traditional Chinese medicine perspectives, “excess” represents conditions with
presentations of heat, fire, and toxins in various zang fu organs. From Western medical perspectives, these
“excess” conditions are often characterized by infection, inflammation,
increased metabolic rate, and hyperactivity of various organ systems, such as
respiratory, gastrointestinal, hepatic, and others. Though the terminologies
are different, these concepts can be integrated together. For example, “Lung
heat” generally indicates infection and inflammation of the upper respiratory
tract; “Stomach heat” often refers to gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer or acid
reflux; “damp-heat in the intestines” corresponds to various types of
inflammatory bowel disorders; “damp-heat in the Liver and Gallbladder” suggests
hepatitis or jaundice types of disorders; and “heat in the channels and
collaterals” implies inflammatory and arthritic conditions affecting the
joints. Similarly, herbs that clear heat, purge fire, and eliminate toxins
often have antibacterial, antiviral, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Gardenia Complex is designed for conditions manifesting in excess heat and fire
in the body. This formula clears heat, purges fire, drains damp-heat, and
eliminates toxins from the zang fu
organs that are most susceptible to heat invasion, namely the Heart, Liver and
Gardeniae) clears heat in all three jiaos. Shi Gao (Gypsum Fibrosum), Zhi Mu (Rhizoma
Anemarrhenae), and Geng Mi (Semen
Oryzae) represent the effect of
the classic formula Bai Hu Tang (White Tiger Decoction) to drain yangming Stomach fire. Chai Hu (Radix
Bupleuri) is a channel-guiding
herb to the Liver to enhance Long Dan (Radix
et Rhizoma Gentianae) and Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae) in sedating Liver fire. Mu Dan Pi (Cortex
Moutan) and Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis) are added to clear deficiency heat from the
Kidney. Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae), Shu Di Huang (Radix
Rehmanniae Praeparata), and Dang Gui (Radix
Angelicae Sinensis) are added to
tonify the blood and prevent the harsh herbs from damaging Liver blood. Che Qian
Zi (Semen Plantaginis),
Xie (Rhizoma Alismatis), Bian Xu (Herba Polygoni Avicularis), and Fu Ling (Poria) drain dampness and eliminate heat through
urination. Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni) nourishes Kidney yin to prevent the herbs that
drain dampness from damaging the yin. Shan Yao (Rhizoma
Dioscoreae) with Gan Cao (Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae) protect the middle jiao from the harsh heat-clearing herbs and
harmonize the formula.
In summary, Gardenia Complex
is an excellent formula to clear excess fire and heat in the body affecting
various zang fu organs
such as the Heart, Liver and Stomach. Gardenia Complex can also
be used with another formula to enhance the overall effect to clear excess fire
CAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS
* This formula is contraindicated
in patients who have generalized weakness and deficiency. It is also
contraindicated during pregnancy and nursing.
herbal formula contains herbs that invigorate blood circulation, such as Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis).
Therefore, patients who are on anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapies, such as
should use this formula with caution, or not at all, as there may be a higher
risk of bleeding and bruising.,,
* Gardenia Complex and Herbal ABX are two formulas with strong and
broad-spectrum heat-clearing effects.
Gardenia Complex is designed to
purge heat in the organs due to internal imbalances or improper dietary intake
such as excessive spicy or greasy food or lifestyle (including lack of sleep, and
Herbal ABX clears heat and
detoxifies, and is best for infection that is contracted from outside sources,
such as influenza or urinary tract infection.
Therefore, although both formulas clear heat,
their use should still be distinguished.
* Gardenia Complex incorporates numerous antibiotic herbs for two important
reasons. First, the use of multiple herbs within an herbal formula has been
shown to increase the antibiotic effect more than tenfold. Second, isolated use
of single ingredients is often ineffective and increases the risk of
development of bacterial and viral resistance. Given these two reasons, it is
necessary to combine herbs with appropriate properties to ensure effectiveness
in treating the infection and minimizing the potential risk of the micro-organisms
diagnosis by Dr. Jimmy Wei-Yen Chang:
* Big pulse, a thick, expanding, forceful,
and fast pulse on all three pulse positions, cun, guan, and chi.
lung infection, combine with Respitrol (Heat) or Pinellia XPT.
