Saturday, February 18, 2012

Yu Ping Feng San -- an Herbal Formula to Strengthen Immunity

This elegant formula contains three herbs which work synergistically to increase the body's resistance to colds, flus and allergies.

It's an old formula. First documented by a famous Chinese physician in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), it was likely used well before that time.

Yu Ping Feng San translates from Chinese as "jade screen wind formula."

The term "jade" poetically suggests:
1. the preciousness of the formula, and
2. its reinforcing quality.

Jade was traditionally used to reinforce coffins in order to preserve the contents. As jade might reinforce a protective windscreen, this formula strengthens our bodies' exterior to keep out pathogenic influences, like cold or flu viruses. (Keep in mind that traditional Chinese medicine treats colds primarily by regulating/venting the body's skin surface. We regulate the body's inherent physiology prior to or in addition to eliminating infectious pathogens. For more details, please see my article "Colds & Flus: Traditional Chinese Perspective Summarized." )

Three herbs are combined for a synergistic effect:

1. Astragalus (huang qi) tonifies the Lung and Spleen, improves physiological function at a deep level, while regulating the surface of the body.

2. Atractylodes alba (bai zhu) also tonifies Lung and Spleen and improves physiological function to improve immunity.

3. Siler (fang feng) is pungent and opens the body's pores, promoting a gentle sweat, to vent any cold or flu pathogens that may have entered, without compromising the body's surface too much.

Don't take this formula when you have a cold, because the tonifying herbs will make your cold symptoms worse. Rather, use this formula when you are well during the winter months to keep your immunity up. Keep in mind that it acts gradually, and is most effective if taken in small amounts over the course of one or more months. Consult your Chinese herbalist. He or she might incorporate this formula along with other herbs to more specifically address your unique condition.

This article cites a relevant clinical trial:

Yu Ping Feng San for Allergic Rhinitis