Theory of diseases treated with cassia twig & monkshood root
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Woodcut illustration from an edition of 1833 (13th year of Daoguang reign period of Qing dynasty). The image and text give an account of the principles of diseases treated with decoction of cassia twig and monkshood root (guizhi jai fuzi tang), and the therapeutic effects of the individual ingredients of this remedy. Excessive sweating injures external Yang factors, so that the body 'despises' the wind and sweats incessantly. Through copious sweating, bodily fluids are lost externally and cannot perform their lubricant function, so the patient has difficulty urinating. With depleted bodily fluids, the muscles are not protected, so the patient experiences cramps in the limbs and has difficulty straightening them. Decoction of cassia twig and monkshood root restores external Yang factors. With external Yang factors restored to strength, excessive sweating ceases of its own accord. The bodily fluids return to normal, as does urination, and the limbs can easily be straightened. The recipe contains cassia twig, which disperses wind-cold malign qi in the external stratum of the body, and monkshood root, which has a warming effect on depleted yang and cold in the kidney, in the interior of the body.
When wind cold has not been expelled, use cassia twig. Depleted yang (yang xu). Cold in the kidney. Monkshood root (fuzi). At the beginning of all disorders of the taiyang channel, there is pain in the small of the back, this is because of cold in the kidneys.