* With infection of the ear, nose, and throat, add Herbal ENT.
acid reflux, stomach ulcer, or duodenal ulcer, combine with GI Care .
stomach or intestinal infection, combine with GI Care II.
urinary tract infection or damp-heat in the lower jiao, combine with V-Support.
hypertension, combine with Gastrodia Complex
or Gentiana Complex .
psychological disorder or emotional instability with excess nature, combine
or Calm (ES).
depression, add Shine or
liver and gallbladder disorders such as hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and
jaundice, add Liver DTX.
coronary artery disease, add Circulation.
re bi (heat painful obstruction), add Flex (Heat).
constipation, add Gentle Lax (Excess).
kidney stone, add Dissolve (KS).
acne, add Dermatrol (Clear).
* To address any dermatological disorders that are
wet in appearance, add Dermatrol (Damp).
* To address any dermatological disorders that are
dry in appearance, add Dermatrol (Dry).
unknown swelling or hard lesions, add Resolve (AI).
inflammation, add Astringent Complex.
excessive damp and phlegm, add Pinellia Complex.
bacterial infections, add Herbal ABX.
viral infections, add Herbal AVR.
(LI 11), Hegu (LI 4), Neiguan (PC 6), Shousanli (LI 10), Zusanli (ST 36), Yanglingquan (GB 34), Sanyinjiao (SP 6)
(GV 14), Quchi (LI 11), Hegu (LI 4), Yuji (LU 10), Waiguan (TH 5), Zhongchong (PC 9), Xiangu (ST 43)
Shaoshang (LU 11), Quchi
(LI 11), Weizhong (BL 40), and Shixuan.
can be performed all along the Urinary Bladder channel and medial sides of Weizhong
(BL 40) until bruises are
apparent. (Note: Gua-sha is the act of scraping the skin with a small
board or with a coin after applying oil on the skin).
Master Tung's Points:
* Fever: Dabai (T 22.04).
Bleed T1 area with cupping. Bleed before
needling for best result.
Tung’s Points by Dr. Chuan-Min Wang:
* Excess heat: Huosan (T 66.12)
Method by Dr. Richard Tan:
and right sides can be alternated from treatment to treatment.
* The above acupuncture
prescription is for general inflammation. Please refer to other formulas for
acupuncture points depending on each specific condition.
Medicine by Dr. Li-Chun Huang:
* Excessive sweating: Sympathetic,
Thalamus, Heart, Lung, Spleen, Nervous Subcortex
hot, spicy, and fried foods, which aggravate excess conditions of heat and
fire. Foods that are hot in nature such as pepper and lamb should be avoided.
that are cold in nature may be helpful in expelling fire in the body. These
include cucumber, tomato, cactus, celery, and tofu.
intake of nourishing, cooling foods/roots such as Mexican yam, yam, radishes,
potatoes, carrots, melons, cucumbers, beets, turnips, malanga, celeriac, taro, and
spicy/pungent/aromatic vegetables such as pepper, garlic, onions, basil,
rosemary, cumin, funnel, anise, leeks, chives, scallions, thyme, saffron,
wormwood, mustard, chili pepper, and wasabi.
stress and stressful situations whenever possible.
from alcoholic beverages and cigarette smoking.
a 62-year-old patient, presented with a chronic bilateral rash located on her
arms. The rash occurred daily with a description of purple and dark in color.
