Chinese herbal formulas have a rich history dating back for over two thousand years and are still being used to this day in a very similar format of uniquely tailored Chinese herbal medicine single herbs and formulas made specifically taking into account the patients signs and symptoms using a traditional Chinese medicine framework to promote homeostasis and return proper physiology in the body.
In Chinese medicine and at Village Remedies Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine clinic we start by looking at the patient as a whole rather than just their main complaint, we use detailed and specific health and lifestyle questions including an in depth look at sleep, digestion and stresses as well as using the pulse and tongue to give us a better understanding of overall health and the ability to better guide our treatment and get better, longer lasting results for the patient.
The beauty of traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese herbal medicine in particular is that it can be adapted to assist patients with a myriad of issues to help boost their day whether it be reduction in pain, assistance with sleep, digestion, energy, libido, muscle tension/tightness and assistance to manage stress and emotional load to name a few.
Below are five commonly used Chinese herbal formulas that may help you boost your day.
Xiao Yao San
Xiao Yao San is a classic formula commonly used to treat digestive issues, irritability, sleep issues, energy and mood swings to name a few that are particularly exacerbated by stress.
In Chinese Medicine the gut is very connected to stress and the emotions. Interestingly this formula is also often used to treat stress, depression and PTSD through this connection to the gut and the promotion of proper digestive function.
Lots of research has been done on Xiao Yao San with a systematic review of randomised controlled trials in the treatment of depression stated that Xiao Yao San appears to improve symptoms of depression with less adverse effects as well as using Xiao Yao San along with antidepressants may have a shorter onset time rather than antidepressants on their own.
Suan Zao Ren Tang
Suan Zao Ren Tang is a particularly strong formula for the treatment of insomnia and sleep issues with an association to anxiety. Although there is more study needed, current studies have reported Suan Zao Ren Tang may be a well accepted and valuable alternative therapeutic option for improving sleep quality and anxiety.
Suan Zao Ren Tang from Chinese medicine perspective is said to ‘nourish the heart’ and in Chinese medicine the mind is housed by the heart, so when the mind is at rest we’re more able to drift off to a peaceful slumber.
Yin Qiao San
Yin Qiao San is a formula that dates back to the seventeenth century and was commonly used as a form of treating the common cold, flu and upper respiratory infection especially with fever or hot flushes. The registered practitioners at Village Remedies Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine clinic still use this formula today to take the edge of a stubborn cold and to give some relief to cold-like symptoms and a boost in energy.
Gui Pi Tang
Gui Pi Tang is another classic formula dating all the way back to the Song and Ming Dynasties. Gui Pi Tang embodies the Chinese medicine saying ‘treating different diseases with the same treatment’ because it can be very versatile. Gui Pi Tang in Chinese Medicine means ‘Restore the Spleen’ which can manifest in assisting with anything from insomnia, vertigo/dizziness to menstrual cycle regulation and much more.
You Gui Wan & Zuo Gui Wan
You Gui Wan and Zuo Gui Wan are important classic formulas to restore someone's vital essence/energy and are often used in patients with fatigue, low labido, fertility difficulties or irregular or absent menstruation. Many studies have been conducted on You Gui Wan and Zuo Gui Wan primarily with animal models at this time with positive results in male and female infertility. One rat study showed male rats injected with the herbal formula had significantly higher percentages of zygotes retrieved, significantly higher IVF rates and sperm acrosin compared to the control group injected with a saline solution showing there formulas may be an effective supportive treatment for fertility.
These five classic formulas are only the beginning of the vast spectrum of Chinese herbal medicine. Please note that only a registered Chinese herbal medicine practitioner can appropriately prescribe Chinese herbal medicine safely and effectively.