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Case Study from Dr. Qin Bo-Wei (秦伯未)

A 67 year old male presented with frequent common colds (感冒 gân mào), which would last for 1 to 2 months without recovery. His presentation only had symptoms of nasal congestion, cough with phlegm, copious sweat from the head and face, and a slight feeling of fatigue. In the past he took Jade Windscreen Powder (yù píng fëng sân), for a half of a month, but there was not effect.

Treatment: I gave him Cinnamon Twig Decoction (guì zhï täng) plus Astragali Radix (huáng qí), and after taking this, he felt increased physical strength, and the common cold occurrences were eliminated.

Discussion: Both of the formulas used huang qi, yet the results were different. The reason for this is simple. Cinnamon Twig Decoction (guì zhï täng) harmonizes the nutritive and defensive and adding huang qi secures the exterior. This is strengthening the correct qi in order to resist the pathogen.

Jade Windscreen Powder (yù píng fëng sân) treats deficient patients who contract a pathogen, which lingers without resolution. The aim is to boost the qi in order to eliminate the pathogen. Generally it is thought that Astragali Radix (huáng qí) and Saposhnikoviae Radix (fáng fëng) have a “fearing” yet “empowering” relationship. When Astragali Radix (huáng qí) obtains the dispersing nature of Saposhnikoviae Radix (fáng fëng) then one does not have to worry about locking in the pathogen. When Saposhnikoviae Radix (fáng fëng) obtains the securing nature of Astragali Radix (huáng qí) then one does not have to worry about scattering the exterior. Actually, within scattering there resides tonification, and within tonification there is dispersing. This is different than supporting the right and securing the exterior.

For this reason, if the body does not have an exterior pathogen, and one frequently gives Saposhnikoviae Radix (fáng fëng) to disperse and scatter, this conversely gives a pathogen a chance to invade.

Original Chinese: 男,六十七。经常感冒,往往一、二月接连不断,证状仅见鼻塞咳痰,头面多汗·稍感疲劳。曾服玉屏风 散,半个月来亦无效果。我用桂枝汤加黄茂,服后自觉体力增强,感冒随之减少。此证同样用黄甚而收效不同,理由很简单。桂枝汤调和营卫·加黄氏固表,是加强 正气以御邪。玉屏风散治虚人受邪,邪恋不解·目的在于益气以怯邪。一般认为黄茂和防风相畏相使,黄英得防风,不虑其固邪,防风得黄英,不虑其散表·实际上 散中寓补,补中寓疏,不等于扶正固表。正因为此,如果本无表邪,常服防风疏散,反而给予外邪侵袭的机会。

Translated by: Jason Blalack

Instructive and straight forward. Any questions or comments?

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