Daily lifestyle habits consisted of light alcohol drinking, cigarette smoking,
and eating spicy foods. Other symptoms included pain with itching and peeling
of the skin towards the end of the day. The TCM diagnosis was Lung and Liver
fire. The practitioner administered Gardenia Complex and Silerex,
both at four capsules three times a day. Within two weeks, the patient reported
that her skin had completely cleared up. The patient continued with the same herbal
combination for an additional two months. Submitted by A.I., Hilo, Hawaii.
a 62-year-old female, presented with constant daily fever for two weeks. There
were no signs of infection; however, additional symptoms of slight anger,
irritability, thirst, and slight red eyes were present. Her blood pressure was
132/72 mmHg. Though the fever was of unknown origin, the TCM diagnosis was
Liver fire. Gardenia Complex was administered at four capsules three times
daily. The fever cleared in two days and did not return. Her anger and
irritability had also lessened. Submitted by A.I., Hilo, Hawaii.
a 59-year-old male, presented with tooth pain located within the right molar.
It was also noted that the patient had an infected gum in the same area.
Objective finding was a red swollen jaw. The TCM diagnosis was Stomach heat; Western
diagnosis was gum infection as well as gingivitis. Upon diagnosis the patient
was prescribed Gardenia Complex. After one week of taking the herbs, the
infection had resolved. Submitted by M.P., Muskego, Wisconsin.
Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Readings:
Jimmy Wei-Yen Chang, author of Pulsynergy and creator of this formula,
explains that excess heat can be defined by the objective findings of fast
heart rate and high blood pressure. This formula is designed for any condition
with the finding of high blood pressure and fast heart rate. The following is
an article written by Dr. Chang entitled: “Interpreting Blood Pressure and
Heart Rate Readings by Eight Principle Diagnostic Standards.”
Whether approached by a seasoned
practitioner or a novice, there are always cases that are difficult to
differentiate and diagnose based on the classic Ba Gang Bian Zheng
(Eight Principle Differentiation). When a patient presents complex
symptoms, it is not always easy to sort out the tangle to come up with a
confident, simple diagnosis and herbal prescription. Maybe the patient is
taking one or more pharmaceuticals that complicate the clinical presentation,
so that it is difficult to know which symptoms are true and which ones are side
effects of the drug(s). Alternatively, maybe the patient is just not telling
their entire history or complaints for one reason or another.
Conversely, maybe the difficulty in
reaching a diagnosis is because the patient is describing too many symptoms,
whether related to the chief complaint or not. In other cases, contradictory
elements are in play, such as when a patient exhibits all excess signs but
states that he or she suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome. On the other hand,
maybe they feel cold, but their pulse is forceful and rapid, and their tongue
is extremely red, with a definite yellow coating. One way or another,
subjective complaints from patients may not always point to an immediate
One objective way to find out exactly
whether the patient is truly suffering from deficiency, excess, heat or cold is
to measure the blood pressure and the heart rate. Dr. Jimmy Wei-Yen Chang uses
this method daily on all of his patients and has confirmed its practical usefulness
through thousands of cases in his 30+ years of practice. Below is a brief
summary of the patterns representing the most commonly seen complex types in
Types of Blood Pressure + Heart Rate:
* Type 1: Systolic (High) + Diastolic
(High) + Heart Rate (Fast) = Excess Heat. Patients with both high blood pressure and a fast heart rate are,
without exception, suffering from an excess heat condition. Please note that
these patients may complain that they are tired and depressed. However, if they
have high blood pressure and a fast heart rate, tonic herbs should never
be used, despite the fact that the patient complains of tiredness. The
diagnosis is excess fire, which should be addressed with heat-clearing herbs.
2: Systolic (Low) + Diastolic (Low) +
Heart Rate (Slow) = Yang Deficiency. Patients who have low blood pressure
and a slow heart rate are experiencing deficiency, mostly qi or yang
deficiency. These deficiencies are best helped by tonic herbs; never give these
patients purging and sedating herbs.
