Nourish Your Brain: 3 Ways Gui Pi Tang Can Support Better Work Habits

By Dr. Eric Karchmer, PhD, MD (China), LAc /

Nourish Your Brain: 3 Ways Gui Pi Tang Can Support Better Work Habits

We may call Mental Tranquility a "sleep formula", but there's a good reason that many students of Chinese medicine call this their "study formula".  Based on the classic Chinese herbal medicine formula, Gui Pi Tang, this formula has benefits well beyond helping you sleep - it boosts cognitive strength the following day, making one more mentally alert and sharp, in some cases aiding recall as well.  

Three Ways Gui Pi Tang Can Help You Work Better & Faster

gui pi tang herbs

1. "Nourishes" the Blood
In Chinese herbal medicine, Gui Pi Tang is a blood mover: it helps support the blood and according to the Medical Formulas Gathered and Explained (Yi Fang Ji Jie), it is described as a formula that "conducts blood to the spleen." By moving the blood more efficiently, it helps get more blood flowing to the brain for optimal functioning and supports the spleen, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine is responsible for creating new blood.  

2. Combats Stress
In Chinese herbal medicine theory, the spleen and heart are injured by stress, too much worrying and overthinking, as well as by excessive or erratic dietary habits. Does this sound like you, right now? Late nights binge-watching Netflix, eating more snacks than usual, stress-baking, or just listening to the news - stress takes its toll. Jill Blakeway, DACM, explains this powerful formula containing 15 herbs as containing: "Qi and blood tonics to boost energy in combination with nourishing sedatives to calm the mind alongside herbs that support digestion, boost metabolism, and curb sugar cravings." When put in this way, it's easy to understand why this formula should be in everyone's wellness routine right now.

3. Promotes Better, More Restorative Sleep
Gui Pi Tang helps promote better sleep, which is vital for memory. Learning and memory are both greatly impacted by sleep quality and quantity. Research suggests that sleep helps learning and memory in two distinct ways. First, a sleep-deprived person cannot focus attention optimally and therefore cannot retain information as efficiently. Second, sleep itself has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.

Because Gui Pi Tang helps promote balance, its effects on sleep can vary person to person. For some people, taking it an hour before bed will help them to wind down and turn inward for an easier time falling asleep. For others, this formula will help quiet the mind, enabling them to fall back asleep throughout the night. Regardless, incorporating Gui Pi Tang into a nightly routine will help promote better memory and better mental clarity through the day. 

gui pi tang study

If you're looking to incorporate Gui Pi Tang into your own workday, look no further than our Mental Tranquility formula. We recommend consuming one dose about an hour before bed, and adding in a second dose during the day for extra mental clarity.

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Dr. Eric Karchmer is a practicing Chinese medical doctor, medical anthropologist, and co-founder and Chief Doctor of Chinese Medicine for DAO Labs. From 1995-2000, Eric studied at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and today is both a licensed acupuncturist and professor at Appalachian State University. Eric can be reached at drkarchmer@mydaolabs.com.

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