Inula flowers (Xuan Fu Hua) Scallions (Cong Bai) Indian madder roots (Qian Cao)

Chinese: 旋覆花汤

Pinyin: Xuán Fù Huā Tāng

Other names: Inula Decoction

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Formula category: Formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation

Conditions for which it may be prescribed: CirrhosisCor pulmonareChronic hepatitis and three other conditions

  1. Unblocks the Yang
  2. Expands the chest
  3. Removes and transforms Stagnation

Source date: 220 AD

Source book: Essentials from the Golden Cabinet

Xuan Fu Hua Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Inula Flowers (Xuan Fu Hua) as a principal ingredient.

Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation. Its main actions are: 1) unblocks the Yang and 2) expands the chest.

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 chronic hepatitis, persistent hepatitis or cirrhosis for instance.

On this page, after a detailed description of each of the three ingredients in Xuan Fu Hua Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Xuan Fu Hua Tang helps treat.

The three ingredients in Xuan Fu Hua Tang

Xuan Fu Hua is a king ingredient in Xuan Fu Hua Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

1. Inula Flowers (Xuan Fu Hua)

Part used: Dried capitulum

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): BitterPungent

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomachLarge intestineLiverLung

Category: Warm herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

Xuan Fu Hua is warming and slightly salty. Although it is a flower
and therefore light in nature, it is able to direct the Qi downward. Here it is used to unblock the Stagnation, facilitating the downward flow of Qi and Blood that have accumulated in the chest.

Learn more about Inula Flowers (Xuan Fu Hua)

Cong Bai is a deputy ingredient in Xuan Fu Hua Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.

2. Scallions (Cong Bai)

Part used: Bulb

Nature: Warm

Taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: LungStomach

Category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

Cong Bai is acrid and warming. Its fragrance transforms turbidity
and opens painful obstruction, and it is a specific herb for
unblocking the Yang Qi and dispersing Stagnation.

Learn more about Scallions (Cong Bai)

Qian Cao is an assistant ingredient in Xuan Fu Hua Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

3. Indian Madder Roots (Qian Cao)

Part used: Dried roots and rhizomes

Nature: Cold

Taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: Liver

Category: Herbs that cool the Blood

Qian Cao enters the Liver Channel to invigorate the Blood and transform Stagnation. It focuses the action of the Qi-moving herbs on the Blood Level, thereby enabling the formula to achieve its objectives of unblocking the Stagnation and opening the Qi dynamic.

Learn more about Indian Madder Roots (Qian Cao)

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