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Three Seeds Combination (San Ren Tang) was first described in the Systematic Differentiation of Warm Diseases written by Wu Ju-Tong in 1798. It is one of the quintessential cat formulas, as well as a main formula to address the ubiquitous pattern of Damp Heat in small animals.

The formula is designed to unblock the descent of Lung Qi, transform and dry Damp in the Middle Burner and Stomach, and drain Damp down to and out of the Lower Burner. The three herbs that fulfill this function in the formula are Apricot seed, Job’s tears seed and Chinese cardamom fruit. Apricot seed descends Lung Qi and Large Intestine Qi, helping to relieve cough and constipation. Job’s tears seed drains Damp from the Lower Burner and provides Spleen support. Chinese cardamom fruit transforms Damp and dries the Spleen and Stomach.

The other herbs assist in facilitating the downward movement of Qi and fluids. Magnolia bark and ginger cured Pinellia rhizome address distention of the abdomen due to Damp and Phlegm accumulation, and reorder the normal descent of Stomach and abdominal Qi. Japanese helwingia pith, Lopatherum herb and Talc promote urination and clear Heat. Lopatherum herb cools the Heart in particular.

The ability of the formula to address Damp Heat is reminiscent of Four Marvels (Si Miao San), but Three Seeds Combination is designed for animals where the Heat signs are not yet strongly developed.