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Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum Decoction)

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  • Formulas that Harmonize Lesser Yang-stage Disorders


  • Shao-Yang Stage Disorders


  • Harmonizes Shao Yang Stage disorders
  • Harmonizes and Tonifies the Middle Jiao.


  • Alternating chills and fever, dry mouth and throat, bitter taste in the mouth, irritability, dizziness, fullness and discomfort in the hypochondria and chest, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn

Possible Tongue Appearance:

  • Normal with a thin white coat

Possible Pulse Patterns:

  • Wiry pulse

Western Uses:

  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Influenza
  • Bronchitis
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis
  • Epidemic Parotitis
  • Malaria
  • Cholecystitis
  • Hepatitis
  • Jaundice
  • Amenorrhea
  • Post Partum Fever
  • Lymphadenitis
  • Intercostal Neuralgia

Cautions, Contraindications, Herb Drug Interactions:

  • The ascending nature of this formula can injure Qi, possibly causing dizziness, headache, or gum bleeding if taken for a long period of time
  • Do not use in cases where there is excess above and deficiency below.
  • Do not use in cases of Liver fire, Liver yang rising, and hypertension.
  • Do not use in cases of Yin deficiency with vomiting of blood.
  • Possible side effects of this formula include chills, fever, and sweating.
  • This formula contains one or more toxic substances (while some Chinese herbs are toxic, it must be noted that many come prepared, or are combined, to mitigate their toxicity).

Preparation Notes:

  • Decoction. 2-3 Times the amount of Dang Shen can be substituted for Ren Shen. Chai Hu and Ban Xia are often reduced to 12 Grams, Zhi Gan Cao is often reduced to 6 Grams, and Da Zao to 4 Pieces.

Originally Appeared In:

  • On Cold Damage (Shang Han Lun)

Combined Channels of all herbs in this formula:

  • Pericardium, Gall Bladder, Liver, Lungs, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen

Substances in this Formula (7 Total):

Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri)
Chai Hu (Thorowax Root , Bupleurum) 柴胡
Qty: 24 grams
Chan: GB, LIV, PER, TB
Prop: Bitter, Spicy, Cool
Latin: Radix Bupleuri
Cat: Cool, Spicy Herbs that Release the Exterior
Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis)
Huang Qin (Baical Skullcap Root) 黄芩
Qty: 9 grams
Chan: GB, LI, LU, ST
Prop: Bitter, Cold
Latin: Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis
Cat: Herbs that Clear Heat and Dry Dampness
Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae Tematae)
Ban Xia (Pinellia Rhizome) 半夏
Qty: 24 grams
Chan: LU, SP, ST
Prop: Spicy, Warm, Toxic
Latin: Rhizoma Pinelliae Tematae
Cat: Warm Herbs that Transform Phlegm-Cold
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
Ren Shen (Radix Ginseng)
Ren Shen (Ginseng Root) 人参
Qty: 9 grams
Chan: LU, SP
Prop: Sweet, Slightly Bitter, Slightly Warm
Latin: Radix Ginseng
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Qi
Zhi Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae)
Zhi Gan Cao (Honey Fried Licorice Root) 炙甘草
Qty: 9 grams
Chan: All 12 Channels
Prop: Sweet, Warm
Latin: Radix Glycyrrhizae
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Qi
Da Zao (Fructus Zizyphi Jujubae)
Da Zao (Date, Jujube) 大枣
Qty: 12 pieces
Chan: SP, ST
Prop: Sweet, Warm
Latin: Fructus Zizyphi Jujubae
Cat: Herbs that Tonify Qi
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