Opening Through

Teeny Tiny: Chi Xiao Dou Dang Gui San

It's been a while since we've had a teeny tiny formula post. I am writing today about a favorite of mine, one that really packs some power: Chi Xiao Dou Dang Gui San. This formula is written about in two places in the Jin Gui Yao Lue. Firstly it is in Chapter 3 on Pulses, Patterns and Treatment of Bai He (Lilly) Disease, Hu Huo Disease and Yin Yang Toxin Disease. Line thirteen says: "The patient has rapid pulses, no fever, slight vexation, reticent but with a desire to lay down, and sweating. Three or four days after the initial onset, the eyes are red as those of a turtle dove. After seven or eight days, the four corners of the eyes turn dark. If the patient is able to eat, this indicates that pus has developed. Chi Xiao Dou Dang Gui San is indicated." Secondly, it is in chapter 16: Pulses, Patterns and Treatment of Fright palpitations, Purgation of Blood, Fullness in the Chest and Static Blood where line 16 says: "With bleeding in the bowel, first there is bleeding followed by defecation. This is called proximal bleeding. Chi Xiao Dou Dang Gui San is indicated." Ah, the Jin Gui text.....it can be difficult to determine how to use a formula in the clinic well with just these lines [...]

Chinese Herbs for Lactation

Recently a practitioner posted a query on our Chinese medicine egroup wondering about a patient who suffered from insufficient lactation. It gave me the idea to post some interesting and very helpful material for this type of thing. Anyone working with women during pregnancy and through the postpartum time will come up on nursing issues and Chinese herbal medicine has so much to offer. I myself had insufficient lactation some 21 years ago and made myself some Pig's Trotter Soup (see below) and experienced first hand the way it worked instantaneously. In the Graduate Mentorship Program we spend a 3 full days on treating women during pregnancy and postpartum and some of the principles taught in this program are illustrated below. I'd like to mention these before going into the case studies: When seeing women during the postpartum time, there are several checks that need to be done along with your regular intake and diagnosis. All of the issues you check for have an influence on the breast milk. The first thing you check for is the woman's appetite and thirst. If the woman has a poor appetite, it will be difficult for her to transform her foods and fluids into breast milk. In addition, if she is not thirsty, she will not take in enough fluids to produce milk. [...]

A Case of Difficult Birth

Here is another interesting case from Dr. Yuan Ming-Zhong 原明忠 of Shan Xi. As Dr. Yuan says below, most cases of difficult birth end up as cesarean sections.  In this case, the woman had an allergy to any type of drugs which made both Pitocin and surgery unavailable as viable options.  This case and the one in the last post make me think of how much wisdom Chinese medicine carries that should not be lost.  With the advent of high technology in the world of birthing, there is a risk much of this could be lost. Kai Gu San (Open the Bones Powder) modified to treat difficult birthing by Dr. Yuan Ming-Zhong Ms. Guan, age 29 Main Complaint: Ms. Guan’s water had broken on March 4, 1982 and so she entered the obstetric ward of the hospital.  On March 5, she passed some blood which spontaneously stopping on the afternoon of March 6.  She was not aware of any fetal movements.  On March 8th, the obstetrician did a check up and saw that her pelvis was relatively small.  The fetal heart tones were low.  They wanted to do a caesarian section but Ms. Guan had an allergy to both the anesthesia and to antibiotics so she was unable to have surgery.  She also had an allergy to Pitocin so a [...]

