Herb Formulas Notebook

Gui Zhi Ma Huang Ge Ban Tang

Half Cinnamon Twig and Half Ephedra Decoction

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Source: Discussion of Cold Damage (c. 220)
Author: Zhang Ji / Zhong-Jing

Category: Formulas that Release the Exterior

Pattern: Persistent Taiyang disorders which have not been fully released and begun to weaken normal Qi

Key Symptoms: Taiyang symdrome (headache and stiff neck, simultaneous chills and fever, aversion to drafts), flushed face and generalised itching
Secondary Symptoms: Runny nose or nasal obstruction, cough, wheezing, aversion to drafts of cold, generalised aches and pains, absence of sweating or spontaneous sweating depending on wither the Exterior condition is full or empty.

Tongue: Thin, white coating
Pulse: Floating, tight

Gui Zhi 5g
Bai Shao 3g
Ma Huang 3g
Xing Ren 3-6g
Zhi Gan Cao 3g
Sheng Jiang 2sl
Da Zao 4pcs

In the UK the maximum legal dose of Ma Huang allowed without prescription is 1.8g per day, and a maximum of 0.6g per administration. This makes it difficult to get the effects required. If necessary it can be substituted with Zi Su Ye, Jing Jie and Fang Feng.

Preparation: Decoction. Do not cook for more than 20 minutes.

Actions: Regulates the Ying and Wei, induces sweating, releases the Exterior

In order to mitigate the agitation causing effects of Ma Huang it may be fried in honey first and when decocted the froth removed from the surface with a spoon.

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.