Post Shang Han Run Formulas ① Duhuo-jìshēng-Tang 獨活寄生湯 Wànbìng-Huíchūn 萬病回春

△ Duhuo-jìshēng-Tang can be expected to have the effect of rejuvenation. imageⓒ AdobeStock_Kevin Oh.

By Jubong Kang, K.M.D.


Duhuo 獨活

Chuanxiong 川芎


Fangfeng 防風

Renshen 人蔘

Danggui 當歸

Baifuling 白茯苓

Baishaoyao 白芍藥

Niuxi 牛膝

Sangjisheng 桑寄生

Dùzhòng 杜冲

Shudihuang 熟地黃

Qínjiāo 秦艽

Ròuguì 肉桂

Gancao 甘草


Shengjiang 生薑



▲ Action and Diagnosis

Duhuo-Jisheng-Tang is a representative formula capable of treating hip and lumbar pain with pricking or numb legs due to spinal disc disorders. That is useful for kidney-deficiency syndrome with wind-dampness and coldness marked by pain over the back and hip, and numbness or lethargy of the lower extremities. In the source text, it says that a person whose kidney-qi is weak lay down on a dampish place, so to get an ache of the back and loins and joint, or exposed himself to the wind and cold so that wind-cold evil invaded into the channels of foot and knee to be painful or swelling of the muscles.

This prescription builds on Siwu-tang; Siwu-Tang combines with added drugs to strengthen yang and to dispel wind-dampness. Siwu-Tang supplements blood and yin to promote blood circulation and consolidate the liver and kidney to enhance the body’s muscles and bones. One of the ingredients Shudihuang subtracts, then the effect of reinforcing hip and legs reduces. Invigorating-yang drugs Sangjisheng and Duzhong arouse muscular movement of the waist, coxa, and legs; Duhuo and Fangfeng of acrid and warm in property can dispel wind-dampness through the pores to relieve back pain, joint and muscle pain, and foot numbness.

For abdominal diagnosis of Duhuo-Jisheng-Tang, subsidence or weakness appears below the umbilicus due to kidney-qi feebleness with yin and blood deficiency; the fur is whitish or a little thick and yellowish, the pulse is generally weak.


▲ Practical Discrimination

Buyin-Tang(補陰湯): Buyin-Tang is also a famous formula capable of treating lumbago, but is different from Duhuo-Jisheng-Tang that Buyin-Tang does not eliminate leg numbness symptom due to wind-dampness. Duhuo and Fangfeng in Duhuo-Jisheng-Tang disperse wind-dampness to relieve the leg’s numbness and pain. In Buyin-Tang, there is no leg’s numbness or pain caused by wind-dampness.

Bawei-Wan(八味元): Bawei-Wan’s Lumbago and knee pain symptoms are sometimes similar to Duhuo-Jisheng-Tang. For Bawei-Wan, abdominal subsidence below the umbilicus is more pronounced but no hypertonicity. Some other symptoms, such as frequent urination, thirsty, dyspnea, or hardness of hearing, show up unlike Duhuo- Jisheng-Tang.

On the symptoms of lumbago or knee joint pain, those who get a good effect from Bawei-Wan are, in many cases, shaoyang-constitution persons. Bawei-Wan is usually applicable to the middle-aged and elderly persons, and better products to shaoyang-type persons.

Wuji-San(五積散): Wuji-san is used to treat digestive disorders and musculoskeletal symptoms also. Sometimes, suppose a patient has poor digestion, back pain, or knee joint pain. Instead of Duhuo-Jisheng-Tang, Wuji-San is useful, or modified Wuji-san a few ingredients of Duhuo-Jisheng-Tang to Wuji-San is better. For example, Wuji-San plus Sudihuang, or reversely, Duhuo Jisheng-Tang plus some drugs of Wuji-san such as Cangzhu, Houpo, Banxia, and others.

When wind-cold or coldness invaded into the body’s surface or muscles so that lumbago, joint pain, or headache took place with an aversion to cold, one of the prescriptions, including Mahuang, is suitable than Duhuo-jìshēng-Tang. If digestion is good and the pulse is not weak, then any formula, including Mahuang for the excessive syndrome, is applicable instead of Wuji-San. (→ To be Continued.)








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