Opening-Through Presentation

In this entry, I am offering a presentation taken from a class I recently taught.  I went into some detail about the method of opening through.  At the end of the presentation I have included two case studies from my own practice.  The intent of these case studies is to show how the opening through method can be used for pathology in which the main complaint is clearly not gynecological.  In these cases, though this is true, taking into account the blocked menses was clearly an important aspect of the diagnosis and treatment.  I hope you find this as interesting and useful as I do!  Click below to start it. Opening Through Presentation

益腎通经汤 Yi Shen Tong Jing Tang Boost the Kidneys and Open-Through the Menstruation Decoction

In this next entry on Dr. Xia’s opening through methods, we learn some very interesting principles.  His formula, Yi Shen Tong Jing Tang is indicated for Kidney deficiency type amenorrhea or scanty menstruation.  However the mechanism of the formula works with the Heart’s descending action to both supplement the Kidneys and to open through the menstruation.  This formula and this chapter on the formula illustrates a fundamental aspect of women’s physiology that is not often described.  This is the relationship between the Heart Qi and the vessels of the womb.  The Heart Qi must descend to the womb. It is also interesting to note that Dr. Xia uses this formula for adolescent women who are suffering from amenorrhea, scanty or late menstruation.  He makes clear that there must be some vaginal discharge present to begin this formula.  In other words, if the woman is completely dry, with no vaginal discharge, the first treatment principle must be to increase moisture.  When the moisture just begins to show – that is the time to use this formula.  After using this formula, the vaginal discharge and ovulation mucous will begin to flow even more abundantly. […]

进退温经汤 Jin Tui Wen Jing Tang Modified Warm the Menses Decoction

This is the next entry in this series of entries.  If you haven’t read the previous 3 entries, I recommend you go back and read them.  Each entry is an expansion of the previous one. Here we expand on the idea of opening through by looking at blocked menstruation when there is cold.  Dr. Xia has created this formula based on Wen Jing Tang (Warm the Menses Decoction). What i didn’t realize before reading this chapter, is that there is another formula named Wen Jing Tang besides the one from the Jin Gui Yao Lue (Essentials from the Golden Cabinet).  There is a formula of the same name from the Fu Ren Da Quan Liang Fang (Complete Book of Effective Formulas for Women).  The ingredients of this formula are as follows: […]

五味调经散 Wu Wei Tiao Jing San Five Flavor Synchronize the Menstruation Powder

“He substituted Mu Dan Pi for Zhi Zi and Shan Zha for Liu Qu.  He did this because Mu Dan Pi and Shan Zha enter the blood level while Zhi Zi and Liu Qu do not.  Brilliant! ” Todays entry includes the next section in Dr. Xia Guisheng’s chapter on opening through menstruation.  He uses his formula Wu Wei Tiao Jing Tang (Five Flavor Synchronize the Menstruation Decoction) as a jumping off point to discuss some basic ideas about the treatment of irregular menstruation due to congealed blood.   Wu Wei Tiao Jing Tang is a simple and small formula.  It’s design represents some of the basic principles of working with blood stasis in relation to menstruation and it’s size makes it ideal for combining with other formulas or for adding other herbs. […]

Opening-Through continued

加减通瘀煎 Jia Jian Tong Yu Jian Modified Opening Through Stasis Decoction It is very important that the lack of free flow is paired with fullness, pain or up-bearing symptoms By way of introduction to this first chapter, I’d like to write a bit about women’s physiology and the tubular quality of the Ren vessel and the Bao Tai.  Though I have not heard of these pathways written or spoken of as “tubular” per se, thinking of them in this way has helped me to visualize and understand women’s physiology, patho-physiology and the use of herbs in formulas.  So, please bear with me…If we think of the Ren vessel/Bao Tai as a tubular pathway extending from the upper body (Heart and chest) to the womb, physiologically, this tube provides the route for the Heart fire to descend to warm the womb and for the Kidney water to ascend to control, moisten and cool the Heart.  This pathway allows the communication and interaction of fire and water between the upper Jiao and womb.  We can also see that what travels within this tube is the interaction of fire and water which is the red blood.   […]

“Opening Through” the menstruation Tong Jing 通经

In relation to blood stasis – many of my own students don’t come in with much more of an understanding of blood stasis herbs other than that they all move the blood and that they should therefore not be used when there is heavy bleeding or during pregnancy.  And yet, through experience we learn that sometimes we must strongly move the blood in order to stop heavy bleeding and that sometimes moving the blood can help prevent a miscarriage. […]