Herb Formulas Notebook


Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San

Ligusticum powder to Take With Green Tea

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Source: Formulary of the Pharmacy Service for Benefiting the People of the Taiping Era (1107)
Author: Imperial Medical Bureau

Category: Formulas that Expel Wind

Pattern: Headache due to Externally Contracted Wind, Du Mai Brain-Wind headache.

Key Symptoms: Headache in any part of the head, nasal congestion
Secondary Symptoms: Dizziness, aversion to drafts, fever and chills

Tongue: Thin white coating
Pulse: Floating

Chuan Xiong 9-12g
Bai Zhi 6g
Qiang Huo 6g
Xi Xin 3g
Jing Jie 9-12g
Fang feng 6g
Bo He 6g
Zhi Gan Cao 6g

Xi Xin has been voluntarily banned in the UK due to possible fears over Aristolochic Acid. There a few possibilities for substitution depending on whether its function is thought to be acting on the channels, head or sinuses. Since several of the possible substitutes are in the this formula already the best solution may be to use the ones that are not:
Cong Bai (sinus) + Gao Ben (headache) + Gui Zhi (channels)

Preparation: Originally ground into a fine powder and taken in 6g doses twice daily after meals with green tea. Can also be prepared as a decoction but should not be cooked for more than 10 minutes.

Actions: Disperses Wind, alleviates pain

Contraindications: Headaches from ascendant Liver Yang due to Liver or Kidney deficiency, headache due to Qi and Blood deficiency

Can be modified for Cold, Heat or Dampness patterns:

For Wind-Cold replace Bo He with Zi Su Ye and Sheng Jiang
For Wind-Heat add Ju Hua, Bai Jing Can and Man Jing Zi
For Wind-Dampness add Cang Zhu and Gao Ben
For stubborn conditions with Blood stasis increase Chuan Xiong and add Tao Ren and Hong Hua.

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). Li Shi-Zhen only gives acupuncture points but this formula is given by Shen Jin-Ao in the commentary.

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.