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“The Astringents” is an herbal combination that Dr. Jimmy Chang originally came up with. It is designed to reduce swelling, clear heat and drain fire, or to treat acute and chronic inflammation in biomedical terms. The formula is composed of equal proportions of:

  • Ce Bai Ye (bitter, astringent, cool, Lung, Liver, Large Intestine)
  • Tian Hua Fen (bitter, slightly sweet, cold, Lung, Stomach)
  • Ma Chi Xian (sour, cold, Large Intestine, Liver)
  • He Zi (bitter, astringent, neutral, Lung, Large Intestine)
  • Wu Bei Zi (salty, sour, cold, Lung, Large Intestine, Kidney)
  • Bai Wei (bitter, salty, cold, Stomach, Liver)

This is a great formula to use whenever there is inflammation anywhere in the body. Don’t use it by itself however, always combine it with other formulas to guide its action. Below are some examples to give you an idea of how you can use them clinically:


  • For sinusitis combine with Qing Bi Tang or Huang Lian Shang Qing Wan (read the blog post “How to treat sinus infections” for more details)
  • If there is Lung heat or fire, combine them with Qing Fei Tang or Bai Hu Tang. Look for a pounding YangWei pulse on the right hand.
  • If there is Stomach heat you can combine them with formulas like Huang Lian Jie Du Tang, Gan Lu Yin, and Xie Huang San. Look for a superficial and pounding right guan pulse.
  • If the right guan is deep and pounding combine them with Huang Lian Jie Du Tang.
  • If the left and right guan are wiry and the patient has a nervous Stomach, combine them with Jia Wei Xiao Yao San.
  • If the left guan is superficial and pounding combine them with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang. If there is also a strong distal styloid pulse palpable and the patient suffers from reflux combine them with Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang.
  • For Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) combine the Astringents with Resolve EM 50/50. There should be a compressed pulse on both chi positions.