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Gui Zhi Tang (Cinnamon Twig Decoction)

Previous Formula in CategoryNext Formula in Category Formula 3 of 25 in Formulas that Release the Exterior


  • Formulas that Release Early-Stage Exterior Disorders


  • Exterior Wind-Cold from Deficiency


  • Harmonizes the Ying and Wei Qi, releases the muscle layer


  • Deficient Wind Cold condition, chills and fever that are not alleviated by sweating, stiff neck, headache, aversion to wind

Possible Tongue Appearance:

  • Thin white tongue coat

Possible Pulse Patterns:

  • Floating and Moderate
  • Frail pulse

Western Uses:

  • Common Cold
  • Influenza
  • Postpartum Care
  • Morning Sickness
  • Skin Diseases such as Frostbite, Eczema, and Tinea

Cautions, Contraindications, Herb Drug Interactions:

  • Not for exterior excess Wind Cold patterns or Wind Heat patterns
  • Not for damp heat or internal heat patterns.
  • Do not use while consuming alcohol.

Originally Appeared In:

  • On Cold Damage (Shang Han Lun)


  • This formula is best used when there is sweating with an exterior cold condition, the Wei (protective) Qi is unable to protect the exterior and the Ying (nutritive) Qi can not nurture the interior.

Combined Channels of all herbs in this formula:

  • Lungs, Heart, Bladder, Spleen, Liver, Stomach

Substances in this Formula (5 Total):

Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae)
Gui Zhi (Cinnamon Twig, Cassia Twig) 桂枝
Qty: 9 grams
Chan: HT, LU, BL
Prop: Spicy, Sweet, Warm
Latin: Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae
Cat: Warm, Spicy Herbs that Release the Exterior
Bai Shao (Radix Albus Paeoniae Lactiflorae)
Bai Shao (White Peony Root) 白芍
Qty: 9 grams
Chan: LIV, SP
Prop: Bitter, Sour, Cool
Latin: Radix Albus Paeoniae Lactiflorae
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Blood
Sheng Jiang (uncooked Rhizoma Zingiberis)
Sheng Jiang (Fresh Ginger Rhizome) 生姜
Qty: 9 grams
Chan: LU, SP, ST
Prop: Spicy, Warm
Latin: uncooked Rhizoma Zingiberis
Cat: Warm, Spicy Herbs that Release the Exterior
Da Zao (Fructus Zizyphi Jujubae)
Da Zao (Date, Jujube) 大枣
Qty: 5-12 pieces
Chan: SP, ST
Prop: Sweet, Warm
Latin: Fructus Zizyphi Jujubae
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Qi
Zhi Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae)
Zhi Gan Cao (Honey Fried Licorice Root) 炙甘草
Qty: 6 grams
Chan: All 12 Channels
Prop: Sweet, Warm
Latin: Radix Glycyrrhizae
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Qi
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