Understanding Ba Wei Chu Fan Tang Eight Flavor Tea to Relieve Vexation

Ba Wei Chu Fan Tang

Eight Flavor Tea to Relieve Vexation

Ingredients:

半夏 Ban Xia Rh Pinelliae ternatae

厚朴 Hou Po Cx Magnoliae officinalis

紫蘇梗 Zi Su Geng Cl. Perillae frutescentis

茯苓 Fu Ling Scl Poriae cocos

連翹 Lian Qiao Fr Forsythiae suspensae

黃苓 Huang Qin Rx Scutellariae baicalensis

梔子 Shan Zhi Zi Fr Gardeniae jasminoidis

枳殼 Zhi Ke Fr Citri aurantii

Ba Wei Chu Fan Tang is a formula written and researched by Dr Huang Huang of Nanjing, PRC. It can be seen as a modification of Ban Xia Hou Po Tang. It is mostly composed of herbs and formulas from the Shang Han Lun, with the exception of Lian Qiao, whose use was championed by Ye Tian Shi as a Wen Bing medicinal.

Huang uses this formula to treat a constellation of symptoms that we would call anxiety. The character for Fan Zao 煩躁 translates as vexation agitation.

Vexation means irritability due to a hot oppressive sensation in the chest. Agitation refers to a restless state of the limbs. The former is a subjective symptom, while the latter is an objective sign.

At first glance, it appears that there is nothing in the formula to affect the spirit. On the surface, it seems that it could be used to treat cough, or an infection perhaps. In fact, the formula uses the idea of clearing heat to eliminate vexation- agitation and herbs that regulate the qi to relieve depression. And in clinical practice this strategy is deeply constitutional. Formulas that contain herbs to calm the spirit are generally focused on tonification. This strategy clears the heat that causes physical and emotional agitation, thus allowing the person to feel settled, clear and rested.

Analysis of the formula:

Half of the formula is composed of Ban Xia Hou Po Tang/ Pinellia Magnolia Bark Decoction. This is the representative formula for treating Globus Hystericus: the feeling of something being caught in the throat. Plum Pit Qi is another descriptive term.

  • Ban Xia is used to treat the throat. It resolves phlegm it is bitter and descending in nature. The feeling of something that is caught in the throat is subjective in nature. There isn’t anything that is in the throat, yet the person feels that it is so. Ban Xia treats dizziness and vertigo, nausea and vomiting. In clinical practice, Dr Huang uses Ban Xia not only to transform phlegm, but also to treat the spirit in relation to anxiety. Ban Xia family formulas often treat “ strange “ diseases. These can sometimes referred to as psychosomatic disorders. These are problems of phlegm.
  • Hou Po is fragrant and warm. It relieves abdominal distention and reduces wheezing
  • Fu Ling is bland and neutral. It relieves palpitations and calms the spirit. It can be used to treat restlessness and a tendency to be easily frightene
  • Zhi zi clears heat that causes chest oppression and anxiety. The Shang Han lun says that Zhi Zi treats a feeling of anguish. Zhi zi and Lian qiao are an exceptional combination to relieve heat in the upper body. Lian qiao is more specific for clearing heat from the throat and reducing nodes. Huang Qin and lian qiao all clear heat from heart to eliminate vexation- agitation.
  • Zi Su Geng is used instead of Zi su ye for its ability to open the chest and regulate the qi.
  • Huang Qin is used to clear vexing heat that causes anxiety, sweating and palpitations.

Emotional Symptoms include:

Insomnia

Anxiety

Inability to express what is wrong

Muddled thinking

Preoccupation

Racing thoughts

Depression

Physical symptoms include

Sore throat

Swollen glands

Abdominal Bloating and distention

Constipation from Qi Stagnation

Menopausal symptoms