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Si Wu Tang (Four Substance Decoction)

Previous Formula in CategoryNext Formula in Category Formula 10 of 30 in Formulas that Tonify


  • Formulas that Tonify the Qi


  • Liver Blood Deficiency


  • Tonifies and invigorates the blood
  • Regulates the Liver, harmonizes the menses, and alleviates pain.


  • Irregular menstruation with scanty flow, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, lower abdominal or periumbilical pain, and PMS
  • Dizziness, fatigue, tinnitus, blurred vision, palpitations, and pale nails and complexion
  • Painful and hard abdominal masses, threatened miscarriage, and lochioschesis.

Possible Tongue Appearance:

  • Pale, purple, or dusky tongue

Possible Pulse Patterns:

  • Wiry and thin pulse
  • Choppy and thin pulse

Western Uses:

  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Irregular Menstruation
  • Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
  • Anemia
  • Threatened Miscarriage
  • Post Partum Weakness
  • Insufficient Lactation
  • Urticaria
  • Neurogenic Headache

Cautions, Contraindications, Herb Drug Interactions:

  • This formula is heavy and cloying and should not be used in cases with loose stool, poor appetite, and indigestion due to Spleen Qi/Yang deficiency
  • Do not use in cases of acute or severe blood loss.

Preparation Notes:

  • Decoction.

Originally Appeared In:

  • Imperial Grace Formulary of the Tai Ping Era (Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fang)

Combined Channels of all herbs in this formula:

  • Heart, Kidneys, Liver, Spleen, Pericardium, Gall Bladder

Substances in this Formula (4 Total):

Shu Di Huang (Processed Radix Rehmanniae)
Shu Di Huang (Chinese Foxglove Root, Steamed with Water or Alcohol, Rehmannia) 熟地黄
Qty: 9-21 grams
Chan: LIV, KI, (HT)
Prop: Sweet, Slightly Warm
Latin: Processed Radix Rehmanniae
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Blood
Bai Shao (Radix Albus Paeoniae Lactiflorae)
Bai Shao (White Peony Root) 白芍
Qty: 9-15 grams
Chan: LIV, SP
Prop: Bitter, Sour, Cool
Latin: Radix Albus Paeoniae Lactiflorae
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Blood
Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis)
Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica Root) 当归
Qty: 9-12 grams
Chan: HT, LIV, SP
Prop: Sweet, Spicy, Bitter, Warm
Latin: Radix Angelicae Sinensis
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Blood
Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong)
Chuan Xiong (Szechuan Lovage Root) 川芎
Qty: 3-6 grams
Chan: LIV, GB, PER
Prop: Spicy, Warm
Latin: Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong
Cat: Herbs that Invigorate Blood and Remove Stagnation
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