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Long Dan Xie Gan Tang (Gentiana Longdancao Decoction to Drain the Liver)

Previous Formula in CategoryNext Formula in Category Formula 16 of 30 in Formulas that Clear Heat


  • Formulas that Clear Heat from the Qi Level


  • Excess Heat in the Liver and/or Gallbladder Channels
  • Liver Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao.


  • Drains excess heat/fire from the Liver and Gallbladder
  • Drains Damp and clears Heat from the lower burner.


  • Liver and Gallbladder Fire: Headache, tinnitus, bitter taste in the mouth, irritability and short temper, hypochondriac pain, red painful eyes, dizziness, deafness, and swelling of the ears
  • Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao: Difficult urination with pain and heat sensation in the Urethra, turbid urine, foul smelling thick yellow leukorrhea, swollen and pruritus of the external genitalia, impotence, short menstrual cycle with dark flow.

Possible Tongue Appearance:

  • Red tongue with a greasy yellow coat

Possible Pulse Patterns:

  • Wiry, rapid, and forceful pulse

Western Uses:

  • Migraine Headaches
  • Intercostal Neuralgia
  • Gallstones
  • Acute Conjunctivitis
  • Acute Otitis Media
  • Boils and Carbuncles of the Vestibular and External Auditory Canal
  • Hypertension
  • Acute Icteric Hepatitis
  • Acute Cholecystitis
  • Herpes Zoster
  • Herpes Simplex
  • Acute Pyelitis
  • Acute Cystitis
  • Urethritis
  • Acute Pelvic Inflammation
  • Acute Prostatitis
  • Scrotal Eczema
  • Swollen Testes
  • Hyperthyroidism

Cautions, Contraindications, Herb Drug Interactions:

  • Do not use in cases of Stomach or Spleen Qi deficiency
  • Do not use in cases with fluid deficiency.
  • Do not use long term.

Preparation Notes:

  • Decoction. Long Dan Cao, Zhi Zi, and Sheng Di Huang are usually wine fried to aid in dispersing as well as draining.

Originally Appeared In:

  • Analytic Collection of Medicinal Formulas (Yi Fang Ji Jie)

Combined Channels of all herbs in this formula:

  • Stomach, Gall Bladder, Liver, Lungs, Large Intestine, Heart, Small Intestine, Kidneys, Pericardium, Spleen

Substances in this Formula (10 Total):

Long Dan Cao (Radix Gentianae Longdancao)
Long Dan Cao (Chinese Gentian Root) 龙胆草
Qty: 3-9 grams
Chan: GB, LIV, ST
Prop: Bitter, Cold
Latin: Radix Gentianae Longdancao
Cat: Herbs that Clear Heat and Dry Dampness
Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis)
Huang Qin (Baical Skullcap Root) 黄芩
Qty: 6-12 grams
Chan: GB, LI, LU, ST
Prop: Bitter, Cold
Latin: Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis
Cat: Herbs that Clear Heat and Dry Dampness
Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae Jasminoidis)
Zhi Zi (Gardenia, Cape Jasmine Fruit) 栀子
Qty: 6-12 grams
Chan: HT, LIV, LU, ST, TB
Prop: Bitter, Cold
Latin: Fructus Gardeniae Jasminoidis
Cat: Herbs that Drain Fire
Chuan Mu Tong (Caulis Clematidis Armandii)
Chuan Mu Tong (Clematis) 川木通
Qty: 3-6 grams
Chan: BL, HT, SI
Prop: Bitter, Cold, Bland
Latin: Caulis Clematidis Armandii
Cat: Herbs that Regulate Water and Drain Dampness
Che Qian Zi (Semen Plantaginis)
Che Qian Zi (Plantago Seed, Plantain Seed) 车前子
Qty: 9-15 grams
Chan: KI, BL, LIV, LU
Prop: Sweet, Cold
Latin: Semen Plantaginis
Cat: Herbs that Regulate Water and Drain Dampness
Ze Xie (Rhizoma Alismatis)
Ze Xie (Water Plantain Rhizome, Alisma) 泽泻
Qty: 6-12 grams
Chan: KI, BL
Prop: Sweet, Bland, Cold
Latin: Rhizoma Alismatis
Cat: Herbs that Regulate Water and Drain Dampness
Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri)
Chai Hu (Thorowax Root , Bupleurum) 柴胡
Qty: 3-9 grams
Chan: GB, LIV, PER, TB
Prop: Bitter, Spicy, Cool
Latin: Radix Bupleuri
Cat: Cool, Spicy Herbs that Release the Exterior
Sheng Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae)
Sheng Di Huang (Chinese Foxglove Root, Rehmannia) 地黄
Qty: 9-15 grams
Chan: HT, KI, LIV
Prop: Sweet, Bitter, Cold
Latin: Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae
Cat: Herbs that Cool the Blood
Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis)
Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica Root) 当归
Qty: 6-12 grams
Chan: HT, LIV, SP
Prop: Sweet, Spicy, Bitter, Warm
Latin: Radix Angelicae Sinensis
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Blood
Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae)
Gan Cao (Licorice Root) 甘草
Qty: 3-6 grams
Chan: All 12 (Primarily the LU, HT, SP, ST)
Prop: Sweet, Neutral
Latin: Radix Glycyrrhizae
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Qi
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