Zhi Sou San is a Chinese herbal formula indicated for treatment of all types of coughs. It is one of California’s State Board Formulas. It was first laid out in the Qing Dynasty by Cheng Guopeng in Volume 3 of Yi Xue Xin Wu. One rough translation of the original description has been provided by Lorraine Wilcox of the Alhambra Medical University School of Acupuncture, who says she obtained this formula by making painstaking progress through trial and error.
Zhi Sou San (Stop Coughing Powder)
- Jie Geng 12g
- Jing Jie 12g
- Zi Wan 12g
- Bai Bu 12g
- Bai Qian (steamed) 12g
- Gan Cao (dry-fried) 4.5g
- Chen pi (water-washed, remove the white) 6g
The following instruction and commentary are also provided by Lorraine Wilcox:
“Powder the above together. Each dose is three qian (11.19 grams); mix it with boiled water and swallow it. Take it after meals and before bed. This is created to be universally given [for cough]; even with only the above seven ingredients, those who take often have results.
According to Chinese Medicine, the body of the lungs belongs to metal and fears fire. When the lungs are overheated, coughing arises. The nature of metal is hard and dry, and it is averse to cold. Excessive cold also produces coughing. The classics say: sight cold means slight cough. If contraction of cold is a small invasion , it will go if you open the door and pursue it. If the doctor does not examine the patient and recklessly uses clearing, cool, sour or astringent prescriptions, and fails to avoid closing the door, the invader stays. The invader wants to go out, but without a door, it must pierce through to leave, so there is coughing and redness [blood] appears.
The lungs have two orifices, one in the nose and one in the throat. The nostrils value opening and not closing, but it is appropriate for the throat orifice to be closed and not open. When the nostrils do not allow passage, it makes the throat orifice open up, so how can there be freedom from care? This formula gently harmonizes and levels. It is neither cold nor hot, so it is without the worry of exceeding the proper limits with attacking. It has great power to open the door and expel and disperse the invader so that the lung qi is peaceful.”
We can also make a version of this formula and you can find it on our site, here.