Nature: sweet, sour, neutral
Enters: Heart, Liver, Gallbladder, Spleen
Actions: Nourishes heart Yin and liver Yin/blood; quiets the Shen; astringes sweat.
• Heart and liver blood or Yin deficiency: insomnia, palpitations.
• Liver Yin deficiency with Yang rising: irritability.
• Weak constitution: spontaneous or night sweats.
• Sedative, hypnotic.
• Tolerance develops (abates with a break).
• Lowers blood pressure.
• Raw: stronger sedative; can clear heat and treat insomnia due to Yin deficiency heat. May make some patients too sleepy.
• Dry-fried: more effective for spontaneous sweats.
• Often combined with Hou po (Suan zao ren:Hou po ::2:1), Chen pi, or other herbs to counteract its greasiness.
• Can be taken alone, 4g 1-2 hours before bed for insomnia.
• Should be ground, or at least broken, before use.
Hsu: Stimulates the uterus, caution in pregnancy; inhibits the CNS.
BII: Suan Zao Ren Tang is as effective as some benzodiazepenes for nervousness, anxiety.
DY: Nourishes heart Yin and blood; quiets the Hun and Shen; supplements the liver and gallbladder; treats heart palpitations due to gallbladder deficiency.
• With Bai zi ren for mutual reinforcement, to effectively nourish both the liver and the heart, tranquilize the heart, and quiet the spirit. For indications such as:
– 1. Palpitations, profuse dreams, and insomnia due to heart blood (and Qi) deficiency. (Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan) Defatted Bai zi ren and stir-fried Suan zao ren should be used.
– 2. Constipation with dry stools due to blood deficiency and intestinal fluid insufficiency.