Goldthread rhizomes (Huang Lian) Baikal skullcap roots (Huang Qin) Phellodendron bark (Huang Bo) Cape jasmine fruits (Zhi Zi)

Chinese: 黄连解毒汤

Pinyin: Huáng Lián Jiě Dú Tāng

Other names: Coptis Decoction to Resolve Toxicity

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that clear Heat and resolve toxicity

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: PyemiaInsomniaDysentery and twelve other conditions

  1. Drains Fire
  2. Resolves Toxicity

Contraindications: Because it is very bitter and cold, this formula should only be prescribed for... Because it is very bitter and cold, this formula should only be prescribed for patients with Excess patterns and robust constitution. Since it can easily injure the Yin, it should not be taken long term. If prescribed for conditions of Heat in the Nutritive or Blood Levels according to the Four Level Theory, it can readily injure the Yin. see more

Source date: 752 AD

Source book: Arcane Essentials from the Imperial Library

Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 752 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and resolve toxicity. Its main actions are: 1) drains Fire and 2) resolves Toxicity.

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 septicemia, pyemia or dysentery for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the four ingredients in Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang helps treat.

The four ingredients in Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang

Huang Lian is a king ingredient in Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderHeartLarge intestineLiverSpleenStomach

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness

Huang Lian is very useful in draining Fire from the Middle Burner, a region of the body that, if not attended to, can give rise to many complications. It also drains Fire from the whole body.

Learn more about Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

Huang Qin is a deputy ingredient in Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Baikal Skullcap Roots (Huang Qin)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderHeartLarge intestineLungSmall intestineSpleen

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness

In general Huang Qin's main actions are as follows: "Expels Heat and Dampness. Clears Upper Burner Heat, especially of the Lung. Clears Heat and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears pathogenic Heat which is upsetting the fetus. Cools the Liver, reducing Liver Yang rising syndrome."

In the context of Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang, it is used because it clears Heat from the Upper Burner.

Learn more about Baikal Skullcap Roots (Huang Qin)

Huang Bo is an assistant ingredient in Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

3. Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo)

Part used: Dried bark

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: BladderKidneyLarge intestine

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness

In general Huang Bo's main actions are as follows: "Expels Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. Clears Kidney Yin Deficient Heat. Applied externally or toxic Fire, especially associated with Dampness."

In the context of Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang, it is used because it clears Heat from the Lower Burner.

Learn more about Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo)

Zhi Zi is an assistant ingredient in Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

4. Cape Jasmine Fruits (Zhi Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderHeartLungSanjiao

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire and/or clear Summer Heat

Zhi Zi drains Heat from the Triple Burners through the urine. This herb is particularly helpful in relieving irritability. Once the Fire is effectively drained, the toxin will disappear.

Learn more about Cape Jasmine Fruits (Zhi Zi)

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