Starting in June, we have been posting a Formula Spotlight on our Facebook page. On the first Thursday of each month we’ll be archiving all of the previous month’s Formula Spotlights here on our blog. (Sorry we’re a little late this month). Be sure to click on the link and like our Facebook page to see them first.
Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan
Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan is named after its two main ingredients: Tian Ma (Gastrodia and Gou Teng (Urcaria). This formula is a relative late-comer to the Chinese Herbal Pharmacopeia, being developed in the 20th century. Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan also represents a new style of formulation that has lead to the creation of several modern formulas where herbs traditionally used for a complaint are combined with herbs chosen for their pharmacological effects. This style of formula creation has produced some very effective new formulas including Gan Mao Ling, a cold and flu formula, and ‘Neck Formula’–an internal formula for musculoskeletal pain in the neck and shoulders.
Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan is an outstanding formula for dizziness and vertigo and can also be used to good effect for migraines, headaches and some types of insomnia as well. The insomnia that this formula is particularly good for is light, restless dream-disturbed sleep. I’ve used this formula with my own patients most often for dizziness generally with excellent results.
Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan
Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan is a 16th century formula from the book Jiao Zhu Fu Ren Liang (Revised Fine Formulas for Women) by the physician Bi Li-Zhai. Despite the name of the text in which it first appears, this formula is equally effective for both men and women and is most commonly used to address insomnia. While it is a helpful formula for insomnia in general it is especially effective for insomnia involving light, restless, dream-disturbed sleep. This type of insomnia can often be accompanied by forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating.
Because it addresses these last two problems Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan has also found a modern use addressing the symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADD). It is a valuable formula for students and anyone engaged in demanding mental work.