Herbal Pharmacy Essentials: Health Maintenance Essentials

What exactly is “Health Maintenance?”

Health Maintenance is a wisdom of health drawn from over 4,000 years of health traditions and practices. It has played an important role in cultivating life and promoting health – not just in China’s history, but in civilizations across the globe. Simply put, health maintenance is about living a long, happy, healthy life!

How does TCM herbal medicine play a role in health maintenance?

A healthy lifestyle encompasses not just diet and exercise, but self-care and wellness practices that include herbal medicine, acupuncture, meditation and more. TCM health maintenance formulas can therefore play an essential role in achieving everyday health and wellness goals – from improved sleep to better moods and stronger immunity.

Our Health Maintenance Essentials are pharmacy staples that help you guide patients to their wellness goals: promoting healthy sleep, stress reduction, balanced emotions, energy, longevity and seasonal care.

Short on time? Download our Health Maintenance Essentials Quick Reference Guide PDF!

Emotional Balance Formulas

1. Soothe Irritability with Xiao Yao Wan 

Xiao Yao Wan or “Free & Easy Wanderer” has the ability to melt away Liver-related stress and irritability. Additional symptoms can include headache, dizziness, PMS, breast distension and fatigue.

Treatment actions: Pacifies the Liver, spreads liver Qi, strengthens the spleen, nourishes the blood, harmonizes the liver and spleen.

Notes: Use with caution during pregnancy. Use with caution for those with Qi stagnation with underlying liver and kidney yin deficiency.

Xiao Yao Wan is available in our 1 kg (2.2 lb) bulk foil packaging for a cost savings of 25% compared to our bottled granules!

2. Reduce Anxiety with An Shen Ding Zhi Wan

Overthinking and fear are classic symptoms of anxiety and can manifest either in waking life or sleep (as dream disturbances). An Shen Ding Zhi Wan brings nourishing and mind-settling properties to calm the shen while strengthening qi to bring about emotional balance. 

Additional symptoms may include insomnia, palpitations, timidity, and history of shock or fright.

Treatment actions: Calms the Shen and the mind, strengthens Qi, alleviates fearfulness, nourishes heart blood and yin, calms kidney, harmonizes the liver and spleen.

Healthy Sleep Formulas

1. Promote Restful Sleep with Suan Zao Ren Tang

Suan Zao Ren Tang is a classic insomnia formula, indicated for deficiency of liver-blood with internal deficiency in heat. Symptoms may include vexation, insomnia, palpitations, restlessness, dizziness, dry throat, dry mouth, a red tongue, and a wiry, thin pulse.

Treatment actions: Nourishes blood and calms the mind, clears heat and relieves vexation.

2. Reduce Sleep Disturbances with An Shen Ding Zhi Wan

See description for An Shen Ding Zhi Wan under Emotional Balance Formulas

Energy Formulas

Two classic energy formulas, Ba Zheng Tang and Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang can be used for patients complaining of low energy. 

1. Nourish Energy with Ba Zheng Tang

Ba Zheng Tang is intended for Qi balance and blood deficiency. Deficiency in blood is marked by pale or withered-yellow complexion, dizziness, auditory vertigo, lassitude of the four limbs, shortness of breath, reluctance to speak, palpitations, and decreased food intake. The tongue is pale with a thin, white coating and the pulse is threaded, weak or insufficient. This formula may be used to aid blood deficiencies that cause general weakness, menstrual irregularities, and more. 

Treatment actions: Tonify and stabilize Qi, nourish the Blood.

2. Boost Energy with Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang 

The herbal direction of Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is strongly “upward” and is therefore indicated for deficient or sunken spleen Qi. Symptoms may include reduced food intake, general sluggish sensation, weak breathing, lack of desire to speak, sallow-yellow facial complexion, and loose unformed stool. 

This formula is also used for physical manifestations of sunken qi, including rectal prolapse, uterine prolapse, chronic diarrhea, and flooding and spotting (beng lou). 

The second pattern indicated for Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is objective or subjective fever due to Qi deficiency manifested by a feverish sensation, spontaneous sweating, thirst with a desire for hot drinks, shortness of breath, and lack of strength. 

Notes: This formula is contraindicated for patients with yin-deficiency fever or excessive internal heat.

Both Ba Zheng San and Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang are available in our 1 KG/2.2 LB bulk foil packaging for a cost savings of 25-30% compared to our bottled granules!

Longevity Formulas

Nourishing the Kidney and Liver is TCM’s key to healthy aging. Liu Wei Di Huang Wan and Huan Shao Dan both support vital essence in male and female patients. 

1. Support Longevity with Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Suitable for male or female patients, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan is indicated for liver-kidney yin deficiency marked by soreness of the waist and knees, dizziness, tinnitus, deafness, night sweats, seminal emission, xiao ke (wasting-thirst), steaming bone fever, feverish feeling in the palms and soles, a dry mouth and throat, loosening of the teeth, heel pain, dribbling of urine.

Treatment actions: Supplements and nourishes the liver and kidney.

Notes: Use with caution with diarrhea due to spleen deficiency.

2. Support Male Longevity with Huan Shao Dan

Huan Shao Dan or “Youth Return Formula“ assists with every fundamental element of male energy. Low libido is commonly seen in these patients, and may be accompanied by fatigue, low back pain, seminal emissions, forgetfulness, and disturbed sleep. With 16 herbs working together to powerfully assist in male reproductive health, Huan Shao Dan is also included in our Fertility Essentials collection.

Treatment actions: Tonify Spleen and Kidneys, nourish the Heart, enrich the Yin, nourish the Blood and Yang, augment Qi.

Seasonal Care Formulas

Our seasonal care duo consists of a Cold Relief Blend (Yin Qiao San) and our Immune Support Blend (Yu Ping Feng San) – both classic formulas that deliver excellent clinical results.

1. Extinguish Heat with Yin Qiao San

Yin Qiao San is for wind-heat attack in the lungs or Wei stage wind-heat. 

Signs of dry heat and damp heat will manifest as dry cough, sore, red, swollen throat, thirst with desire to drink cold liquids, runny or blocked nose, fever with little perspiration, slight chills, and headache.

Treatment actions: Dispels pathogenic wind, clears heat, resolves toxins, benefits the throat, relieves thirst, diffuses lung Qi.

2. Boost Immunity with Yu Ping Feng San

Do you see patients who suffer from frequent colds? They are typically deficient in Wei Qi and thus vulnerable to external wind pathogens.

Yu Ping Feng San is ideal for such patients who may present with spontaneous sweating, aversion to wind, a pale complexion, a pale tongue with a thin and white coating, and a floating, deficient pulse. 

Treatment actions: Boosts Qi, consolidates the exterior, and arrests sweating.

Notes: Contraindicated for sweating due to external contraction or night sweat due to yin deficiency.

Yin Qiao San and Yu Ping Feng San are available in our 1 KG/2.2 LB bulk foil packaging for a cost savings of 25-30% compared to our bottled granules!

That concludes our Health Maintenance Essentials collection! 

By the way… in a previous article in this series, we recommended some easy ways to build a granule herbal pharmacy – especially if you are just starting out. One such tip was to start with the most common formulas

Ba Zhen Tang, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, Xiao Yao Wan and Suan Zao Ren Tang – all featured in this health maintenance collection, are also the most common formulas that every practice should have!

We hope you find these top formulas for supporting optimal health and wellness a useful addition to your own herbal pharmacy.

As with all articles in the Pharmacy Essentials series, Dr. Wang's use of the formulas are provided for educational purposes only. Stay tuned for our next article in the Pharmacy Essentials series!