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Chinese Materia Medica(2)

1. Herbs for Relieving Exterior Syndromes (Pungent and Warm)

1) ephedra

2) cinnamon twig

3) schizonepeta

4) ledebouriella root

5) perilla leaf

6) fresh ginger

7) notopterygium root

8) dahurian angelica root

9) chinese lovage root

10) spring onion

11) magnolia flower

2. Herbs for Relieving Exterior Syndromes (Pungent and Cool)

(to be continued)


Fatigue is the Source of All ILLNESSES!

Herbal Medicine Cures Chronic Fatigue
Chapter 4

“Chronic fatigue” is described as fatigue that continues for a period longer than six months. Since fatigue is a symptom, all cases where a person “feels tired” apply. Chronic fatigue has nothing to do with the degree of fatigue, whether the person feels any other symptoms or carries any other illnesses.

If fatigue continues for over six months, it is called chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue is accompanied by a wide range of symptoms such as lack of concentration, insomnia, loss of appetite, stiff shoulders, dizziness, eyestrain, swelling of certain body parts, lower back pain, tired legs, diarrhea, and constipation. The only clearly defined symptom of chronic fatigue, however, is tiredness.

These symptoms of chronic fatigue differ case by case, depending on the causes of the illness and other existing illnesses. “Feeling tired” is the only common symptom among all chronic fatigue sufferers.


  • ”Chronic fatigue” is when one feels tired for over six months.
  • Symptoms vary according to the patient : lack of concentration, insomnia, loss of appetite, stiff shoulders, dizziness, eyestrain, swelling of certain body parts, lower back pain, tired legs, diarrhea, constipation, etc.
  • There is no specific symptom other than feeling tired.

In these stressful times, chronic fatigue also holds the risk of causing even more serious illnesses or making existing illnesses worse. When fatigue does not disappear after several days of rest, do not think, “Oh, it’s just fatigue”. It is important to consider taking a serious rest.

Six Major Formulas for Curing Chronic Fatigue

There are various types of chronic fatigue in the same way that there are no two human beings who are the same, and symptoms differ from person to person. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the formula is chosen after the doctor thoroughly examines these differences. Slight adjustments are made to the formulas themselves as the patient’s symptoms change with time.

TCM is said to be a traditional medicine which is tailored to a person’s individual symptoms and needs. Of the many existing formulas, the six formulas introduced here are general ones which can be purchased at drug stores. However, it is very important not to take them without consulting a TCM doctor or a Chinese medicine pharmacist. It is essential that the formula suits your particular needs. We sincerely hope you find a doctor you can trust.

1. When fatigue is strong, take “hochu-ekki-tou” (decoction to strengthen the stomach and replenish qi)

This formula should also be taken when you have one or more of the following conditions:

chronic diarrhea, dizziness, headache, gastroptosis, hysteroptosis, or mucosal prolapse syndrome.

The formula for hochu-ekki-tou :
  • Astragalus membranaceus (Radix) 15g
  • Panax ginseng (Radix) 10g
  • Atractylodes macrocephala (Rhizoma) 10g
  • Citrus reticulata (Pericarpium) 6g
  • Cimicifuga foetida (Rhizoma) 3g
  • Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Radix) 5g
  • Bupleurum chinense (Radix) 3g
  • Angelica sinensis (Radix) 10g
  • Zingiber Offiinale (Rhizoma) 3g
  • Zizyphus jujuba (Fructus) 3g

2. When you do not have much appetite and feel like your stomach is being stretched out even with just a little food, take “shi-kunshi-tou” (decoction to strengthen the functions of the stomach).

This formula should be taken when you have the following symptoms:

loss of appetite, a feeling of being bloated during meals, indigestion, or chronic diarrhea as well as fatigue.

The formula for shi-kunshi-tou :
  • Panax ginseng (Radix) 12g
  • Atractylodes macrocephala (Rhizoma) 9g
  • Poria cocos (Sclerotium) 9g
  • Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Radix) 5g
  • Zingiber Offiinale (Rhizoma) 1.5g
  • Zizyphus jujuba (Fructus) 1.5g

*If the degree of nausea is high, a different formula, "rik-kunshi-tou”, is prescribed.

3. When you don’t have energy, take “juzen-daiho-tou” (decoction to completely replenish qi and blood). This formula works especially well on women experiencing symptoms such as anemia and cold hands or feet.

This formula should be taken when you suffer from fatigue as well as

anemia, dizziness, heart palpitation, loss of appetite, cold hands or feet, or menstrual disorder.

