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.
Si Ni Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that rescue devastated Yang. Its main actions are: 1) rescues devastated Yang and 2) warms the Middle Burner.
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 Si Ni Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Lesser Yin Cold Transformation. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as acute cardiac insufficiency, cerebrovascular insufficiency or gastroenteritis for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the three ingredients in Si Ni Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Si Ni Tang helps treat.
Zhi Fu Zi is a king ingredient in Si Ni Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Processed daughter root
Zhi Fu Zi breaks through the Yin and revives the Yang. It is especially effective in warming and stimulating the Fire at the Gate of Vitality so that it disseminates throughout the body and reaches the extremities.
Gan Jiang is a deputy ingredient in Si Ni Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried rhizome
Gan Cao is an assistant ingredient in Si Ni Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
Part used: Dried root and rhizome
Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency
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 Si Ni Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Lesser Yin Cold Transformation" which we describe below.
But before we delve into Lesser Yin Cold Transformation here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:
Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Si Ni Tang treats acute cardiac insufficiency" for instance. Rather, Si Ni Tang is used to treat Lesser Yin Cold Transformation, which is sometimes the root cause behind acute cardiac insufficiency.
Now let's look at Lesser Yin Cold Transformation, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Si Ni Tang.
'Cold' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Cold pattern in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi), Weak (Ruo)
Si Ni Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Lesser Yin Cold Transformation. This pattern leads to symptoms such as feeling of cold, diarrhea, no thirst and chills. Patients with Lesser Yin Cold Transformation typically exhibit deep (Chen), slow (Chi) or weak (Ruo) pulses.
The Lesser Yin stage is where the disharmony mainly affects the Kidney Channel.