3: Systolic (High) + Diastolic (Normal)
+ Heart Rate (Slow) = Deficiency Heat + Blood Stasis. Patients who belong
to this category usually suffer from blood stasis, which may be the result of
an old injury or surgery. The heart rate is slow because of blood stasis and
obstruction of the flow. In turn, systolic pressure is increased, as the body
attempts to maintain balance. The increased pressure and lack of flow result in
heat from deficiency. Carefully selecting appropriate blood-moving and
stasis-resolving herbs with herbs to clear deficiency heat will be the most
helpful strategy for treating these patients.
4: Systolic (Low) + Diastolic (Low) +
Heart Rate (Fast) = Yin Deficiency Heat. The last group might appear to
reflect heat because of the rapid heart rate, but the low blood pressure tells
a different story: the insufficient quantities of blood and yin in circulation
require a rapid heart rate to maintain positive circulation. This is similar to
a car engine running with insufficient oil: eventually, heat begins to build up
from the deficiency of lubricating yin. These patients are suffering from yin
deficiency heat, and must be treated with herbs that tonify yin and sedate the
This approach provides a guideline
to follow when confronted with a confusing presentation in the patient. Tongue
and pulse diagnoses should be combined with this approach to reach an accurate
diagnostic conclusion. Here is an example of a recent case that was addressed using
45-year-old female states that she suffers from
chronic fatigue syndrome, is extremely tired, and has no energy even for
driving or simple activities. She complains of how stressful life is, how
depressed she feels, and states that everything in life is “just not right.”
Tonic herbs might be the first approach that comes to mind. However, the
objective findings of her blood pressure (170/120 mmHg) and heart rate (110
beats per minute) suggest otherwise. It is important to look at the tongue and
take the pulse to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. If the tongue is red and the
pulse rapid, then the patient’s complaint of tiredness and fatigue can be ruled
out. In this particular case, it would be important to avoid using a warming,
drying tonic formula like Vitality or Venus.
Heat-clearing formulas like Gardenia Complex and Herbal ABX
would appropriately provide sedation for this patient. Although it seems wrong
on the surface of things to use a sedating formula for someone identifying
herself as having chronic fatigue syndrome, this would be the correct and
remember that this is a guideline to follow when the presentation of the
illness is complicated and confusing. It is important to gather all the details
(signs, symptoms, tongue diagnosis, pulse diagnosis, and objective readings of
blood pressure and heart rate) so the diagnosis will be accurate.
Pressure and Heart Rate Chart for Ba Gang Bian Zheng
(Eight Principle Differentiation):
Deficient heat +
Blood moving herbs +
Deficiency heat-clearing herbs
Yin deficiency heat
Tonify yin and sedate deficiency heat
AND CLINICAL RESEARCH
Gardenia Complex is designed to treat all excess conditions, including
presentations of heat, fire, and toxins in various zang fu organs. From Western medical perspectives, these
disorders are often characterized by infection, inflammation, and hyperactivity
of various organ systems. As such, Gardenia Complex has an
extremely broad range of action, and may be used to treat many disorders.
Infection is a common presentation
of heat, fire and toxins. Gardenia Complex contains many herbs
with marked antibiotic effects to treat many types of infections, such as
bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Among herbs with marked antibiotic
effects are Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae), Zhi Mu (Rhizoma Anemarrhenae),, Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri), Mu
Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan), Huang
Qin (Radix Scutellariae), Long
Dan (Radix et Rhizoma Gentianae),
and Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni).
In terms of clinical applications, these herbs have been used to treat various
types of infections throughout the body, including, but not limited to,
diseases such as common cold and influenza,
Inflammatory conditions with
swelling, inflammation, burning sensations and pain are also presentations of
heat and fire. Many herbs in Gardenia Complex have a marked
anti-inflammatory effect to treat such conditions, such as Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri), Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae), Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni), Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae),
and Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan).
Clinically, these herbs have been used with great success to treat various
inflammatory conditions, including but not limited to, lymphadenitis, cellulitis,
and erysipelas. Furthermore, many of
these herbs also have an analgesic effect to relieve pain, such as Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri) and Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae), which
are beneficial for treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.,,
are also considered excess in nature, such as hypertension and coronary artery
disease. Gardenia Complex contains many herbs with a marked
antihypertensive effect, such as Huang
Scutellariae), Huang Bo (Cortex Phellodendri Chinensis), Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan),
and Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae).
