November 30, 2017

Zé Xiè Tāng from the Jīn Guì Fāng Gē Kuò


澤瀉湯
Zé Xiè Tāng
Alisma Decoction



治心下有支飲, 其人苦冒眩者, 主之。
 
A treatment for propping rheum below the heart, where the person suffers from veiling dizziness, (this formula) rules it.  




澤瀉五兩            白朮二兩
zé xiè
澤瀉

15g
bái zhú

6g


上二味, 以水二升, 煮取一升, 分溫再服。
Simmer the two ingredients above in 400 ml, until reduced to 200 ml.  Divide and take heated in two doses.   



Song 歌曰:
清陽之位飲邪乘, 眩冒頻頻苦不勝; 澤五為君朮二兩, 補脾制水有奇能。

The location of clear yáng has been overwhelmed by the presence of pathogenic rheum, causing (one to) suffer from frequent veiling dizziness which is difficult to endure; fifteen grams of the sovereign zé xiè and six of bái zhú, have the special ability of supplementing the spleen and controlling water.




Commentary by Lín Lǐfēng[1] 受業林禮豐按

心者, 陽中之陽。  頭者, 諸陽之會。  人之有陽氣, 猶天之有日也。  天以日而光明, 猶人之陽氣會於頭而目能明視也。  夫心下有支飲, 則飲邪上蒙於心, 心陽被遏不能上會於巔, 故有頭冒目眩之病。  仲師特下一“苦”字, 是水陰之氣\盪漾於內, 而冒眩之苦有莫可言傳者, 故主澤瀉陽。  蓋澤瀉氣味甘寒, 生於水中, 得水陰之氣而能利水, 一莖直上, 能從下而上, 同氣相求, 領水陰之氣以下走, 然猶恐水氣下而復上, 故用白朮之甘溫,  土制水者以諸之, 猶治水者之必筑堤防也。  古聖用方之妙, 有如此者; 今人反以澤瀉利水伐腎, 多服傷目之說疑之。  其說創於宋元諸醫, 而李時珍、 張景岳、 李士材、 汪讱庵輩和之, 貽害至今弗熄。  然天下人信李時珍之《本草》者, 殆未讀《神農本草經》耶? 余先業師《神農本經小注》最詳, 願業斯道者, 三復之而後可。

The heart is yáng within yáng; the head is the gathering place of all yáng.  Humans have yáng qì, as heaven has the sun.  Heaven, by means of the sun is bright, as such human's yang qì gathers in the head and eyes providing bright vision.  When there is propping rheum below the heart, water rheum will ascend and cloud the heart obstructing heart yáng, which is (then) unable to gather at the top of the head, causing dizziness and dizzy vision.  Master Zhòng used the following character “” () to convey the suffering of dizziness, (resulting from) the qì of water yīn agitating and flowing into the interior. This is ruled by zé xiè tāng.  The qì and flavor of zé xiè tāng is sweet and cold, and since it grows in water, where it obtains the qi (of water yīn), it is able to disinhibit water.  (Similar to the way) the stalk ascends vertically it can (help) bring the qì together from the bottom to the top and guide the qì of water yīn in its downward movement.  However (with) fear of water rising again after it has descended, sweet and warm bái zhú is used so earth can restrain the various forms of water so while still treating water, an embankment is built.  The ancient sages were very clever in using formulas like these.  
People nowadays, are administering copious amounts of zé xiè to disinhibit water and quell the kidneys, which damages the objective (of this) doctrine and (creates) doubt (of its effectiveness).  This doctrine began with the physicians of the Sóng[2] and Yuàn[3] dynasties, as well as contemporaries such as Lǐ Shízhēn[4], Zhāng Jǐngyuè[5], Lǐ Shìcái[6], and Wāng Rènān[7], who have left a legacy, which has yet to die even to the present day.  Even though people of the world trust the words of Lǐ Shízhēn’s Běn Cǎo, why have almost (none of them) read the Shén Nóng Běn Cǎo Jīng?  My passed masters’ copy of the classic was annotated with extreme detail, and it is my hope that one follows this way in their course of study, repeatedly returning to (the classic).





