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Lung Qi Release

Zhi sou san

Kan Traditionals

Descends and disseminates Lung Qi, transforms Phlegm, disperses the Exterior.

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Lung Qi Release, a modification of Zhi Sou San, is indicated when an exterior Wind Cold invasion has not been fully cleared from the Lungs, resulting in Lung Qi constraint. Constraint of Lung Qi inhibits the spreading of the body fluids, which then congeal and become Phlegm.

Lung Qi Release transforms Phlegm, disseminates Lung Qi and more strongly disperses the Exterior with the addition of Perilla leaf and Siler root. Children are often prone to Wind invasion and Wei Qi deficiency, making it an important pediatric formula. Lung Qi Release addresses an occasional cough due to Lung Qi constraint following an externally contracted Wind Cold that has lodged in the Lungs. It transforms Phlegm, descends and disseminates Lung Qi, and disperses the Exterior.

Purple aster root and rhizome and honey fried Stemona root are the chief herbs in this formula. They are both warming and moistening. Purple aster root and rhizome enters both the Qi and Blood aspects, and supports healthy Lungs and respiratory health. It facilitates the flow of Lung Qi, directing it downward, while moistening the Lungs, and transforming Phlegm. It is most appropriate for addressing Lung Qi obstruction following externally contracted Wind Cold or Wind Heat which binds the Lung Qi. Honey fried Stemona root moistens the Lungs and excels at directing Qi downward. These two herbs work synergistically, completing each other’s actions. They transform Phlegm without being too drying, and support Lung Qi, irrespective of whether the cause is from Hot or Cold, deficiency or an excess pattern.

Cynanchum root and rhizome, a deputy, directs Lung Qi downward, dispels Phlegm, and is an important herb in relieving Lung Qi blockage and stagnation, especially from excess patterns. Platycodon root, also a deputy, opens up and disseminates Lung Qi, dispels Phlegm and benefits
the throat. It directs the actions of the other herbs to the upper region of the body.

Tangerine dried rind of mature fruit promotes the flow of Qi, dries Dampness and transforms Phlegm, while Schizonepeta herb releases the Exterior and dispels either Wind Cold or Wind Heat.

Perilla leaf releases the Exterior, disperses Cold, promotes the movement of Qi, and expands the chest. Siler root releases the Exterior and expels Wind. Sichuan fritillary bulb and Trichosanthes seed clear Heat and transform Phlegm. Chinese licorice root and rhizome tonifies Spleen Qi, moistens the Lungs, clears Heat, resolves blazing Fire, and harmonizes and moderates the actions of the other herbs in the formula.

Similar Exterior releasing formulas include: Calm Breath Formula, which clears Heat from the Lungs caused by an external invasion, moistens Lungs and transforms Phlegm. Yin Qiao, which clears a Wind Heat invasion and focuses specifically on clearing Heat from the throat.
Great White Lung Formula, which clears a Wind Heat or Wind Cold invasion transforming into Heat in the Lung and clears Phlegm. Blue Green Lung Formula, which releases an exterior Wind Cold invasion, warms the Lungs and transforms Phlegm.

Zhi Sou San can be found in Medical Revelations (Yi Xue Xin Wu) by Cheng Guo-Peng, 1732.