Herb Formulas Notebook

Bao He Wan

Preserve Harmony Pill

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Source: Essential Teachings of Dan-Xi (1481)
Author: Zhu Dan-Xi

Category: Formulas that Reduce Food Stagnation

Pattern: Food Stagnation

Key Symptoms: Fullness or distention in the epigastrium or abdomen, foul-smelling belching, aversion to food
Secondary Symptoms: Abdominal pain, acid reflux, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea

Tongue: Yellow greasy coating
Pulse: Slippery
Abdomen: Discomfort in the epigastrium, distention in the upper abdomen

Shan Zha 9-15g
Shen Qu 9-15g
Lai Fu Zi 6-9g
Chen Pi 6-9g
Zhi Ban Xia 9-12g
Fu Ling 9-12g
Lian Qiao 3-6g

Preparation: Ground into powder and made into pills with water. Taken in 6-9g doses with warm water. May also be prepared as a decoction with dosages above.

Actions: Reduces Food Stagnation and harmonises the Stomach

Contraindications: Spleen deficiency or long term use

Can be modified according to the different causes of Food Stagnation:
For meat, increase the dosage of Shan Zha
For wheat or rice, add Su Ya/Gu Ya and Mai Ya
For noodles or other carbohydrates, add fried Lai Fu Zi
For alcohol, add Ge Hua
For fish, add Zi Su Ye and Sheng Jiang
For beans, add fresh radish juice.

A version from the Precious Mirror for Advancement of Medicine (1777) adds Mai Ya to strengthen the effect. This is also often added to the decoctions.


Ploberger (2017), in Westliche und traditionell chinesische Heilkräuter, offers the following alternative using western herbs:

Herba Millefolii(Yarrow)6g(Emperor)
Pericarpium Citri ret.(Orange peel)6g(Minister)
Herba Menthae(Peppermint)4g(Minister)
Fructus Cardamomi(Cardamom)3g(Minister)
Fructus Carvi(Caraway seed)3g(Minister)
Radix Glycyrrhizae(Licorice root)1g(Envoy)
Radix Gentianae(Gentian root)3g(Assistant)

Research Links:
Science Direct
Google Scholar
Journal of Chinese Medicine
American Dragon

Reference Notes: (click to display)

These pages are intended to assist clinicians and are not intended for self-diagnosis or treatment for which a qualified professional should be consulted.