Xiao Yao San Treats a Variety of Symptoms
Also known as Free and Easy Wanderer Powder, Xiao Yao San is a widely prescribed Chinese Herbal Formula that successfully treats an array of health issues, such as
- Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) like breast tenderness, mood swings, bloating, leg pain and cramping.
- Anxiety, agitation and depression
This formula aims to create harmony in the body and is composed of herbs that work together to soothe the Liver, strengthen the Spleen, and nourish blood; a combination that is particularly important for menstruating women.
The Liver & Spleen are closely related in Chinese medicine
Please note that not only the organ is being considered, but also its qi or energy. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of blood, energy, and emotions. Liver Qi is strong and powerful and can be likened to the power & determination of a plant seedling that finds its way through concrete. In general, Liver Qi is rarely deficient and is more commonly over-active and restrained. Like a checks & balances system, the Liver looks over the Spleen, which is responsible for nourishment. However, when the Liver’s energy or Qi is not flowing smoothly (termed Liver Qi Stagnation), many times it over controls the Spleen causing Spleen Qi Vacuity (deficiency). This, in turn, can cause the blood to be vacuous and nutrient deficient because the Spleen transforms our food and drink into usable nutrients by the body.
When we are in harmony, our body’s flow is smooth & seamless
The Liver ensures that energy and blood are moving smoothly within which helps us move through “stressful” experiences with ease, while the spleen helps us process, not just food, but information. When we move through life holding onto emotions, for example, we contribute to the tightness of Liver Qi. When we overly eat processed foods, which lack true nutrients, we deplete the Spleen. Multitasking can also be depleting for the Spleen.
Some signs that the Spleen Qi is vacuous are fatigue, lack of appetite, tiredness after eating, loose stools, sweating without exertion, and body dampness (nausea, yeast, fuzzy thinking, sinus drip, discharge). When the Liver Qi is constrained one experiences frustration, mood swings, anger (its lack of expression or over expression), chest pain along the ribs, headaches, as well as breast pain & lower abdominal cramping during or before the menses. Vacuous blood that is not flowing smoothly can surely cause health issues.
Women have a special relationship with blood because of the menses. Releasing blood every month, women must take care that the body is creating enough nutrient-rich blood and that the Qi is flowing smoothly. Given the body’s need, menses can be especially stressful on the body, as strong harmonious organs with vibrant, smooth Qi are vital. Free and Easy Wanderer supports a women’s cycle because it begins to treat the root cause by improving the health & relationship between the Liver and Spleen, the two organs (officials) responsible for build healthy blood and ease of movement.
Xiao Yao can be taken as a tea, pill, tablet, powder or loose herb
“San” at the end of Xiao Yao refers to the powder form of this herb, “wan” – the tablet. Here are the key ingredients that typically compose Xiao Yao and their key functions in the Free and Easy Wanderer.
- Chai Hu (Bupleurum), the deputy herb in the formula, effectively relieves the tightness and restraint of Liver Qi.
- Bai Shao Yao (White Peony Root) & Dang Gui (C. Angelica Root) work to soften the Liver and nourish the blood. Bai Shao also helps with abdominal pain
- Fu Ling (Poria) works with Bai Zhu (White Atractylodest) to strengthen the Spleen and reduce dampness in the body, which can be a result of long-term Spleen Qi vacuity.
- Bo He (Mint) enhances the effect of the deputy herb.
- Gan Cao (Licorice Root) builds qi while creating harmony between all the herbs.
Are you considering to use Xiao Yao San for relief of PMS symptoms or other women’s issues? Contact us to talk about this and other methods of sustaining or improving your health. We have seen great results when treating PMS with acupuncture combined with healthy nutrition.