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Insomnia Treated by Chinese Prescriptions

Fire syndrome caused by liver stagnation | Phlegm-heat harassment |
Fire Syndrome caused by yin deficiency | Deficiencies of the heart and spleen |
Deficiencies of the heart and gallbladder

Insomnia - phlegm-heat harassment

Sleep pattern: difficulty falling asleep, shallow sleep and frequent waking. The sleep problems are usually caused by an improper diet.

Accompanying signs: feelings of annoyance, heaviness in the head, blurred vision, chest tightness, excessive throat secretions, nausea, loss of appetite and belching. The tongue has yellowish and greasy fur; the pulse is rolling and rapid.

Analysis: the insomnia is mostly caused by food retention or typically aggravated by it. Since this impairs the spleen and stomach, excessive dampness develops and there is an accumulation of phlegm, the evils turn into fire as end products. When the phlegm combines with the fire and invade upwards to the heart and irritate the shen (spirit), there will be difficulty in sleeping as well as feelings of annoyance. The retained food and phlegm affect the qi (vital energy) flow, and affected individuals will experience chest tightness and dizziness. The middle burner will become affected and the digestive process will be disturbed with a subsequent loss of appetite, belching and nausea. The tongue will be covered by yellow greasy fur and there will be a rolling and rapid pulse.

Therapeutic principle: to resolve the phlegm, clear away the heat, harmonize the middle burner and calm the spirit.

Sample prescription: Modified Gallbladder-warming Decoction (wen dan tang)

ban xia pinellia tuber Rhizoma Pinelliae
zhu ru bamboo shavings Caulis Bambusae in Taeniam
zhi shi immature bitter orange Fructus Aurantii Immaturus
chen pi dried tangerine peel Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae
gan cao liquorice root Radix Glycyrrhizae
fu ling poria Poria
huang lian golden Thread rhizome Rhizoma Coptidis
zhi zi gardenia fruit Fructus Gardeniae

In the prescription, the pinellia tuber, tangerine peel, poria and bitter orange regulates the movement of qi, dissolves the phlegm and harmonizes the stomach; the thread rhizome, gardenia fruit and bamboo shavings clear away the fire in the heart; the poria helps to calm the spirit and invigorate the spleen.

In cases of obvious food retention, the following should be added to enhance digestive process and dissolve the phlegm.

bing lang areca seed Semen Arecae
lai fu zi radish seed Semen Raphani
ji nei jin chicken's gizzard-skin Endothelium Corneum Gigeriae Galli

In cases of serious constipation add:

da huang Chinese rhubarb Radix et Rhizoma Rhei
gua lou Mongolian snakegourd Fructus Trichosanthis

In cases of palpitation and restlessness, the following ingredients will have a calming effect:

zhen zhu mu nacre Concha Margaritifera
long gu fossil bone Os Draconis
ci shi magnetic stones magnetitum

Insomnia prescription