When you are locked up in your cubicle, staring at your dusty computer screen, one is supposed to get up roughly every 20 minutes to stretch and reorganize your spine. Otherwise, one gets stiff, dull and unproductive. Hence, the old adage: “All work and no play makes Chris a dull boy.” Traditional Chinese Medicine has a similar recommendation for excess Mental activity through a famous herbal formula: Gui Pi Tang. This formula stretches your mind instead of your spine!
Gui Pi Tang is translated as the “Restore the Spleen” formula. It was drilled in my head as a Chinese Medical student that this formula was essential care for any and all students. Constant reading, memorizing, analyzing, pondering, all mental work in fact, taxes the Spleen and Heart organs in Chinese Medicine. The Spleen is in charge of analytical work or thought while the Heart is in charge of consciousness, awareness and focus. Gui Pi Tang strengthens the Spleen qi with wonderful herbs like Ginseng, Astragulus, Attractyloidis and Poria. These herbs provide energy and physical stamina for thought-provoking work. Next, herbs like Logan fruit, Ziziphi seed, Angelica and Polygale nourish the Heart blood, keeping it pliant and flexible. You could say the first set of herbs gives you brain power; the second set of herbs gives that power direction and limits.
Gui Pi Tang has many applications, but primary among them are stress/emotional imbalances. Forgetfulness, palpitations, dream disturbed sleep, anxiety and phobias are some of the main indications for this formula. It is also exciting to note that Gui Pi Tang is being applied to more complex, chronic conditions which may have the Spleen and Heart at the root of their problems.
For example, an article in the May 14, 2019 Journal of Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, found Japanese researchers using Gui Pi Tang and adapted versions of Gui Pi Tang for Alzheimer’s Disease! Although preliminary, lessened memory impairment and benefits in cognitive function were found. Another study in the June 16, 2017 Integrative Journal of Cancer Therapeutics found that a Taiwanese population-based cohort study concluded that patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia taking common Chinese herbal formulas had longer survival times than those patients receiving standard therapy alone. Chief among these herbal formulas was Gui Pi Tang.
If you want to see if Gui Pi Tang is an appropriate formula for you, please contact us at SOPHIA Natural Health Center for a consultation. Our number is 203-740-9300.
Jim Fitzgerald, L.Ac.,
Resident Acupuncturist, SOPHIA Natural Health Center