Chinese Honeylocust Abnormal Fruits (Zhu Ya Zao) Wild ginger (Xi Xin)

Chinese: 通关散

Pinyin: Tōng Guān Sǎn

Other names: Open the Gate Powder

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that warm and open sensory orifices

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: HysteriaPsychosisSinusitis and two other conditions

  1. Unblocks the jaw
  2. Opens the sensory orifices

Contraindications: Contraindicated during pregnancy and for loss of consciousness due to... Contraindicated during pregnancy and for loss of consciousness due to abandoned-type disorders. It is also contraindicated for loss of consciousness due to hypertensive crisis, cerebral hemorrhage, or traumatic cranial injuries, as it stimulates blood circulation in the head. Remember that this formula is intended only for temporary, emergency use in treating acute collapse. Once consciousness has been restored, or indeed once sneezing has been induced, use of this formula should be discontinued. see more

Source date: 650 AD

Source book: Important Formulas Worth a Thousand Gold Pieces

Tong Guan San is a 2-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Chinese Honeylocust Abnormal Fruits (Zhu Ya Zao) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 650 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and open sensory orifices. Its main actions are: 1) unblocks the jaw and 2) opens the sensory orifices.

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 hysteria, psychosis or anaphylactic shock for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the two ingredients in Tong Guan San, we review the patterns and conditions that Tong Guan San helps treat.

The two ingredients in Tong Guan San

Zhu Ya Zao is a king ingredient in Tong Guan San. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Chinese Honeylocust Abnormal Fruits (Zhu Ya Zao)

Part used: The abnormal fruits

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): PungentSalty

Meridian affinity: Large intestineLung

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Zhu Ya Zao is warm, acrid, and scurrying. It scours out Phlegm, opens the sensory orifices, and revives the spirit such as  restores consciousness.  It unblocks the gates of the orifices above and below and is able to cause Phlegm and spittle vomiting. For example, once it stimulates the nose, there will immediately be a sneeze.

Learn more about Chinese Honeylocust Abnormal Fruits (Zhu Ya Zao)

Xi Xin is a deputy ingredient in Tong Guan San. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Wild Ginger (Xi Xin)

Part used: Dried root and rhizome

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: HeartKidneyLung

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Xi Xin is warm, acrid, and dispersing.  It unblocks the Channels and is particularly effective in unblocking the nose.  The desired effect of the formula here is to induce sneezing. As such, any other functions that the ingredients might serve, such as transforming Phlegm, are not relevant, particularly given the small dosages.

Learn more about Wild Ginger (Xi Xin)

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