Pinyin: Xiǎo Bàn Xià Tāng
Other names: Minor Pinellia Decoction, Little Crow-dipper Decoction,
Number of ingredients: 2 herbs
Formula category: Formulas for a rebellious Qi
Conditions for which it may be prescribed: Travel sicknessMorning sickness
Source date: 220 AD
Source book: Essentials from the Golden Cabinet
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.
Xiao Ban Xia Tang is a 2-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi. Its main actions are: 1) alleviates and removes thin mucus and 2) directs rebellious Qi downward.
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 Xiao Ban Xia Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Phlegm. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as morning sickness or travel sickness for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the two ingredients in Xiao Ban Xia Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Xiao Ban Xia Tang helps treat.
Ban Xia is a king ingredient in Xiao Ban Xia Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Dried rhizome and tuber
Meridian affinity: LungSpleenStomach
Ban Xia is acrid, drying, and downward-directing. It drains water and Dampness by drying and dispersing them. Through its ability to direct the Qi downward, it harmonizes the Stomach and stops nausea, hiccup, and a sensation of fullness in the epigastrium.
Sheng Jiang is a deputy ingredient in Xiao Ban Xia Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Fresh root
Meridian affinity: LungSpleenStomach
In general Sheng Jiang's main actions are as follows: "Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Warms and circulates Qi in the Middle Burner. Calms a restless fetus and treats morning sickness. Treats seafood poisoning."
In the context of Xiao Ban Xia Tang, it is used because it disperses the accumulation of thin mucus in the epigastrium that causes the Qi to rebel upward.
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 Xiao Ban Xia Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Phlegm" which we describe below.
But before we delve into Phlegm here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:
Morning sickness Travel sickness
Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Xiao Ban Xia Tang treats morning sickness" for instance. Rather, Xiao Ban Xia Tang is used to treat Phlegm, which is sometimes the root cause behind morning sickness.
Now let's look at Phlegm, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Xiao Ban Xia Tang.
Body Fluids (Jin Ye) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Body Fluids in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick coating
Tongue shape: Swollen
Symptoms: Lumps Nausea Tumors Oedema Nodules Obesity Fatigue Vertigo Delirium Belching Vomiting Dizziness Moodiness Overweight Bad breath Depression Watery milk Clear mucus Irritability Poor appetite Low metabolism Chest fullness Chest pressure Breast distention Abdominal fullness Sputum in the chest Feeling of heaviness Thick tongue coating Muzziness of the head Numbness in the limbs Thick greasy secretions Feeling of oppression of the chest No feeling of distension of the breasts
Xiao Ban Xia Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Phlegm. This pattern leads to symptoms such as feeling of oppression of the chest, muzziness of the head, dizziness and nausea. Patients with Phlegm typically exhibit slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as swollen tongue with sticky coating .
Phlegm has a great importance in Chinese Medicine as it is both a condition in and of itself as well as a cause for other diseases.
The main cause for the formation of Phlegm is Spleen Deficiency since the Spleen rules the transformation and transportation of Body Fluids. If this function is... read more about Phlegm
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