What I made today – Jade Wind Screen (yu ping feng san)
Jade Wind Screen is one of the most simple yet effective formulas out there. It is made of three simple ingredients and focusing on supporting the protective qi that surround the body. In Chinese medicine, our qi extends out from the lung and surrounds the body. This protective qi helps prevent us from getting infections especially viruses. In western medicine we could consider the strong protective qi to be very similar to having a strong immune system.
This formula is for animals or people who tend to get one infection after another. In people it is used in the fall and winter months to prevent recurrent cold and flu infections. While I have used this formula for acute infections and had it work well, where it works the best is for recurrent infections. In Chinese medicine cold and flu is considered wind that invades the body. If our immune system is strong enough wind can rarely get in and we are not often sick however if we have a weak protective qi wind often gets in and we are chronically sick. This formula works best if used for a period of 3-6 months straight.
On an added note, wind is said to invade through the wind gate of our body which extends from the back of our neck up and over the head to the forehead. Wind is also more common in the windy seasons of fall and spring. One of the best ways to prevent infections is to wear a scarf around your neck, especially on the windy days, and a hat on your head if you don’t have a good protection of hair. So get your scarf out – even if it is still warm out!
One thing I have found over the years is that this formula is also good for animals who are very emotionally sensitive, it not only helps protect the body from external infections but also strong external emotions. The number one place I prescribe this formula is for animals prone to seizures who also are very emotionally sensitive. I have found it can cut down on the number and severity of the seizures, especially in animals who have milder seizures. For animals with full violent grand mals we need something stronger, although I have used this formula as an add on for them as well.
Often times when I am using this formula for infections, Jade Wind Screen becomes part of a larger formula. By itself it works best for animals with chronic viral infections who tend to run cold and have a harder time in the winter and the windy season. The exception is those seizure animals who almost always run hot. This is not a formula I often use for recurrent bacterial infections as it does not have direction anti-bacterial activity in the same way as some of the other herbs I use. This formula is more about strengthening the immune system and pushing out virus infections.
This is a formula of three roots
- Huang Qi (astragalus root)
- Bai Zhu (atractylodes root)
- Fang Feng (siler root)
I’m sure you have all heard of astragalus. Astragalus is a strong immune stimulant. In Chinese medicine, it is considered a very powerful qi tonic, especially of the protective qi. Bai Zhu also is a qi tonic and in addition works with digestion to help keep the gut strong and healthy. As many of you know there is a large connection between a healthy gut and a healthy immune system. The last ingredient, Fang Feng, helps to expel wind or in Western medicine we would say drives out the virus or pathogen. Fang Feng is great for not only driving out the wind pathogen but also helping to support the protective qi of the body as it does this.
A pretty cool triad of herbs. Simple yet strong.
Of all the formulas I use this is the one I most often give to friends. I had one friend who had a nasty viral cold which was not going away. She took a couple doses of this formula and it was completely gone. The comment I got was, “that sure tasted nasty, like dirt, but it was amazing how well and fast it worked.” Personally I love the taste of this formula but I also really like the earthiness of Chinese herbs. This one seems to be tolerated quite well in the animals also.
This formula is available in my etsy shop, Kingdom of Basil.