May 26, 2010

A case of Shao-Yin Infertility

Fan Zhong Lin- Liu Jing Bian Zheng Yi An (六经辩证医案)

Huang. 34 year old female cadre residing in Si Chuan province.

[Disease history]: Couple have been trying to conceive unsuccessfully for the last 7 years beginning in the winter of 1959. Both male and female medical investigations were normal. Her initial symptoms were dizziness and poor energy. In the early mornings she would have facial edema and in the afternoon the swelling would be in her legs. Her menstruation was irregular.
In 1965 when she had come in for a consultation the state of her condition had already become quite serious. Her initial consultation was on June 20 1965.

[Initial consultation]: Amenorrhea for a half a year with copious leucorrhea. There was mild edema throughout her entire body and her lower limbs felt rather heavy. There was whole body pain, a fear of cold, excessive dreaming, poor appetite and her blood pressure was occasionally high. Her urination was inhibited and her bowels would be initially dry and then sloppy. Tongue body was pale, flabby and tender with teeth marks on the edges, coating was slippery overall and thicker at the centre. Pulse was deep.
This is an irregular menstruation and Infertility pattern due to evils entering the Shao-Yin with fire debilitation, water effulgence and Kidney Yang vacuity. A modified version of Zhen Wu Tang was appropriate to warm Yang, transform Qi and move water.


Zhi Fu Pian 120g (extended cooking time)
Fu Ling 30g
Sheng Jiang 30g
Gui Zhi 15g
Pao Jiang 30g
Zhi Gan Cao 15g
4 Packages.

[Second consultation]: After taking the above formula her whole body edema was markedly reduced and her appetite was improved. Another four packages of the above formula were prescribed.

[Third consultation]: Patients exhaustion, aversion to cold and other symptoms were greatly improved except for the amenorrhea. A modified version of the above formula combined with Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang was prescribed.


Zhi Fu Pian 60g (extended cooking)
Fu Ling 20g
Bai Zhu 15g
Sheng Jiang 30g
Gui Zhi 10g
Huang Qi 30g
Dang Gui 10g
Zhi Gan Cao 10g
Pao Jiang 30g

[Fourth consultation]: Eight packages of the above formula were taken after which her menstruation arrived. The colour was pale, the amount scanty and contained clots. Her lower abdomen felt cool with a dull pain. She was still manifesting congealing and stagnation of cold in the uterus. A modified version of Wen Jing Tang was administered.


Wu Zhu Yu 6g
Dang Gui 10g
Chuan Xiong 6g
Bai Shao 10g
Xue Yu Tan 20g
Pao Jiang 20g
Zhi Gan Cao 10g
2 Packages were given.

[Fifth consultation]: The abdominal pain had ceased indicating that the stasis of blood had decreased. All other symptoms were obviously reduced as well. Out of fear that the cold would return, she was advised to abstain from sexual intercourse for a half a year. The patient was given a prescription to take back home with her to continue to regulate and improve her health.


Zhi Fu Pian 60g (extended cooking)
Rou Gui 10g (powdered and steeped in cooked decoction)
Pao Jiang 30g
Xue Yu Tan 20g
Tu Si Zi 20g
Rou Cong Rong 10g
Huang Qi 30g
Dang Gui 10g
Nan Sha Shen 15g
Zhi Gan Cao 15g
Gou Qi Zi 20g
Ba Ji Tian 12g

July 26, 1979 follow up:
During the entire course of treatment over a hundred packages of herbs were taken. Following the advice of Dr. Fan she was able to become pregnant in 1967 and currently has two children.

May 18, 2010

5 Steps to 'Shang Han' treatment

I am currently reading a book titled ‘5 Steps to Shang Han treatment based on Pattern Identification”. It is a fascinating look at a very systematic approach to diagnosis and treatment using the formulary of Zhang Zhong Jing. The book is essentially centred around three very famous modern physicians, Hu Xi Shu (胡希恕), Liu Du Zhou (刘渡舟) and Fan Zhong Lin(范中林). The book includes numerous case studies by each one of them detailing their step-by-step process from diagnosis to treatment. The 5 step process is as follows;

I. TCM diagnosis (signs, symptoms, origin and constitution of patient)
II. List of disease mechanisms (6 channel differentiation, differentiation of principles, zang-fu, channels, etc…)
III. Comprehensive analysis (detailing process and location of disease)
IV. Formulas according to pattern
V. Medicinals according to pattern

I would like to offer a translation of one case from the book by Fan Zhong-Lin a prominent physician in the Fire God school of thought (火神派).

Mr.Yang, a 54 year old male from Cheng Du presented at the clinic.

Step 1: Chinese medical diagnosis
October, 1960. Over the last 2 years every day after breakfast, the patient felt very warm and feverish. His body temperature was always around 38 degrees celcius. He had relatively copious sweating that would go on for about 2 hours. Once the heat would decline, the sweating would stop and he would feel an aversion to cold. His daily symptoms included; dizziness, a bitter taste in the mouth, dry throat, chest and rib-side fullness as well as vexation and agitation felt in the chest. His tongue body was red and the coating was slightly yellow and greasy. Pulse was wiry-rapid. At his previous hospital examination the cause of his fevers were unknown and the medications administered had very little effect.

Step 2: List of disease mechanisms
The wiry pulse, alternating cold and heat, bitter taste in the mouth, dry throat, dizziness, chest and rib-side fullness and heart vexation are all obvious Shao-Yang channel signs and symptoms.

Step 3: Comprehensive Analysis

This is Shao-Yang channel disease heat effusion. Treatment methods should involve harmonizing and resolving the Shao-Yang.

Step 4: Formula according to pattern
Xiao Chai Hu Tang with additions and subtractions governs.
This condition has been going on for 2 years so as the Shang Han Lun says “When Chai Hu signs still exist, administer Xiao Chai Hu Tang”

Step 5: Medicinals according to pattern

Because the signs of heat effusion, sweating, thirst and a red tongue signify depressed heat, we remove Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis) and Da Zao (Fructus Jujubae) , and add Zhi Mu (Rhizoma Anemarrhenae) and Shi Gao (Gypsum Fibrosum) to clear heat.
In addition, because the chest and rib-side fullness were quite severe, this can signify that the pattern is interspersed with damp evils, therefore Mu Li (Concha Ostreae), Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri reticulatae) and Fu Ling (Poria cocus) were added to percolate dampness, transform stasis and disperse bind.


Chai Hu 24g
Huang Qin 10g
Fa Ban Xia 15g
Sha Shen 15g
Gan Cao 10g
Zhi Mu 15g
Shi Gao 30g
Mu Li 24g
Chen Pi 9g
Fu Ling 12g

After taking one package of the above formula, the heat declined and there was a reduction in most of his symptoms. After stopping the herbs he was instructed to rest and take care of himself for several days and afterwards he would recover. After much time the patient had come to visit Dr. Fan at his home and reported the condition had not recurred.

May 1, 2010

Thoughts on a Quiet Night


Thoughts on a Quiet night
Li Bai

Before my bed the moon shines bright,
As frost upon the ground.
Raising my head I glare at the bright moon,
Lowering it I think of home.

Although this post is not Chinese medicine 'Per se', I have decided  to include my translation of a very short Poem by the very famous Tang dynasty poet Li Bai. 
Li Bai is best known for the extravagant imagination and striking Taoist imagery in his poetry, as well as for his great love for liquor. He spent much of his life travelling, although in his case it was because his wealth allowed him to, rather than because his poverty forced him. He is said to have drowned in the Yangtze River, having fallen from his boat while drunkenly trying to embrace the reflection of the moon.