While Ban Xia Hou Po Tang, created in the second century A.D. by one of the great pioneers of Chinese medicine, Zhang Zhong-Jing, was originally indicated primarily for a problem affecting the throat, its use has expanded in the modern day to encompass a variety of conditions that are associated with discomfort in the abdomen and chest, as well as emotional disorders. It is an extremely useful formula for a sensation of fullness in the chest, and can also be used for cough, vomiting, or distention affecting the abdomen or hypochondriac region. It can be used in cases where there are notable symptoms such as phlegm or nausea, as well as cases where the cause of discomfort is psychological rather than physical.
According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the principle pattern treated by Ban Xia Hou Po Tang is one of phlegm and Qi binding in the throat, manifesting in Plum-Pit Qi syndrome. There is a sensation of obstruction in the throat that cannot be relieved by expectorating or swallowing. There may also be fullness or oppression in the chest and diaphragm, and there may be cough or vomiting. The tongue is white and moist and the pulse is wiry and moderate or wiry and slippery.
When there are irregularities in emotion, binding of liver Qi causes the lung and stomach to lose their ability to diffuse and conduct Qi downward; the body fluids are then not dispersed so they accumulate to form phlegm. Phlegm and Qi bind together in the throat to cause the principle symptoms of obstruction in the throat that cannot be expectorated or swallowed, while poor movement of Qi causes discomfort in the chest. This produces fullness or oppression in the chest and hypochondriac region, and may also cause cough, nausea, vomiting, or rapid breathing.
As a whole, Ban Xia Hou Po Pian moves Qi and disperses binds while transforming phlegm. Ban Xia (Pinellia rhizome) enters the lung and stomach and transforms phlegm while dispersing binds; it is considered to be the chief herb here. Hou Po (Magnolia cortex) is acrid and moves Qi downward while eliminating fullness, thus helping Ban Xia. Fu Ling (Poria) strengthens the spleen while helping Ban Xia to transform phlegm, while Sheng Jiang (Fresh ginger) disperses binds and harmonizes the stomach to relieve vomiting. Zi Su Ye (Perilla leaf) is aromatic and moves Qi to rectify the lung and soothe the liver, and it assists in moving Qi and opening the chest. This combination naturally resolves all the symptoms seen in this pattern.
Modern biomedical research has indicated that Ban Xia Hou Po Tang has anti-depressant effects that come close to matching the anti-depressant effects of Prozac.1,2 † Ban Xia Hou Po Tang has also been shown to improve anxiety and depression while improving the outcome for patients with globus hystericus in modern human clinical trials.3 †
| Rhizoma Pinelliae Ternatae |
Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis
Sclerotium Poriae Cocos
Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens
Folium Perillae Frutescentis
| (Ban Xia) |
(Zi Su Ye)
The dose may be doubled for a quicker and stronger response as needed (e. g., in an acute phase or with heavy body weight).
As the herbal formula is a mild tonic, results may only be noticeable after 2 weeks. It is suggested to take 4 to 6 bottles in full dose as the first regimen. The dose may then be reduced.
Check for an independent US lab test report.