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Ephedra Ma Huang & Apricot kernel Xing Ren
Ephedra is very Warm, dry, pungent and a little Bitter. It moves the Lung Qi, opening and dispersing congestion of the Lungs. It powerfully opens the Lungs and regulates the Qi to settle Cough and Wheezing.
Apricot (or Almond) kernel is slightly Warm, slightly Moist and a little Bitter. It settles Lung Qi and leads Lung Qi downwards to facilitate breathing (particularly inspiration). Its mild moistness settles dryness and irritation of the Lungs, and importantly, the overly drying nature of Ephedra.
Together, this is a very useful combination for most types of Cough and Wheezing, depending on the medicines they are combined with. It can be applied to both Hot or Cold conditions depending on the herbs they are combined with.
Ding Chuan Tang (Arrest Asthma Decoction), Ma Huang Tang (Ephedra Decoction), Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang, Wu Hu Tang (Five Tiger Decoction)
1. Avoid overdose
2. Not suited to cases with Insomnia or Hypertension.
1. When Cinnamon twig Gui Zhi and Honey-fried Licorice Zhi Gan Cao are added, it forms Ma Huang Tang, used for exterior Wind-Cold with Cough and Wheezing, used for Acute Bronchitis, Bronchial Asthma, Influenza and acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infection manifesting with Cold symptoms.
2. When Gypsum Shi Gao and Honey-fried Licorice Zhi Gan Cao are added, it forms Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang. This is used for Heat in the Lungs with Fever, Cough, heavy breathing and Thirst with a yellow tongue coat and rapid pulse. It is applied to Bronchial Asthma, Asthma, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, as well as Pneumonia.
3. For Heat-type Cough, Scutellaria Huang Qin and Licorice can be added.
4. Asthma with excess Mucus, add Pinella Ban Xia, Citrus Chen Pi and Honey-fried Licorice Zhi Gan Cao.