[1] Lín Lǐfēng was believed to be a student of Chén Xiūyuán. The characters 受業 can be translated as ‘to receive instructions’, ‘to study’, ‘to learn from a master’, or as a first pronoun as ‘I’, or ‘your student’, often used as a title by a teachers’ disciple. I have opted to translate this as the latter, but in the interest of keeping the translation clean, have left is as commentary by Lín Lǐfēng, as opposed to ‘Commentary by I (your student) Lín Lǐfēng’.
[2] Sòng Dynasty (960–1179 A.D.)
[3] Yuán (Mongol) Dynasty (1260–1368 A.D.)
[4] Lǐ Shízhēn (1518-1593), Míng botanist and pharmacologist, as well as the author of the Compendium of medical herbs 本草綱目
[5] Late Míng dynasty physician who wrote several books including the ‘Rectification of the Materia Medica’本草正
[6] Míng dynasty phyisician who wrote several books including the ‘Essential Knowledge from the Inner Classic’經知要
[7] Wāng Áng (1615-1694), Late Míng and early Qīng dynasty physician who wrote the ‘Essentials of the Materia Medica’ 本草備要

October 22, 2017

Huáng Yuán-Yù on line 80 of the Shāng Hán Lùn

“伤寒,医以丸药下之,身热不去,微烦者, 栀子干姜汤主之。”

"In cold damage, (which was) treated with a great purging pill; (if) the fever has not abated (and there is) slight vexation, Zhī Zǐ Gān Jiāng Tāng governs". 

This formula treats cold damage following major purgation (manifesting with) body heat and slight vexation. 
(Here) major purging has injured center qì, with turbid yīn ascending counterflow, and the generation of stasis, (which) injures the bowels (fǔ organs); this results in obstruction to imperial fire, which is unable to descend, therefore there is body heat and heart vexation. Zhī Zǐ Gān Jiāng Tāng is used, as gān jiāng descends counterflow and warms the center, while zhī zǐ ejects stasis and eliminates vexation.


Zhī Zǐ

Bitter flavor, cold nature; enters the hand shào yīn heart, foot tài yīn spleen, foot jué yīn liver, and foot tài yáng bladder channels.
Clears heart fire and eliminates vexation depression, drains spleen earth and eliminates damp heat. (It) ejects turbid stasis from the chest and diaphragm and cools smokey-yellowing from the skin.


Gān Jiāng

Acrid flavor, warm nature; enters the foot yáng míng stomach, foot tài yīn spleen, foot jué yīn liver, and hand tài yīn lung channels. (Gān Jiāng) dries dampness, warms the center, moves depression, downbears turbidity, supplements and boosts fire (of the) earth, breaks up the absorption of water and grains, warms the spleen, stomach and extremities; regulates yīn and yáng and settles nausea and vomiting; downbears turbid counterflow, calms coughing, lifts desertion and sinking and stops efflux diarrhea.


**Above medicinal info translated from 'Huáng Yuán-Yù's Interpretation of Medicinals' (黄元御药解) 

October 21, 2017

Huáng Yuán-Yù on line 100 of the Shāng Hán Lùn

“伤寒,阳脉涩,阴脉弦,法当腹中急痛,先与小建中汤,不差者,小柴胡汤主之。”

"In cold damage (where) the yáng pulse is choppy, and the yīn pulse is wiry, as a rule there should be urgent abdominal pain; first give Xiǎo Jiàn Zhōng Tāng. If it is not reduced, Xiǎo Chái Hú Tāng governs."

The liver and gall-bladder are from the same qì. If the gall-bladder fails to descend the cùn pulse will be choppy; if the liver fails to ascend, then the chǐ pulse will be wiry. (When) gall-bladder qì ascends counterflow, and restrains stomach-earth, abdominal pain will be seen in the chest and diaphragm. (If) the liver descends and restrains spleen-earth, abdominal pain will be seen in the abdomen and rib-sides. When wood qì is desiccated and dry, then pain will be urgent. When pathogenic factors are in both the liver and gall-bladder, wind-fire will be depressed, injuring central qì. Xiǎo Jiàn Zhōng Tāng is first used; Yí Táng, Gān Cǎo, and Dà Zǎo supplement spleen essence and moderate urgent pain. Shēng Jiāng, Guì Zhī and Sháo Yào outthrust wood depression and clear wind-fire. If it is not reduced and remains, give (Xiǎo) Chái Hú (Tāng) in order to drain ministerial fire.