Though their mechanisms of action differ, they have all been shown to reduce
blood pressure. According to one study, use of Huang Qin (Radix
Scutellariae) three times daily was effective in treating 51 patients
According to another study, administration of Mu Dan Pi
(Cortex Moutan) effectively lowered blood pressure within five days
among 20 patients with hypertension.
Furthermore, Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan) and Zhi Zi
(Fructus Gardeniae) have cardiovascular effects to increase blood
perfusion to the coronary arteries, decrease cardiac output and decrease load
on the left ventricle., These
actions offer a protective effect against ischemia of the heart and coronary artery disorders.
Liver and gallbladder disorders,
such as hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and jaundice, are often diagnosed as
damp-heat in traditional Chinese medicine. Gardenia Complex
incorporates many herbs with marked effects to treat these types of disorders.
Pharmacologically, Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae) and Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae) are two
herbs with excellent hepatoprotective effects.,
Clinically, Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae), Huang Qin (Radix
Scutellariae), Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri), and Long Dan (Radix et Rhizoma Gentianae) have all been used with great success
to treat hepatitis and liver cirrhosis.,,, Furthermore, Zhi Zi
(Fructus Gardeniae), Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri), Long Dan (Radix et
Rhizoma Gentianae), and Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae) all have a
cholagogic effect to stimulate the production of bile, enhance
contraction of the gallbladder, increase excretion of bile into the intestines,
and may be used to treat jaundice.,,
Hyperacidity of the stomach is also
a presentation of heat and fire rising upwards and damaging the surrounding
area. Hyperacidity of the stomach may present in such diseases as acid reflux,
belching, stomach ulcer, duodenal ulcer, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Lastly,
Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae)
decreases the secretion of gastric acid and increases pH in the stomach.
Hyperactivity of the central nervous
system is another presentation of excess, and may be treated with herbs in Gardenia Complex. Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae) has an
inhibitory effect on the central nervous system to decrease spontaneous
activity, increase sleeping time, and decrease body temperature. Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri) has a
sedative effect and prolongs sleeping time induced by barbiturates.
Fever is one of the most typical
symptoms of heat, and may be treated effectively with heat-clearing herbs in
this formula. Many herbs in this formula have an excellent antipyretic effect
to reduce fever and lower body temperature, such as Shi Gao
(Gypsum Fibrosum), Zhi Mu (Rhizoma Anemarrhenae),
and Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae).
In summary, Gardenia Complex
has an extremely broad range of action, and may be used to treat many disorders
characterized by fever, infection, inflammation, pain, and hyperactivity of
various organ systems, such as the respiratory, cardiovascular, hepatic, and
striking difference between Western and traditional Chinese medicine is that Western
medicine focuses and excels in crisis management, while traditional Chinese medicine
emphasizes and shines in holistic and preventative treatments. Therefore, in
emergencies, such as gunshot wounds or surgery, Western medicine is generally
the treatment of choice. However, for treatment of chronic idiopathic illness
of unknown origins, where all lab tests are normal and a clear diagnosis cannot
be made, traditional Chinese medicine is distinctly superior.
In cases of general presentations of
inflammation, increased metabolism and elevated body temperature, where there
are definite signs and symptoms of illness but not a clear diagnosis, Western
medicine offers few treatment options. Under these circumstances, traditional
Chinese medicine is beneficial as it excels in regulating imbalances and
alleviating associated signs and symptoms. Therefore, herbal therapy should
definitely be employed to prevent deterioration of this condition, and to
restore optimal health. Because this formula has a broad spectrum of
therapeutic effect (including antipyretic,
antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory effects), it treats a wide variety of
disorders. If a specific imbalance can be identified, treatment is most
effective if this formula is combined with another formula that targets the