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Chinese Herbs for PTSD

Chinese Herbs for PTSD

, by Web Admin, 8 min reading time

Chinese Herbs for PTSD Wing Hop Fung stands with the community amidst the recent mass shootings. May we grieve, mourn, and more importantly advocate for our health, well-being, and support one another as we advocate for change. We will continue to be a source of trusted Asian health products for our community.

Wing Hop Fung stands with the community amidst the recent mass shootings.

May we grieve, mourn, and more importantly advocate for our health, well-being, and support one another as we advocate for change. We will continue to be a source of trusted Asian health products for our community.

Chinese Herbs for PTSD

March 11, 2011, the horrific East Japan earthquake and tsunami claimed 20,000 lives in a flash. Within two years people were able to move from shelters to temporary housing, while heaps of rubble and radioactive pollution prevented the rehabilitation of many areas. The lasting impact was emotional as well as physical. Reaching for their traditional natural remedies, Japanese doctors used highly effective Chinese herbs, shared by both cultures, to help heal the emotional scars by regulating liver and kidney—our detox and defense mechanisms. 

In America since the beginning of the year, just three weeks, there have been 39 mass shootings, several in Asian communities in California and elderly Chinese people beaten up on the streets of  New York. That is cause for PTSD posttraumatic stress disorder. 

Chinese/Japanese herbs for PTSD

Researchers have used a Chinese herbal formula that was reported effective for patients with PTSD after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. The Japanese name is Saikokeishikankyoto (SKK) and Chaihu-Guizhi-Ganjiang-Tang in Chinese. Variations of the formula have long been used to treat ulcers and chronic liver diseases. It is a traditional Japanese-Chinese herbal formula that has shown a marked positive effect for some PTSD patients. Corresponding Chinese herbal formulas sold by WING HOP FUNG may help you to overcome chest discomfort and anxiety that result from living with chronic stress. 

Chaihu Guizhi Ganjiang, a 1,850 year-old formula, first appeared in Zhang Zhongjing’s classical formula primer, Treatise on Disorders Caused by Cold (Shanghan lun). It originates from two parent formulas, Xiao Chai hu Tang and Guizhi Tang. In Japan, it is prescribed for a wide variety of disorders primarily indicated for patients with weak constitutions. More specifically, it is suitable for shaoyang conditions complicated by damage to both body fluids and yang qi. 

What does this mean? The shaoyang is our energetic layer of defense against invading disease, attack, injury and pain. When the shaoyang becomes vulnerable, through inherited or lifestyle health abuse, we can develop a wide variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as recurrent shifting pains, fever, sweats, chills, spasms, insomnia, depression and chronic anxiety. 

Chaihu Guizhi Ganjiang and similar formulas regulate both inflammatory (feverish, excess) as well as cold (chill, weakness, deficiency) discomforts. Such imbalance can aggravate typical PTSD discomforts. 

A study of the formula SKK and Chaihu Guizhi Ganjiang was done with survivors of the Japan earthquake and tsunami who were older than 20 years and diagnosed with PTSD, but were not under medical care for mental disorders such as psychosis or dementia, anti-anxiety drugs or physical disease such as acute inflammation. The formula has also been laboratory tested for its liver-protective effects. The results showed improved liver function for chronic hepatitis and reduced PTSD symptoms. 

PTSD Study participants were asked to consider the following 22 questions. Bringing the body back into balance, reducing extreme physical symptoms often helps to relieve emotional upset and long term organ damage. 

Do any of these apply to you? 


Any reminder brought back feelings about it.


I had trouble staying asleep.


Other things kept making me think about it.


I felt irritable and angry.


I avoided letting myself get upset when I thought about it or was reminded.


I thought about it when I did not mean to.


I felt as if it had not happened or was not real.


I stayed away from reminders of it.


Pictures about it popped into my mind.


I was jumpy and easily startled.


I tried not to think about it.


I was aware I had a lot of feelings about it, but I did not deal with them.


My feelings about it were kind of numb.


I found myself acting or feeling like I was back at that time.


I had trouble falling asleep.


I had waves of strong feelings about it.


I tried to remove it from my memory.


I had trouble concentrating.


Reminders of it caused me to have physical reactions, such as sweating, trouble breathing, nausea, or a pounding heart.


I had dreams about it.


I felt watchful and on-guard.


I tried not to talk about it.

Chaihu Guizhi Ganjiang Tang aka Bupleurum, Cinnamon Twig, and Ginger Decoction 柴胡桂枝乾薑湯  supports: Chronic Digestive, Metabolic, Anti-Mass, Respiratory, Mental-Emotional, Cognitive, and Urinary issues. It is simultaneously warming for deficient Yang Qi, while clearing toxic heat, and moving stuck energy with the main ingredient Bupleurum.

WING HOP FUNG sells two similar herbal formulas that contain main ingredients of Chaihu Guizhi Ganjiang Tang and are better suited for chronic stress, chest discomfort, loss of appetite and other PTSD type discomforts. 

Xiao Chi Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum Formula) 

These pills used for shaoyang imbalance improve dry throat, a bitter taste in the mouth, alternate attacks of chills and fever, feeling of fullness and discomfort in chest and the upper abdomen, irritability, restlessness, loss of appetite and dizziness. Xiao Chi Hu Tang is a famous herbal formula used to enhance digestive function, strengthens immunity and reduce trapped heat in the body. It is said to “clear and dispel constrained heat in the Shao Yang, tonify the Qi, and harmonize interior and exterior.” 

Xiao Chi Hu Tang can be used  as a supplement to help nourish the kidney and liver. It has traditionally been used to treat chronic hepatitis B and recently used for lingering organ debility resulting from Long Covid.


Bupleurum, Dangshen, Chinese Jujube, Chinese Skullcap, Pinellia, Licorice, Ginger

The ingredients indicate that it may also help soothe common nervous indigestion, irregular menstruation, PMS, depression, chronic stress and insomnia for some people.

Calm in a Storm

 小柴胡 Thorowax Bupleurm Root Soup

 Relaxing, Detoxifying, Balancing

Another formula is a decoction that is slow cooked with water. 

This herbal soup is used for reducing intense internal heat, relaxing, detoxifying, balancing the body and helping to soothe the mind.

Bupleurum is a stringy looking twig aka thorowax known for thousands of years in Chinese medicine and used all over China today.

When our resistance is low or our body struggles against a cold or flu, we may feel alternating chills and fever. We may have a bitter taste in our mouth because digestion, especially the liver/gallbladder, is stressed. We may have upset stomach, vertigo, dizziness, aggravation or irritability, or tightness in the chest. Some people may feel these discomforts worse as a result of poor diet, emotional upset, or poor sleep habits. Bupleurum lowers fever and enhances our protection against stress.


Bupleurum root, scutellaria root, ginger, pinellia tuber, apricot kernel, cardamom, semen coicis, bamboo leaf, talc, smilax glabra rhizorne, licorice root, tangerine peels, ginseng root, kombu, honeysuckle flower, chrysanthemum flower.

How can we protect ourselves from violence that surrounds us? 

We need to honor our body, mind and spirit, protect vital energy and mood, nourish our blood and body systems, and move stuck circulation. 

  • Eat nourishing foods at regular hours
  • Get adequate rest. 
  • Do tai chi or qigong 
  • Quiet the mind with meditation 
  • Use herbs that support our deepest sources of vitality while we strengthen natural defenses. Balance shaoyang our inside and outside.


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