Styrax (Su He Xiang) Musk (She Xiang) Borneol (Bing Pian) Benzoin (An Xi Xiang) Cuscuta seeds (Tu Si Zi) Sandalwood (Tan Xiang) Agarwood (Chen Xiang) Frankincense (Ru Xiang)

Chinese: 苏合香丸

Pinyin: Sū Hé Xiāng Wán

Other names: Liquid Styrax Pill

Number of ingredients: 15 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that warm and open sensory orifices

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: HysteriaEpilepsyEncephalitis and five other conditions

  1. Warms and aromatically opens the sensory orifices
  2. Promotes the movement of Qi
  3. Transforms turbidity

Contraindications: Because the formula is very acrid and aromatic and thus has a very dispersing... Because the formula is very acrid and aromatic and thus has a very dispersing effect, the dosage should be carefully monitored. Contraindicated during pregnancy or for hot closed disorders. see more

Source date: 752 AD

Source book: Arcane Essentials from the Imperial Library

Su He Xiang Wan is a 15-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Styrax (Su He Xiang), Musk (She Xiang), Borneol (Bing Pian) and Benzoin (An Xi Xiang) as principal ingredients.

Invented in 752 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and open sensory orifices. Its main actions are: 1) warms and aromatically opens the sensory orifices and 2) promotes the movement of Qi.

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 cerebrovascular accident, encephalitis or hysteria for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the fifteen ingredients in Su He Xiang Wan, we review the patterns and conditions that Su He Xiang Wan helps treat.

The fifteen ingredients in Su He Xiang Wan

Su He Xiang is a king ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Styrax (Su He Xiang)

Part used: The dried resin

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeart

Category: Herbs that open the Orifices

Su He Xiang aromatically opens the sensory orifices, dispels Cold, regulates Qi, penetrates through and transforms turbidity.  It is powerful in treating Wind and Phlegm affecting the head.  The strong, aromatic properties of the key and deputy ingredients release and eliminate the Qi and Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Styrax (Su He Xiang)

She Xiang is a king ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

2. Musk (She Xiang)

Part used: Musk gland of the deer

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Herbs that open the Orifices

She Xiang break up turbidity, open the sensory orifices, as well as unblock the channels and collaterals throughout the body. It is powerful in treating Wind and Phlegm affecting the head.

Learn more about Musk (She Xiang)

Bing Pian is a king ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

3. Borneol (Bing Pian)

Part used: Organic compound obtained from plant extracts

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLung

Category: Herbs that open the Orifices

Bing Pian break up turbidity, open the sensory orifices, as well as unblock the channels and collaterals throughout the body. It is powerful in treating Wind and Phlegm affecting the head.

Learn more about Borneol (Bing Pian)

An Xi Xiang is a king ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

4. Benzoin (An Xi Xiang)

Part used: The dried resin

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Herbs that open the Orifices

An Xi Xiang penetrates through the turbidity surrounding the sensory orifices, opens closed disorders and restores consciousness. It is powerful in treating Wind and Phlegm affecting the head.

Learn more about Benzoin (An Xi Xiang)

Tu Si Zi is a deputy ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

5. Cuscuta Seeds (Tu Si Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe seeds

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: KidneyLiverSpleen

Category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

Tu Si Zi is acrid, dispersing, warm, and moving in nature. It  promotes the Qi movement, directs Rebellious Qi downward, removes Stagnation, dispels Cold, and transforms turbidity.

Learn more about Cuscuta Seeds (Tu Si Zi)

Tan Xiang is a deputy ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

6. Sandalwood (Tan Xiang)

Part used: The wood

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachHeartLung

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

Tan Xiang is acrid, dispersing, warm, and moving in nature. It  promotes the Qi movement, directs Rebellious Qi downward, removes Stagnation, dispels Cold, and transforms turbidity.  It is specifically treats both chest and abdominal pain as well as sudden turmoil disorder.  The strong, aromatic properties of the key and deputy ingredients release and eliminate the Qi and Blood Stagnation.

Learn more about Sandalwood (Tan Xiang)

Chen Xiang is a deputy ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

7. Agarwood (Chen Xiang)

Part used: Wood shavings

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachKidneyLung

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

Chen Xiang is acrid, dispersing, warm, and moving in nature. It  promotes the Qi movement, directs Rebellious Qi downward, removes Stagnation, dispels Cold, and transforms turbidity.

Learn more about Agarwood (Chen Xiang)

Ru Xiang is a deputy ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

8. Frankincense (Ru Xiang)

Part used: An aromatic resin obtained from boswellia trees

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

Ru Xiang is acrid, dispersing, warm, and moving in nature. It  promotes the Qi movement, directs Rebellious Qi downward, removes Stagnation, dispels Cold, and transforms turbidity.  Therefore this herb helps alleviate pain.

Learn more about Frankincense (Ru Xiang)

Ding Xiang is a deputy ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

9. Cloves (Ding Xiang)

Part used: Dried flower bud

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: KidneyLungSpleenStomach

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

Ding Xiang is acrid, dispersing, warm, and moving in nature. It  promotes the Qi movement, directs Rebellious Qi downward, removes Stagnation, dispels Cold, and transforms turbidity.

Learn more about Cloves (Ding Xiang)

Xiang Fu is a deputy ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

10. Coco-Grass Rhizomes (Xiang Fu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterPungentSweet

Meridian affinity: LiverSanjiaoSpleen

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

Xiang Fu is acrid, dispersing, warm, and moving in nature. It  promotes the Qi movement, directs Rebellious Qi downward, removes Stagnation, dispels Cold, and transforms turbidity.

Learn more about Coco-Grass Rhizomes (Xiang Fu)

Bi Ba is a deputy ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

11. Long Peppers (Bi Ba)

Part used: Dried nearly ripe fruit-spike

Nature: Hot

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: Large intestineStomach

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

Bi Ba reinforces the actions of warming the Middle Burner, dispelling Cold, arresting pain, and opening up areas of Stagnation.

Learn more about Long Peppers (Bi Ba)

Shui Niu Jiao is an assistant ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

12. Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao)

Part used: The horn, as a powder or as thin scrapes

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): BitterSalty

Meridian affinity: StomachHeartLiver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

Shui Niu Jiao resolves toxicity. Although cold in nature, its clear, aromatic properties enable it to penetrate the turbidity without causing
stagnation.

Learn more about Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao)

Zhu Sha is an assistant ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

13. Cinnabar (Zhu Sha)

Part used: The mineral itself

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: Heart

Category: Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit

In general Zhu Sha's main actions are as follows: "Calms the spirit and Heart. Stops convulsions. Clears Heat and toxins."

In the context of Su He Xiang Wan, it is used because it sedates the Heart and calm the Mind.

Learn more about Cinnabar (Zhu Sha)

Bai Zhu is an assistant ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

14. Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

Part used: Dried rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

In general Bai Zhu's main actions are as follows: "Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Fortifies the Spleen Yang and dispels Damp through urination. Tonifies Qi and stops sweating. Calms restless fetus when due to Deficiency of Spleen Qi."

In the context of Su He Xiang Wan, it is used because it tonifies Qi, strengthens the Spleen, dries Dampness, and transforms turbidity.

Learn more about Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu)

He Zi is an assistant ingredient in Su He Xiang Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

15. Terminalia Fruits (He Zi)

Part used: Dry ripe fruits

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): BitterSour

Meridian affinity: StomachLarge intestineLung

Category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

He Zi restrains the leakage of Qi. It prevents the acrid, aromatic properties of the other ingredients from consuming or dispersing the normal Qi.

Learn more about Terminalia Fruits (He Zi)

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