Goldthread rhizomes (Huang Lian) Dried ginger (Gan Jiang) Cinnamon twigs (Gui Zhi) Crow-dipper rhizomes (Ban Xia)

Chinese: 黄莲汤

Pinyin: Huáng Lián Tāng

Other names: Coptis Decoction

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that harmonize Stomach-Intestines

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: GastritisCholecystitisAllergic colitis and one other condition

  1. Regulates Cold and Heat
  2. Harmonizes the Stomach
  3. Directs Rebellious Qi downward

Contraindications: This formula is indicated for vomiting, nausea, and stomach discomfort with a... This formula is indicated for vomiting, nausea, and stomach discomfort with a Heat above and Cold below presentation. This recipe will not work if the symptoms are caused by Qi Stagnation or food Stagnation. see more

Source date: 220 AD

Source book: Discussion of Cold Damage

Huang Lian Tang is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that harmonize Stomach-Intestines. Its main actions are: 1) regulates Cold and Heat and 2) harmonizes the Stomach.

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 gastritis, hyperacidic stomach or allergic colitis for instance.

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

The seven ingredients in Huang Lian Tang

Huang Lian is a king ingredient in Huang Lian 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

In general Huang Lian's main actions are as follows: "Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Lower Burner. Eliminates Fire toxicity especially when there is associated Dampness. Acts as a sedative by eliminating Heart Fire. Eliminates Stomach Fire. Expel parasites"

In the context of Huang Lian Tang, it is used because it is bitter and cold. It drains the Excessive Heat from the chest and harmonizes the Stomach.

Learn more about Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian)

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

2. Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Hot

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLungStomach

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

Gan Jiang is acrid, warm and dispersing herb which expel Cold from the lower body to stop pain. It also excels at warming the Spleen.

Learn more about Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang)

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

3. Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi)

Part used: Dried young branches

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLungSpleen

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Gui Zhi is acrid, warm and dispersing herb which expel Cold from the lower body to stop pain. It also enters the nutritive Qi to remove Stagnation and harmonize its interaction with the Protective Yang.

Learn more about Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi)

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

4. Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia)

Part used: Dried rhizome and tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: LungSpleenStomach

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Ban Xia is acrid and warm. It plalys a role of harmonizing the Stomach by directing Rebellious Qi downward to stop nausea and vomiting. It also expands the chest and removes Stagnation to reduce focal distention.

Learn more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia)

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

5. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLungSpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Gan Cao augments the Qi and strengthen the Spleen, assisting the Middle Burner to maintain its normal functions along with other assistants. Also serving as the envoy, it has the additional task of harmonizing the opposing flavors and actions unfolded by the various herbs in this formula.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

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

6. Ginseng (Ren Shen)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLungSpleen

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Ren Shen augments the Qi and strengthen the Spleen, assisting the Middle Burner to maintain its normal functions.

Learn more about Ginseng (Ren Shen)

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

7. Jujube Dates (Da Zao)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Da Zao augments the Qi and strengthen the Spleen, assisting the Middle Burner to maintain its normal functions.

Learn more about Jujube Dates (Da Zao)

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