Saposhnikovia roots (Fang Feng) Japanese catnip (Jing Jie) Bupleurum roots (Chai Hu) Pubescent angelica roots (Du Huo) Japanese cherry barks (Ying Pi) Szechuan lovage roots (Chuan Xiong) Platycodon roots (Jie Geng) Poria-cocos mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Chinese: 十味百毒散

Pinyin: Shí Wèi Bǎi Dú Sǎn

Other names: Ten-Ingredient Powder to Overcome Toxicity

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that clear external abscesses and sores

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: AcneBoilsCysts and nine other conditions

  1. Dispels Wind and transforms Dampness
  2. Clears Toxic Heat

Contraindications: Contraindicated for toxic sores that have already suppurated.

Source date: 1760-1835 AD

Source book: Experiential formula by Hanaoka Seshu

Shi Wei Bai Du San is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Saposhnikovia Roots (Fang Feng) and Japanese Catnip (Jing Jie) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 1760-1835 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear external abscesses and sores. Its main actions are: 1) dispels Wind and transforms Dampness and 2) clears Toxic Heat .

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 Shi Wei Bai Du San is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Toxic-Heat. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as acne, boils or carbuncles for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the ten ingredients in Shi Wei Bai Du San, we review the patterns and conditions that Shi Wei Bai Du San helps treat.

The ten ingredients in Shi Wei Bai Du San

Fang Feng is a king ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Saposhnikovia Roots (Fang Feng)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: BladderLiverSpleen

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Fang Feng dispel Damp-Wind. It also resolves the Exterior and dissipate the accumulation of Toxic-Heat in the Exterior of the body.

Learn more about Saposhnikovia Roots (Fang Feng)

Jing Jie is a king ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Japanese Catnip (Jing Jie)

Part used: Aerial portion and flowers, or the spikes only (in which case it is called Jing Jie Sui)

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: LiverLung

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

In general Jing Jie's main actions are as follows: "Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold or Heat depending on the other herbs used. Releases the Exterior for measles. Stops bleeding. Abates swellings."

In the context of Shi Wei Bai Du San, it is used because it resolves the Exterior and dissipate the accumulation of Toxic-Heat in the Exterior of the body.

Learn more about Japanese Catnip (Jing Jie)

Chai Hu is a deputy ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: GallbladderLiver

Category: Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Chai Hu It resolves Toxicity, releases pathogens from the Exterior, and clears Blood Heat from both the Interior and Exterior.

Learn more about Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu)

Du Huo is a deputy ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

4. Pubescent Angelica Roots (Du Huo)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: BladderKidney

Category: Herbs that dispel Wind and Dampness

Du Huo dispel Damp-Wind.  It also resolves the Exterior and dissipate the accumulation of Toxic-Heat in the Exterior of the body.

Learn more about Pubescent Angelica Roots (Du Huo)

Ying Pi is a deputy ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. Japanese Cherry Barks (Ying Pi)

Part used: The bark

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: Lung

Category: Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity

Ying Pi resolve Toxicity, expels pus and relieves fevers.  This herb is difficult to find and is often replaced by Cherokee rose fruits

Learn more about Japanese Cherry Barks (Ying Pi)

Chuan Xiong is a deputy ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

6. 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 Shi Wei Bai Du San, it is used because it invigorates Blood and thrusts out pus.

Learn more about Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong)

Jie Geng is an assistant ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Platycodon Roots (Jie Geng)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: Lung

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

In general Jie Geng's main actions are as follows: "Opens the Lungs and smoothes the flow of Lung Qi. Expels Phlegm and pus from the Lungs and throat, can be used for either Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat according to the other herbs in the formula. Directs the actions of other herbs to the Upper Warmer."

In the context of Shi Wei Bai Du San, it is used because it resolves Toxicity and also, with the help of Szechuan lovage root, thrusting out the pus.

Learn more about Platycodon Roots (Jie Geng)

Fu Ling is an assistant ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

8. Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Part used: Dried sclerotium

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLungSpleen

Category: Herbs that drain Dampness

Fu Ling removes Dampness and at the same time enhances the body's ability to expel Toxic-Heat through urination.

Learn more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling)

Gan Jiang is an assistant ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

9. 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

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 Shi Wei Bai Du San, it is used because it harmonizes the Stomach.

Learn more about Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang)

Gan Cao is an envoy ingredient in Shi Wei Bai Du San. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

10. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: HeartLungSpleenStomach

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 Shi Wei Bai Du San, it is used because it harmonizes the formula and also resolves Toxicity.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Shi Wei Bai Du San is used to treat Toxic-Heat

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 Shi Wei Bai Du San is mostly used to treat the pattern "Toxic-Heat" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Toxic-Heat here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Acne Boils Carbuncles Abscesses Cysts Eczema Seborrheic dermatitis Hives Mastitis Lymphadenditis Otitis media Sties

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Shi Wei Bai Du San treats acne" for instance. Rather, Shi Wei Bai Du San is used to treat Toxic-Heat, which is sometimes the root cause behind acne.

Now let's look at Toxic-Heat, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Shi Wei Bai Du San.

'Heat' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Heat pattern in Chinese Medicine

Toxic-Heat

Shi Wei Bai Du San is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Toxic-Heat. This pattern leads to symptoms such as fever, swellings, pus and boils. Patients with Toxic-Heat typically exhibit rapid (Shu) pulses as well as Red tongue with yellow coating.

There are two types of Toxic-Heat. One type is called Toxic-Heat Stagnation, which mainly happens in Channels or other surfaces like skins, throat, lymph or mouth. The symptoms include pain, redness and swollen in throat as well as skin pustule and rush. Acne during teenage time is mainly due to... read more about Toxic-Heat

Formulas similar to Shi Wei Bai Du San

Jing Fang Bai Du San is 62% similar to Shi Wei Bai Du San

Ren Shen Bai Du San is 50% similar to Shi Wei Bai Du San

Jing Jie Lian Qiao Tang is 42% similar to Shi Wei Bai Du San

Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang is 40% similar to Shi Wei Bai Du San

Jia Wei Xiang Su San is 40% similar to Shi Wei Bai Du San

Tuo Li Xiao Du San is 36% similar to Shi Wei Bai Du San