The formula for juzen-daiho-tou :
  • Panax ginseng (Radix) 6g
  • Atractylodes macrocephala (Rhizoma) 6g
  • Astragalus membranaceus (Radix) 9g
  • Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Radix) 3g
  • Poria cocos (Sclerotium) 6g
  • Rehmannia glutinosa (Radix Praeparata) 9g
  • Angelica sinensis (Radix) 6g
  • Paeonia lactiflora (Radix) 6g
  • Ligusticum chuanxiong (Rhizoma) 3g
  • Cinnamomum cassia (Cortex) 3g

4. When you cannot sleep even when you are tired, take “ki-hi-tou”(decoction to invigorate the DAS and nourish the HES).

This formula should be taken when you suffer from fatigue as well as

insomnia, occasional nightmares, loss of appetite, anemia, or heart palpitations.

The formula for ki-hi-tou :
  • Astragalus membranaceus (Radix) 12g
  • Panax ginseng (Radix) 12g
  • Atractylodes macrocephala (Rhizoma) 9g
  • Poria cocos (Sclerotium) 10g
  • Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Radix) 5g
  • Angelica sinensis (Radix) 10g
  • Euphoria longan (Arillus) 10g
  • Zizyphus jujuba (Semen) 10g
  • Polygala tenuifolia (Radix) 10g
  • Saussurea lappa (Radix) 5g
  • Zizyphus jujuba (Fructus) 3pieces
  • Zingiber Offiinale (Rhizoma) 6g

5. When you always feel irritated and are unable to sleep, take “kami-kihi-tou” (a decoction, consisting of ki-hi-tou with two added ingredients, to invigorate the DAS and nourish the HES ).

This formula should be taken

when you have the symptoms already mentioned for ki-hi-tou as well as irritability or depression.

The formula for kami-kihi-tou :
  • Astragalus membranaceus (Radix) 3g
  • Panax ginseng (Radix) 3g
  • Atractylodes macrocephala (Rhizoma) 3g
  • Poria cocos (Sclerotium) 3g
  • Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Radix) 1g
  • Polygala tenuifolia (Radix) 2g
  • Zizyphus jujuba (Fructus) 2g
  • Angelica sinensis (Radix) 2g
  • Zizyphus jujuba (Semen) 3g
  • Euphoria longan (Arillus) 3g
  • Saussurea lappa (Radix) 1g
  • Zingiber officinale (Rhizoma) 1g
  • Bupleurum chinense (Radix) 3g
  • Gardenia jasminoides (Fructus) 2g

6. When you feel fatigue in late summer or early autumn as a result of summer heat, take “seisho-ekki-tou” (decoction to alleviate fatigue due to summer heat and replenish qi).

This formula should be taken

when, during the late summer or early autumn, you are fatigued due to summer heat or when you are always thirsty, sweating,or feverish.

The formula for seisho-ekki-tou :
  • Astragalus membranaceus (Radix) 3g
  • Panax ginseng (Radix) 3.5g
  • Atractylodes lancea (Rhizoma) 3g
  • Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Radix) 1g
  • Citrus reticulata (Pericarpium) 3g
  • Angelica sinensis (Radix) 3g
  • Ophiopogon japonicus (Radix) 3.5g
  • Schisandra chinensis (Fructus) 1g
  • Phellodendron amurense (Cortex) 1g

Replenishment and supplementation of qi is the first step to combatting chronic fatigue!

What is common among the six formulas introduced above is that every formula promotes replenishment and supplementation of qi. As was introduced before, qi is a imaginary substance, which is the energy source of the living body. In other words, it is the source of the body 's immune system.

Replenishing and supplementing qi is the most important thing in healing chronic fatigue. Detailed formulas suited for individual needs are constructed based on replenishment and supplementation of qi. Do not consider chronic fatigue as “just tiredness.” Even some doctors think that way, as Naomi’s example shows.

Chronic fatigue could be considered as a dysfunction of the immune system. That means the basic problem cannot be solved through just treatment of fatigue itself. If you feel you may be experiencing chronic fatigue, take specific measures to replenish and supplement qi. First, we recommend you find and consult a TCM doctor or pharmacist you can trust.

- Preview of the next chapter -

What is ”replenishment and supplementation of qi”? In the next chapter, the voyage into the world of TCM, the medicine for the human body, will finally begin!


Zhang, Enqin. (eds.) "Prescriptions of TCM." A Practical English-Chinese Library of TCM. Publishing House of Shanghai University of TCM.