Functions: Courses the liver and resolves depression, fortifies the spleen and supplements the qi, nourishes the blood and eliminates dampness
Indications: Liver depression-spleen vacuity with blood vacuity and possible dampness manifesting as irregular menstruation, uterine bleeding, abnormal vaginal discharge, breast distention, premenstrual tension, climacteric disorders, chronic hepatitis, pleurisy, chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, neurosis, anemia, insomnia, optic nerve atrophy, central retinitis, depression, etc.
Signs & symptoms of liver depression include:
Signs & symptoms of spleen qi vacuity include:
Lack of strength
Possible lack of appetite
Possible loose stools or diarrhea
An enlarged tongue with teeth-marks on its edges and/or cracks in its center
Signs & symptoms of blood vacuity include:
A pale facial complexion
Scanty or delayed menstruation of amenorrhea
Pale nails, lips, under-eyelids
Dry skin and hair
A pale tongue
A fine pulse
Signs & symptoms of dampness include:
Swelling or edema
Formula explanation: Within this formula, Chai Hu courses the liver and resolves depression. The combination of Dang Gui and Bai Shao nourishes the blood and emolliates the liver. Because Dang Gui is somewhat aromatic, it moves the qi, but because it is sweet, it also relaxes tension, urgency, or cramping. Therefore, it is an essential medicinal for treating liver depression with blood vacuity. Bai Zhu and Fu Ling fortify the spleen and eliminate dampness, thus promoting movement and transformation and, ultimately, the source of engenderment of the qi and blood. Bai Zhu aromatically dries dampness, while Fu Ling blandly seeps it. Mix-fried Gan Cao boosts the qi and supplements the center as well as relaxes the liver's tension. It is the assistant medicinal in this formula. The two envoys or guides in this formula are Sheng Jiang and Bo He. Sheng Jiang harmonizes the center and eliminates dampness. Bo He, when used in small amounts, assists Chai Hu’s scattering and resolution of liver depression.
My patient does present the signs and symptoms of:
Liver depression qi stagnation Yes No
Spleen qi vacuity Yes No
Blood vacuity Yes No
Dampness Yes No
(The last two patterns are no absolutely necessary to prescribe this formula.)
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