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 Cheng Qi Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula.
Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that purge Heat accumulation. Its main actions are: 1) moderately purges Heat accumulation and 2) circulates Qi in the Middle .
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 Cheng Qi Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as acute cholecystitis, acute pancreatitis or postoperative constipation and distention for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the three ingredients in Xiao Cheng Qi Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Xiao Cheng Qi Tang helps treat.
Part used: Dried root and rhizome
Category: Purgative herbs that drain downward
In general Da Huang's main actions are as follows: "Drains Excess Heat and eliminates Dampness, especially when in the Bright Yang stage according to the Six Stages Theory. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding. Invigorates Blood, breaks up Stasis and relieves pain. Clears Heat and toxins from Excess. Applied topically for Hot sores and Blood Stasis."
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 Xiao Cheng Qi Tang, it is used because it dissipates clumps, reduces distention, breaks up and descends Stagnant Qi and unblocks bowels.
Part used: Dried unripe fruit
Category: Herbs that regulate Qi
In general Zhi Shi's main actions are as follows: "Regulates the flow of Qi in the Middle Burner and reduces Food Stagnation. Moves Qi downward and helps constipation. Reduces Stagnant Phlegm and lessens distention and pain. For prolapse of organs when used with the appropriate herbs."
In the context of Xiao Cheng Qi Tang, it is used because it spreads and descends Qi, dries Dampness, transforms Phlegm and relieves 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 Xiao Cheng Qi Tang is mostly used to treat the pattern "Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines" which we describe below.
But before we delve into Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines here is an overview of the Western conditions it is commonly associated with:
Acute cholecystitis Acute pancreatitis Postoperative constipation and distention Roundworms in the bile duct Early-stage dysentery Pneumonia Hypertension Beriberi Epilepsy Food poisoning Ephidrosis Dysentery Intestinal paralysis Chronic gastritis Viral hepatitis Hydrothorax Colitis Ulcerative colitis Diverticulitis Mesenteric lymphadenitis Trichomonas Profuse perspiration Stomach flu Measles Meningitis Tetanus Neurosis Obesity Hemorrhoids Mania Constipation Emotional disorder Food retention
Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Xiao Cheng Qi Tang treats acute cholecystitis" for instance. Rather, Xiao Cheng Qi Tang is used to treat Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines, which is sometimes the root cause behind acute cholecystitis.
Now let's look at Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines, a pattern that TCM practitioners commonly treat with Xiao Cheng Qi Tang.
The Stomach is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Stomach in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua), Full (Shi)
Symptoms: Thirst Delirium Dry stools Dark Urine Constipation Irritability Abdominal pain Profuse sweating Sweating on limbs Abdominal fullness Burning sensation in the anus High fever that is worse in the afternoon
Xiao Cheng Qi Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines. This pattern leads to symptoms such as high fever that is worse in the afternoon, profuse sweating, sweating on limbs and abdominal fullness. Patients with Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines typically exhibit deep (Chen), rapid (Shu), slippery (Hua) or full (Shi) pulses.
Within the framework of the Six Stages theory, this is one of the two patterns of the Bright Yang stage (the second of the six stages). Within the Four Levels theory, this is one of the five patterns of the Qi level (the second of the four levels).
It corresponds to a penetration of an External... read more about Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines
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