Gan Mai Da Zao Tang and Supporting Emotional Balance

Modern living makes people work harder which leads to stress accumulation over time. Without means of relief and recuperation, individuals may experience depression, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, fatigue, forgetfulness, and other emotional fluctuations that impair mental well-being. Experiencing emotional disturbance not only diminishes quality of life but also affects bodily health.

Western medicine believes that emotions affect the endocrine system, highlighting how emotional changes can disrupt hormonal balance and potentially harm our bodies. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are 7 human emotions: joy, anger, worry, thought, grief, fear, and surprise. When these emotions become excessive, it can lead to the condition "Zang Zao" and affect physical health. The literal translation of Zang Zao is “visceral restlessness," which refers to sadness, crying, and feelings of agitation, mental melancholy, moodiness, and irritability. 

The best classical formula for supporting emotional balance in those dealing with  Zang Zao is Gan Mai Da Zao Tang, a famous formula inherited from medical sage Zhang Zhongjing more than 1,800 years ago. It is also a well-known modern Chinese herbal formula often used for managing menopausal syndrome. The formulation of Gan Mai Da Zao Tang is straightforward and consists of three herbs: 

  • Gan Cao (Licorice Root)
    • Sweet and mild in nature and flavor
    • Effect on lung, spleen, and stomach channels
    • Tonifies the spleen, replenishes qi, clears away heat, detoxifies, and eliminates phlegm.
  • Fu Xiao Mai (Light Wheat)
    • Sweet in nature and flavor, slightly cold
    • Effect on the heart channel
    • Nourishes the mind and resolves stress.
  • Da Zao (Jujube Fruit) 
    • Sweet and warm in nature and flavor
    • Effect on the spleen, stomach, and heart channels
    • Replenishes vital energy, nourishes blood, and calms the mind.

This formula is typically used for Zang Zao and insomnia caused by heart and spleen deficiency. However, TCM theory suggests it is also helpful for Zang Zao related symptoms such as restlessness, trance, upset and insomnia, sadness, crying, and frequent yawning. In clinical practice, Gan Mai Da Zao Tang is the most frequently used formula for both short- and long-term emotional care. 

Treasure of the East offers Gan Mai Da Zao Tang in both granules and capsules.

This article is provided only as an educational resource - it is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and the herbs and/or formulas within are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases. This information is intended for only licensed healthcare practitioners.