Szechuan lovage roots (Chuan Xiong) Safflowers (Hong Hua) Peach kernels (Tao Ren) Dong quai (Dang Gui) Red peony roots (Chi Shao) Coco-grass rhizomes (Xiang Fu) Bitter oranges (Zhi Ke) Lindera roots (Wu Yao)

Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang

Chinese: 膈下逐瘀汤

Pinyin: Gé Xià Zhú Yū Tāng

Other names: Drive Out Stagnation Below the Diaphragm Decoction

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation

Mother formula: Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: AmenorrheaMenstrual crampsScanty menstruation and three other conditions

  1. Invigorates Blood
  2. Eliminates Blood Stagnation below the diaphragm
  3. Stops pain
  4. Promotes Qi movement

Contraindications: Contraindicated during pregnancy and in cases that involve excessive menstrual... Contraindicated during pregnancy and in cases that involve excessive menstrual bleeding. Contraindicated for people with a weak constitution or who are debilitated. Contraindicated in cases with bleeding diathesis or any active hemorrhagic disorder. see more

Source date: 1830 AD

Source book: Correction of Errors Among Physicians

Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang is a 12-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong), Safflowers (Hong Hua) and Peach Kernels (Tao Ren) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1830 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation. Its main actions are: 1) invigorates Blood and 2) eliminates Blood Stagnation below the diaphragm.

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 Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Blood Stagnation, Liver Blood Stagnation or Blood Stasis in the Stomach. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as scanty menstruation, menstrual cramps or absence of menstruation for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the twelve ingredients in Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang helps treat.

The twelve ingredients in Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang

Chuan Xiong is a king ingredient in Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLiverPericardium

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Chuan Xiong's main actions are as follows: "Regulates and moves the Blood. Relieves Wind-Cold and pain. Circulates the Qi in the Upper Burner, relieving headaches."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates the Blood and dispels Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

Hong Hua is a king ingredient in Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Safflowers (Hong Hua)

Part used: Dried flower

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: HeartLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Hong Hua's main actions are as follows: "Moves Stagnant Blood and regulates menses. Relieves pain caused by Blood Stasis."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates the Blood and dispels Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Safflowers (Hong Hua)

Tao Ren is a king ingredient in Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

3. Peach Kernels (Tao Ren)

Part used: Dried ripe seed

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLarge intestineLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Tao Ren's main actions are as follows: "Moves Blood and breaks up Stasis. Moistens the Intestines. Relieves coughing."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates the Blood and dispels Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Peach Kernels (Tao Ren)

4. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

In general Dang Gui's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates the Blood and dispels Blood Stagnation. It also nourishes the Blood and moistens.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

5. Red Peony Roots (Chi Shao)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: Liver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Chi Shao's main actions are as follows: "Moves Blood, relieves pain and reduces swelling. Cools the Blood and the Liver."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates the Blood and dispels Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Red Peony Roots (Chi Shao)

6. Coco-Grass Rhizomes (Xiang Fu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterPungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenLiverSanjiao

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Xiang Fu's main actions are as follows: "Unblocks Stagnant Liver Qi and relieves pain. Regulates the Liver and Spleen. Assists the regulation of menses and relieves pain."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates Blood below the diaphragm
.

Learn more about Coco-Grass Rhizomes (Xiang Fu)

7. Bitter Oranges (Zhi Ke)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungentSour

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Zhi Ke's main actions are as follows: "To regulate the flow of Qi, remove its stagnation, and alleviate distension."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates Blood below the diaphragm.

Learn more about Bitter Oranges (Zhi Ke)

8. Lindera Roots (Wu Yao)

Part used: Dried root tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: BladderSpleenKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Wu Yao's main actions are as follows: "Warms and stimulates the flow of Qi and relieves pain. Disperses Cold and Warms the Kidneys."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates Blood below the diaphragm.

Learn more about Lindera Roots (Wu Yao)

9. Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)

Part used: Root barks

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

In general Mu Dan Pi's main actions are as follows: "Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates Blood, eliminates Stagnation and stop pain.

Learn more about Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi)

10. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Gan Cao's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it harmonizes all ingredients.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

11. Flying Squirrel Faeces (Wu Ling Zhi)

Part used: Dried faeces

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Wu Ling Zhi's main actions are as follows: "Disperses congealed Blood in the lower abdomen and uterus and relieves pain. Promotes childhood nutrition with Cold Stagnation and focal abdominal swelling."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates Blood, eliminates Stagnation and stop pain.

Learn more about Flying Squirrel Faeces (Wu Ling Zhi)

12. Corydalis Tubers (Yan Hu Suo)

Part used: Dried tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiverLung

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

In general Yan Hu Suo's main actions are as follows: "Moves the Blood, breaks Blood Stagnation and reduces associated pain. Regulates Stagnant Qi and reduces associated pain."

In the context of Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang, it is used because it invigorates Blood, eliminates Stagnation and stop pain.

Learn more about Corydalis Tubers (Yan Hu Suo)

Conditions and patterns for which Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang may be prescribed

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 Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang is used by TCM practitioners to treat four 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:

Scanty menstruation Menstrual cramps Absence of menstruation Menopausal syndrome Amenorrhea Painful menstruations

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang treats scanty menstruation" for instance. Rather, Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind scanty menstruation.

Now let's look at the four patterns commonly treated with Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang.

Blood (Xue) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Blood in Chinese Medicine

Blood Stagnation

Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Blood Stagnation. This pattern leads to symptoms such as stabbing pain, abdominal masses, purple nails and painful period. Patients with Blood Stagnation typically exhibit choppy (Se), wiry (Xian) or firm (Lao) pulses as well as a reddish-purple tongue.

Blood Stagnation - also often referred to as "Blood Stasis" - is where the Blood flow is heavily restricted in all or parts of the body. It is one of the most important diagnostic conditions in Chinese Medicine because it is frequently the cause of intractable pain syndromes anywhere in the... read more about Blood Stagnation

The Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine

Liver Blood Stagnation

Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Liver Blood Stagnation. This pattern leads to symptoms such as dark clots in menstrual blood, dark colored blood, irregular menstruation and painful period. Patients with Liver Blood Stagnation typically exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a bluish-purple sides tongue.

Liver Blood Stagnation usually develops from other patterns, Liver Qi Stagnation, Cold and Heat being the most common ones. Sometimes Qi Deficiency, Blood Deficiency and Phlegm can also be the precursors. 

Liver Qi Stagnation is the most common cause. If left unchecked for a while without being... read more about Liver Blood Stagnation

The Stomach is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Stomach in Chinese Medicine

Blood Stasis in the Stomach

Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Blood Stasis in the Stomach. This pattern leads to symptoms such as severe epigastric pain that may worsen at night, dislike of pressure on epigastric area, nausea or vomiting and possible vomiting of blood. Patients with Blood Stasis in the Stomach typically exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses.

Blood Stasis or Stagnation often causes a pain of a stabbing or boring nature, hence the stabbing epigastric pain. This pain is much more intense than in any of the other Stomach patterns.

Stasis of Blood always manifests with dark-coloured blood, hence the vomiting of dark blood in some... read more about Blood Stasis in the Stomach

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