Herb Formulas Notebook

Wu Ling San

Five Ingredient Powder with Poria

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

Category: Formulas that Expel Dampness

Pattern: Internal accumulation of water and Damp, Taiyang Fu obstructed by Cold Damage, Chong Mai counterflow.

Key Symptoms: Thirst, urinary difficulty, sweating
Secondary Symptoms: Headache, oedema, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, generalised sensation of heaviness, diarrhoea, shortness of breath, coughing, pulsating on the right side of the abdomen.

Tongue: Wet, swollen body, tooth, marked
Pulse: Floating, large
Abdomen: Splashing sounds in the epigastrium or upper abdomen, discomfort in the epigastrium, throbbing pulsations below the umbilicus

Ze Xie 15g
Fu Ling 9g
Zhu Ling 9g
Bai Zhu 9g
Gui Zhi 6g

Preparation: Ground into powder and mixed with white wine and taken in doses of small spoonful three times per day followed by warm water. Can also be taken as a powder without wine in 3-6g doses 1-3 times per day. Generally prepared as a decoction with the dosages give.

Actions: Promotes urination, drains Dampness, strengthens the Spleen, warms the Yang, promotes the transforming functions of Qi, unblocks the Qi dynamic

Contraindications: Thirst due to excess Heat or Yin deficiency

Extraordinary Vessel attributions come from Li Shi-Zhen's (1577-8) Exposition on the Eight Extraordinary Vessels (Qi Jing Ba Mai Kao), trans. Chace & Shima (2009). It should be followed by Zhu Ye Tang if there is no improvement.


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

Folium Ulvae ursi(Bearberry)3g(Emperor)
Herba Equeseti(Horsetail)7g(Minister)
Herba Absinthii(Wormwood)1g(Minister)
Radix Angelicae archangelicae (Angelica)4g(Assistant)
Fructus Juniperi(Juniper berries)3g(Assistant)
Fructus Foeniculi(Fennel)32(Assistant)
Ramulus Cinnamomi(Cinnamon bark)4g(Assistant + Envoy)

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.