Cornelian cherries (Shan Zhu Yu) Atractylodes rhizomes (Bai Zhu) Milkvetch roots (Huang Qi) Dragon bones (Long Gu) Oyster shells (Mu Li Ke) White peony roots (Bai Shao) Cuttlebones (Hai Piao Shao) Windmill palm bark (Zong Lu)

Chinese: 固冲汤

Pinyin: Gù Chōng Tāng

Other names: Stabilize Gushing Decoction

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: Postpartum bleedingPeptic ulcer bleedingDysfunctional uterine bleeding

  1. Augments Qi
  2. Strengthens the Spleen
  3. Stabilizes the Penetrating Vessel
  4. Stops bleeding

Contraindications: This formula is inappropriate for cases in which the bleeding is so severe that... This formula is inappropriate for cases in which the bleeding is so severe that it leads to an disorder characterized by profuse sweating, cold limbs, and a pulse that is faint to the point of being imperceptible. In such cases, either modify the formula or prescribe Unaccompanied Ginseng Decoction (Du Shen Tang) until the condition has stabilized. see more

Source date: 1918-1934

Source book: Essays on Medicine Esteeming the Chinese and Respecting the Western

Gu Chong Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Cornelian Cherries (Shan Zhu Yu) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 1918-1934, it belongs to the category of formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge. Its main actions are: 1) augments Qi and 2) strengthens the Spleen.

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 dysfunctional uterine bleeding, postpartum bleeding or peptic ulcer bleeding for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the ten ingredients in Gu Chong Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Gu Chong Tang helps treat.

The ten ingredients in Gu Chong Tang

Shan Zhu Yu is a king ingredient in Gu Chong Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Cornelian Cherries (Shan Zhu Yu)

Part used: Dried ripe sarcocarp

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sour

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

Shan Zhu Yu tonifies the Kidneys and benefits the Liver but also has a binding action on the Penetrating and Directing vessels. Experts claims that this herb strongly holds the Original Qi, lifts the Mind and stop Body Fluids leaking.

Learn more about Cornelian Cherries (Shan Zhu Yu)

Bai Zhu is a deputy ingredient in Gu Chong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Bai Zhu strengthens the Spleen Qi.  The combination of Atractylodes rhizome and Milkvetch root is particularly effective in helping the Spleen govern the Blood and stabilize the Penetrating Vessel, especially with the rather large dosage used in this formula.

Learn more about Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Huang Qi is a deputy ingredient in Gu Chong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: LungSpleen

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Huang Qi strengthens the Spleen Qi.  The combination of Atractylodes rhizome and Milkvetch root is particularly effective in helping the Spleen govern the Blood and stabilize the Penetrating Vessel, especially with the rather large dosage used in this formula.

Learn more about Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi)

Long Gu is a deputy ingredient in Gu Chong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Dragon Bones (Long Gu)

Part used: The fossilized bone or vertebrae

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLiver

Category: Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit

Long Gu is frequently used to stop Body Fluid leakage (secure leakage) The combination of Dragon bones and Oyster shells focuses on stabilizing the Penetrating Vessel. It also works with the key herb to strenghten the Original Qi of the Lower Burner.  Both ingredients should be calcined as this process enhances their astringent, binding properties further.

Learn more about Dragon Bones (Long Gu)

Mu Li ke is a deputy ingredient in Gu Chong Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. Oyster Shells (Mu Li ke)

Mu Li ke is frequently used to stop Body Fluid leakage (secure leakage) The combination of Dragon bones and Oyster shells focuses on stabilizing the Penetrating Vessel. It also works with the key herb to strenghten the Original Qi of the Lower Burner.  Both ingredients should be calcined as this process enhances their astringent, binding properties further.

Learn more about Oyster Shells (Mu Li ke)

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

6. White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: LiverSpleen

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Bai Shao treats the instability of the Penetrating Vessel and the injury to the Yin and Blood from chronic blood loss.  It nourishes the Yin and Blood of the Liver and Kidneys and exerts an astringent, binding effect on the Blood.

Learn more about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao)

Hai Piao Shao is an assistant ingredient in Gu Chong Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Cuttlebones (Hai Piao Shao)

Part used: The bones

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSalty

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidney

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

Hai Piao Shao restrain Body Fluids leakage and stop bleeding. Because of the importance of quickly stopping the bleeding, the dosage of this ingredients is rather large. However, there is an potential risk that it may cause Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Cuttlebones (Hai Piao Shao)

Zong Lu is an assistant ingredient in Gu Chong Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

8. Windmill Palm Bark (Zong Lu)

Part used: Dried petiole

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: Large intestineLiverLung

Category: Herbs that stop bleeding

Zong Lu restrain Body Fluids leakage and stop bleeding. Because of the importance of quickly stopping the bleeding, the dosage of this ingredients is rather large. However, there is an potential risk that it may cause Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Windmill Palm Bark (Zong Lu)

Wu Bei Zi is an assistant ingredient in Gu Chong Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

9. Chinese Gall (Wu Bei Zi)

Part used: The dried parasite gall

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): PungentSour

Meridian affinity: KidneyLarge intestineLung

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

Wu Bei Zi restrain Body Fluids leakage and stop bleeding. Because of the importance of quickly stopping the bleeding, the dosage of this ingredients is rather large. However, there is an potential risk that it may cause Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Chinese Gall (Wu Bei Zi)

Qian Cao is an assistant ingredient in Gu Chong Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

10. Indian Madder Roots (Qian Cao)

Part used: Dried roots and rhizomes

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: Liver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

Qian Cao stops bleeding and invigorates the Blood. It is therefore able to prevent the formation of Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Indian Madder Roots (Qian Cao)

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