August 26, 2014

膠艾湯 Jiāo Ài Tāng from the Jīn Guì Fāng Gē Kuò

The following is another teaser from the book, which will most likely be the last, as we are literally in the final stages of publishing.  The book should be set free into the world within the next few weeks.

Jiāo Ài Tāng
Donkey-Hide Gelatin and Mugwort Decoction

A treatment for women with [either] spotting, incessant blood descent following late miscarriage, or blood descent in pregnancy. If [there is] abdominal pain in pregnancy, [then] this is uterine obstruction, and this decoction rules it.

乾地黃(六兩)川芎   阿膠     甘草(各二兩)艾葉   當歸(各三兩)芍藥(四兩)
gān dì huáng
chuān xiōng
ē jiāo
gān cǎo
ài yè
dāng guī
sháo yào

上七味,以水五升、 清酒三升,合煮取三升,去滓,內膠令消盡,溫服一升,日三服,不差更作。
Simmer the seven ingredients above in 1,000ml of water with 600ml of clear wine, until reduced to 600ml. Remove the dregs, and dissolve the ē jiāo in the decoction. Take 200ml warm, three doses per day, and repeat if [the condition] fails to resolve.

Song 歌曰:
Abdominal fullness in pregnancy with fetal obstruction, this is called fetal obstruction, which is the result of qì and blood vacuity with cold, which hinders the growth and development of the fetus. Six grams chuān xiōng*,  gān cǎo, and ē jiāo, nine grams each of dāng guī and ài yè, twelve of sháo yào, and eighteen of dì huáng eliminates the tip of the branch.

Commentary by [Chén] Yuánxī男元犀按:
芎藭、 芍、 地,補血之藥也;然血不自生,生於陽明水谷,故以甘草補之。阿膠滋血海,爲胎産百病之要藥;艾葉暖子宮,爲調經安胎之專品,合之爲厥陰、 少陰、 陽明及衝任兼治之神劑也。後人去甘草、 阿膠 、艾葉,名爲四物湯,則板實而不靈矣。
Chuān xiōng , sháo yào, and dì huáng are blood-supplementing medicinals. Blood is not generated on its own, but is engendered from water and grains in yángmíng therefore, gān cǎo is used to supplement [yángmíng]. Ē jiāo enriches the sea of blood, and is a very important medicinal for treating various pregnancy related diseases. Ài yè warms the uterus, and is a specific medicinal to regulate menstruation and calm the fetus. This is a divine formula, which unites juéyīn, shàoyīn and yángmíng, and simultaneously treats the thoroughfare and controlling vessel. In later times, people have removed the gān cǎo, ē jiāo and ái yé, renaming it Sì Wù Tāng, making this formula stiff, bound and ineffective!

*Although the Chinese above says xiōng qiáng 芎藭, I have opted to translate this medicinal using its alternate, more common name chuān xiōng 川芎, and will appear as such in the remainder of the text.