Si Miao San – slowing down cancer and inflammation

Si Miao San or Four Marvels Powder is truly one of the workhorses of Chinese medicine. It is probably the most common formula I use. You see, Si Miao San is very good at treating inflammation and our animal companions have a lot of inflammatory disorders. This is my top formula for inflammatory bowel disease, allergic dermatitis, Cushings disease, and diabetes.

Please follow this link to buy Si Miao San from my etsy store Kingdom of Basil Si Miao San powder.

For more information on Cushings disease see my article Managing Cushings Disease in Dogs Holistically.

In Chinese medicine it treats damp heat and is a simple yet powerful little formula of four ingredients.

  • Huang Bai (phellodendron bark)
  • Yi Yi Ren (coix seed)
  • Cang Zhu (atractylodes rhizome)
  • Huai Niu Xi (achyranthes root)

These ingredients are highly anti-inflammatory and often this formula can take the place of prednisone for inflammatory disorders but without the side effects.

So how does this formula work for cancer?

It’s two main ingredients, Huang Bai and Yi Yi Ren, both have anticancer actions. Huang Bai contains berberine, which has been shown in a number of studies to slow down tumor growth and induce apoptosis or cell death. If you search pub med you will find a large list of studies on berberine and its anti-cancer activities.
Here is a good one – Apoptosis of human leukemia cells and murine leukemia cells induced by berberine through activation of caspase

Coix seed also inhibits growth of cancer cells and can induce apoptosis. Here is a great article on coix seed and its cancer actions –
Healthy Doses Job’s tears

This formula can enhance the action of chemotherapy drugs and anti-microbials in a good way. So it can safely be used with chemotherapy. However often times I focus more on the herbals that have strong immune stimulant effects for animals who are receiving chemo.

The main cancer I use Si Miao San for is lymphoma and some of the leukemias. I also often use this formula if animals can not handle Hoxsey-like formula. Animals needing this formula will run hot and often times have a history of past inflammatory diseases.

The Cang Zhu in this formula helps to support good digestion, which can often be a large issue in animals with cancer. While most of this formula is very cold in nature, the atractylodes is warm and makes sure this formula is well tolerated by most animals. It also does not cool them down too much.

For the animals I treat I make my own Si Miao San from whole dried herbs and dose at 1/8 twice a day for cats and small dogs, ¼ teaspoon twice a day for dogs 15-25 lbs, ½ twice a day for dogs 25-50 lbs, 1 teaspoon twice a day for dogs 50-90lb and 1 ½ teaspoons twice a day for dogs greater than 90lbs.

With tinctures I use .2 ml per 5 lbs of animal twice a day. For tea pills and granules, use the human dose for dogs greater than 50lbs and dose down by weight for smaller animals.

If you are working with a holistic vet or Chinese herbalist, get this formula from them. I am now selling powdered Si Miao San out of my herbal shop Kingdom of Basil on etsy. Amazon does sell the Kan Herbs – Four Marvels pills

As with all supplements and herbals, please check with your animal’s regular vet before using this herbal.

Return to Integrative and Holistic Methods for Treating Cancer in Cats and Dogs

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4 Responses to “Si Miao San – slowing down cancer and inflammation”

  1. Khan Says:

    I really like see your blog.
    because your blog has many information for my kitty (she has lymphoma)
    I read this post and I order Si Miao San in amzon.and Sanshedan Chuanbeiye
    artemsinin is used, but my kitty vomiting so I stopped.

    My kitty has chemo, but relapse.
    So I hope to holistic care.

    can you advice me?
    (I’m korea (south)…and my english is broken.. but I hope my kitty will be good quality of life..)

    Thank you!

  2. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Hi Khan,
    If you can find a veterinary acupuncturist there that might be a good option. Some cats are very sensitive to herbs – sometimes I can only use one thing or occasionally nothing at all. If you haven’t I would try just one herbal and see if she does ok on that. The Sanshedan or Artemisinin are probably the mildest of the three. If she can’t take any herbs then acupuncture may still help slow the cancer down and make her feel better. Many acupuncturists also have a herbal training and may be able to get her on another herbal that would help and fit her better if the other ones are making her vomit. Relapses are always a little harder to treat but I have seen animals do well even with relapse, usually you can not get them back into remission without doing chemo again( even that doesn’t work many times with a relapse). I hope she is one of those who does well.
    best wishes,

  3. Jesse Says:

    I have given my papillon, Abner, Si Miao San in the past and had great results. The vet that I used to bring him to that prescribed it moved across the country and I haven’t used it since. I have noticed the difference. Where can I get these herbs and how much of each do I use to make the mixture? Abner has suffered with bladder stones (surgically removed twice), he has kidney disease, and a luxated patella. He has also had acupuncture and it was helpful.

  4. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Hi Jesse,
    I’ve linked to a Mayway product on Amazon in this article but I admit it isn’t as good as what I make. I buy my herbs from a company called Spring Wind who does not sell to non-practitioners. Most of the good companies don’t. (long story) If you can find a good source of herbs I mix mine 100 Yi Yi Ren to 50 Cang Zhu to 50 Huai Niu Xi to 100 Bai Huang. Some practitioners use higher Cang Zhu than I do. If you have a vet to work with they may be able to order herbs for you and I can sell my herbs to vets directly as well if they would rather work with me than Spring Wind. There is a lot of legal issues I need to figure out if I ever sell herbs directly to non-vets. Si Miao San is a great little formula.
    best wishes,