Xiao Yao San for Liver Qi Stagnation

by Dr. Eric Karchmer, PhD, MD (China), LAc |

Xiao Yao San for Liver Qi Stagnation

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, "Liver Qi stagnation" is a common condition that can cause a variety of symptoms such as irritability, feeling down, anxious, and menstrual disharmony. It is believed that when the liver's function of regulating the smooth flow of Qi is impaired, the Qi can become stagnant, leading to a range of health issues.

Liver Qi Stagnation

One of the most effective and popular herbal formulas for addressing Liver Qi stagnation is Xiao Yao San, or "Free & Easy Wander".  This formula has been used for over a thousand years in China to help promote the smooth flow of Qi and balance emotions.

Free & Easy Wanderer is composed of several herbs, including bupleurum, peony, angelica, white atractylodes, and licorice. Combined, these herbs work together to help address liver Qi stagnation and related symptoms.

The Herbs in Free & Easy Wanderer: Remove Stagnation

Bupleurum is the chief herb in Free & Easy Wanderer and is known for its ability to regulate the Liver Qi. It is believed to help release stagnation and promote the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body.

Liver Qi Stagnation

Peony is another key herb in the formula and is thought to have a calming effect on the liver, which can help ease irritability and anger.

Angelica is included in the formula to nourish the blood and promote its circulation. The herb can help address menstrual needs caused by stagnation, such as irregular and uncomfortable periods, along with needs during the PMS phase of the cycle.

White atractylodes is included in Four Substance to help "tonify the spleen" and promote digestion. This herb is believed to help prevent the accumulation of "dampness" and phlegm, which can exacerbate Liver Qi stagnation.

Finally, licorice is included in the formula to harmonize the other herbs and help moderate their effects. It is also believed to help "nourish the liver" and support its function.


Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations  from a healthcare provider.  This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease.  That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options.  If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on hello@mydaolabs.com

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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