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.
Xiang Ru San is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Vietnamese Balm (Xiang Ru) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 1107 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Summer-Heat and resolve Exterior. Its main actions are: 1) releases the Exterior and 2) scatters Cold.
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 Xiang Ru San is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Summer Heat with Dampness. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as acute gastroenteritis, bacillary dysentery or encephalitis b for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the three ingredients in Xiang Ru San, we review the patterns and conditions that Xiang Ru San helps treat.
Xiang Ru is a king ingredient in Xiang Ru San. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Dried aerial parts
Xiang Ru is warm, acrid, and aromatic. It releases the Exterior, harmonizes the ascending and descending functions of the Spleen, and disperses stagnant Body Fluids by dispelling Cold and Dampness from the Middle Burner.
Bai Bian Dou is a deputy ingredient in Xiang Ru San. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried ripe seeds
Category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency
Bai Bian Dou assists the key herb by improving the effects of summertime Dampness on the Spleen. It also strengthens the Spleen, primarily by descending the turbid fluids and products of food transformation, as well as ascending the clear fluids.
Hou Pu is an assistant ingredient in Xiang Ru San. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
Part used: Dried stem bark, root bark or branch bark
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 Xiang Ru San, it is used because it expels Dampness and disperses fullness.
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 Xiang Ru San is mostly used to treat the pattern "Summer Heat with Dampness" which we describe below.
But before we delve into Summer Heat with Dampness here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:
Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Xiang Ru San treats acute gastroenteritis" for instance. Rather, Xiang Ru San is used to treat Summer Heat with Dampness, which is sometimes the root cause behind acute gastroenteritis.
Now let's look at Summer Heat with Dampness, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Xiang Ru 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
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Soggy (Ru)
Symptoms: Fever Thirst Anxiety Sweating Headaches Lassitude Loose stools Poor appetite Sticky stools Chest fullness Aversion to cold Scanty urination Nausea or vomiting Shortness of breath Feeling of heaviness Stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium
Xiang Ru San is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Summer Heat with Dampness. This pattern leads to symptoms such as fever, aversion to cold, sweating and headaches. Patients with Summer Heat with Dampness typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or soggy (Ru) pulses.
This pattern often happens during hot summer and in very humid environment. Therefore, the condition is mostly acute.
The combination of Summer Heat and Dampness can attread more about Summer Heat with Dampness