Perilla seeds (Zi Su Zi) Crow-dipper rhizomes (Ban Xia) Houpu Magnolia bark (Hou Pu) Tangerine peel (Chen Pi) Dong quai (Dang Gui) Hogfennel roots (Qian Hu) Cinnamon bark (Rou Gui) Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Chinese: 苏子降气汤

Pinyin: Sū Zi Jiàng Qì Tāng

Other names: Perilla-Seed Subduing Qi Decoction, Perilla Fruit Decoction for Directing Qi Downward

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula category: Formulas for a rebellious Qi

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: EmphysemaBronchial asthmaMorning sickness and one other condition

  1. Directs rebellious Qi downward
  2. Arrests wheezing
  3. Stops coughing
  4. Warms and transforms Phlegm-Cold

Contraindications: This formula is inappropriate for treating Lung and Kidney deficiency in the... This formula is inappropriate for treating Lung and Kidney deficiency in the absence of an externally-contracted pathogenic influence and in cases of wheezing and a productive cough due to heat in the Lungs. see more

Source date: 650 AD

Source book: Important Formulas Worth a Thousand Gold Pieces

Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Perilla Seeds (Zi Su Zi) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 650 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi. Its main actions are: 1) directs rebellious Qi downward and 2) arrests wheezing.

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 Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Kidneys failing to receive Qi. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema or bronchial asthma for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the eight ingredients in Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang helps treat.

The eight ingredients in Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Zi Su Zi is a king ingredient in Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Perilla Seeds (Zi Su Zi)

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: Lung

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Zi Su Zi is a primary herb for controlling Rebellious Qi of the Lungs. It directs it downward, expels phlegm, stops the coughing, and arrests the wheezing.

Learn more about Perilla Seeds (Zi Su Zi)

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

2. Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia)

Part used: Dried rhizome and tuber

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLung

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

In general Ban Xia's main actions are as follows: "Drains Dampness and reduces Phlegm. Reverses the flow of Rebellious Qi. Reduces hardenings and relieves distention."

In the context of Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang, it is used because it helps the key herb in directing Qi downward and transforming Phlegm.

Learn more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia)

Hou Pu is a deputy ingredient in Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

3. Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu)

Part used: Dried stem bark, root bark or branch bark

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLung

Category: Aromatic herbs that transform Dampness

In general Hou Pu's main actions are as follows: "Moves Rebellious Qi downward, dries Dampness and relieves Food Stagnation. Transforms Phlegm and redirects Rebellious Qi of the Lung."

In the context of Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang, it is used because it helps the key herb in directing Qi downward and transforming Phlegm.

Learn more about Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu)

Chen Pi is an assistant ingredient in Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

4. Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

Part used: Dried pericarp of the ripe fruit

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenLung

Category: Herbs that regulate Qi

In general Chen Pi's main actions are as follows: "Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs."

In the context of Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang, it is used because it transforms Phlegm and regulates Qi.

Learn more about Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi)

Dang Gui is an assistant ingredient in Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

5. Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Part used: Dried root

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiver

Category: Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency

Dang Gui treats the cough from Rebellious Qi and harmonize Qi and Blood when the latter has been devitalized by a chronic disorder. Lastly it prevents injury to the Yin and Qi from the acrid, dry properties of many of the other herbs in the formula.

Learn more about Dong Quai (Dang Gui)

Qian Hu is an assistant ingredient in Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

6. Hogfennel Roots (Qian Hu)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Cool

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenLung

Category: Cool herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Qian Hu directs Qi downward and expels Phlegm. Although it is cool in nature, when combined with the warm herbs in this formula only its Phlegm-transforming and Qi-directing properties stand out.

Learn more about Hogfennel Roots (Qian Hu)

Rou Gui is an assistant ingredient in Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

7. Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Part used: Dried stem bark

Nature: Hot

Taste(s): PungentSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartKidneyLiver

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

Rou Gui warms the Fire at the Gate of Vitality and directs the floating Yang back to its source, thereby facilitating the Kidneys' ability to grasp the Qi.

Learn more about Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui)

Gan Cao is an envoy ingredient in Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang. This means that it directs the formula towards certain area of the body and/or harmonizes the actions of other ingredients.

8. Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Neutral

Taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachHeartLung

Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

Gan Cao harmonizes the Middle Burner (which helps resolve the Phlegm) as well as the actions of the other ingredients.

Learn more about Liquorice (Gan Cao)

Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is used to treat Kidneys failing to receive Qi

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 Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Kidneys failing to receive Qi" which we describe below.

But before we delve into Kidneys failing to receive Qi here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:

Chronic bronchitis Emphysema Bronchial asthma Morning sickness

Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang treats chronic bronchitis" for instance. Rather, Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is used to treat Kidneys failing to receive Qi, which is sometimes the root cause behind chronic bronchitis.

Now let's look at Kidneys failing to receive Qi, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang.

The Kidneys is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine

Kidneys failing to receive Qi

Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Kidneys failing to receive Qi. This pattern leads to symptoms such as shortness of breath on exertion, rapid breath, weak breath and difficulty in inhaling. Patients with Kidneys failing to receive Qi typically exhibit deep (Chen), tight (Jin) or weak (Ruo) pulses.

This pattern results from a dysfunction of the Kidneys' capacity to receive and hold Qi down. The Kidneys' role in the cycle of Qi is to receive Clean Air from the Lungs and holding it down so it combines with Grain Qi from the Spleen to form Gathering Qi.

When the Kidneys cannot receive and hold... read more about Kidneys failing to receive Qi

Formulas similar to Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang is 50% similar to Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Liu Jun Zi Tang is 38% similar to Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Er Chen Tang is 38% similar to Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang is 38% similar to Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Wen Dan Tang is 38% similar to Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Da Ying Jian is 38% similar to Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang