What I made today – Long Dan Xie Gan Tang (Gentian Drain Liver Formula) for seizures and skin/eyes
This formula is a good one coming into Thanksgiving. To me the herbs in it look like a Thanksgiving feast. Long Dan Xie Gan Tang (Xie is pronounced like Shay) is a great formula for draining fire out of the head. One of its most common uses is for treatment of excess seizures.
Other uses are for extreme itch up in the head, and many of the eye disorders such as glaucoma, pannus, and uveitis. Note – glaucoma is a serious condition and should be treated with western medicine as well. It can also treat infections in the head however if there is a potential or proven bacterial infection antibiotics should be considered and used in most cases.
His formula treats yang liver fire flaring. In Chinese medicine seizures are often caused by fire wind flaring up into the head with phlegm obstruction of the head where it can not exit. This formula anchors yang, drains heat out of the liver and heart, treats phlegm, and supports the yin that controls yang. Animals needing this formula tend to run hot, they may be agitated, anxious or have aggression issue. For seizures this is a formula to treat the more violent grand mals. You would not use this for very mild seizures or for older animals who are very debilitated. Animals needing this formula may have a very red or purple red tongue and may be thirst.
While this formula is most often used for animals with excess conditions (not the very weak or debilitated) I have used it in older or weak animals when combined with other formulas or modified.
My own older cat is a good example of an animal with some deficiency who has done well on this formula. She is currently on this formula for sinus and eye inflammation with extreme itch to her head. She was at the point of scratching so hard that she was in danger of injuring her eyes and was making her head bleed. The itch is about 90% better since I started Long Dan Xie Gan Tang. In western medicine a steroid shot would be in order but with her early kidney issues this would be a bad idea, as steroids are very hard on the kidneys. Because this formula contains a large amount of rehmannia it helps to support her kidneys while taking care of the itch.
So what is in this formula –
- Sheng Di Huang (rehmannia)
- Dang Gui (Chinese angelica root)
- Long Dan Cao (gentian root)
- Ze Xie (alisma tuber)
- Mu Tong (akemia)
- Chai Hu (bupleurum root)
- Che Qian Zi (plantian seed)
- Gan Cao (licorice root)
- Huang Qin (scutellaria root)
- Zhi Zi (gardenia fruit)
This formula can be very draining and drying. The Sheng Di Huang helps to support the yin and blood and keep this formula from drying out the body. Dang Gui prevents stasis in the body and also supports the blood.
Long Dan Cao, Huang Qin and Zhi Zi drain fire out of the upper body. Huang Qin also known as Skullcap is also often used in western herbal medicine for seizures and to calm anxiety. Long Dan Cao or gentian root is used as a digestive tonic or bitter in western herbology. All these herbals also have some anti-bacterial properties, especially the yellow root of Huang Qin.
Che Qian Zi because it is a seed helps to sink the yang back into the body. Mu Tong, Ze Xie and Che Qian Zi help to drain dampness or treat phlegm.
Gan Cao harmonizes the formula and prevents side effects, while supporting the digestive system.
Chai Hu helps to get this cool formula to work in a hot animal. Paired with Huang Qin it also helps to treat triple burner obstruction and get energy flowing properly in the center of the body so that you don’t have excess yang up in the head. Chai Hu can also help with anxiety and agitation.
While this formula has the potential to cause diarrhea, in the form I use with the large amounts of sheng di huang I have not seen any issues. If your cat or dog is prone to diarrhea it may not be the one to use or may need to be combined with other formulas.
Available in my etsy store, Kingdom of Basil.