Pinyin: Sān Wù Bèi Jí Wán
Other names: Three-Substance Pill Prepared for Emergencies
Number of ingredients: 3 herbs
Formula category: Formulas that warm and purge
Conditions for which it may be prescribed: Acute cholecystitisPostoperative adhesionsRecalcitrant constipation
Main actions: Clear Cold Stagnation
Contraindications: Croton fruit is a toxic plant that should be handled with utmost caution. It is... Croton fruit is a toxic plant that should be handled with utmost caution. It is not recommended in elderly or pregnant people, or in cases of acute stomach pain caused by Heat or Summer heat. see more
Source date: 220 AD
Source book: Essentials from the Golden Cabinet
The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
San Wu Bei Ji Wan is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Croton Fruits (Ba Dou) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and purge. Its main action is that it clear Cold Stagnation.
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 postoperative adhesions, acute cholecystitis or recalcitrant constipation for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the three ingredients in San Wu Bei Ji Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that San Wu Bei Ji Wan helps treat.
Ba Dou is a king ingredient in San Wu Bei Ji Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Dried ripe fruit
Meridian affinity: StomachLarge intestine
Category: Cathartic herbs that drain downward
In general Ba Dou's main actions are as follows: "Strongly purges Stagnation and accumulation due to Cold. Drains water and Dissolves Phlegm. Clears warts and speeds healing of abscesses, carbuncles and furuncles. Can be used as an insecticide."
In the context of San Wu Bei Ji Wan, it is used because it is a strong, hot, and acrid purgative.
Gan Jiang is a deputy ingredient in San Wu Bei Ji Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried rhizome
Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLungStomach
In general Gan Jiang's main actions are as follows: "Warms the Spleen and expels Cold. Restores collapse of Yang and expels Interior Cold. Warms the Lungs and assists expectoration of Cold Phlegm. Stops chronic bleeding caused by Cold."
In the context of San Wu Bei Ji Wan, it is used because it assists the Croton fruit in dispelling Coldness. It also revives the Spleen Yang.
Da Huang is an assistant ingredient in San Wu Bei Ji Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
Part used: Dried root and rhizome
Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLarge intestineLiverPericardium
Category: Purgative herbs that drain downward
Da Huang flushes the Intestines and Stomach. It also moderates the hot, toxic and acrid characters of the Croton fruit.
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