiffness, but the pain with Cold mostly occurs in one single joint,... read more about Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles

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