Huo Xiang – Patchouli – Agastache or Pogostemon

Nature: acrid, slightly warm

Enters: Spleen, Stomach, Lung

Actions: Transforms dampness; releases the exterior, clears summer heat (and wind-cold); harmonizes the middle Jiao, stops vomiting; awakens the spleen.


• Damp accumulation in the middle Jiao: vomiting, distention in the epigastrium and abdomen, poor appetite, nausea, lethargy, weakness, white, moist tongue coat.
• Summer heat with dampness: fever, aversion to cold, headache, distended epigastrium, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting.
• Wind-cold EPI.
• Similar to Zi su ye, though Huo xiang is stronger at circulating Qi and Zi su ye is stronger at eliminating wind-cold. Zi su ye has a stronger focus on the Lungs than Huo xiang.
Li: Often adds to formulas for patients with digestive weakness, or when using difficult-to-digest herbs, (also in combination with Pei lan) to keep herbs from causing stagnation or upsetting or damaging the digestion.
Hsu: Antiemetic, antidiarrheal, tranquilizes GI nerves, antifungal, antipyretic, stomachic.
DY: Moves the Qi; strongly clears summer-heat (mainly summer-heat-dampness).
• The leaf (Huo xiang ye) is more powerful than the stem at draining the exterior. The stem (Huo xiang geng) is better for harmonizing the stomach and stopping vomiting.
• More powerful than Pei lan at resolving the exterior and eliminating summer-heat as well as for stopping vomiting.
• With Pei lan to effectively transform dampness and turbidity, harmonize the middle burner, stop vomiting, eliminate summer-heat (and dampness), and stop diarrhea. For indications such as:
– 1. Vertigo, head distention, fever with or without perspiration, chest oppression, epigastric distention, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea due to external attack of summer-heat-dampness.
– 2. Spleen pure heat. This refers to a rising upward of turbid Qi towards the mouth due to spleen heat generated by an excess of fatty and sweet foods. It is accompanied by a sticky, thick feeling in the mouth, a sugary taste in the mouth, abundant salivation, thick, slimy tongue coat, and a slippery pulse.
– This combination is very effective for its treatment of bad breath or a thick, sticky feeling in the mouth with a sugary taste due to turbid dampness accumulation or turbid dampness transforming into heat.

Dose: 4.5-9g

3 comments on “Huo Xiang – Patchouli – Agastache or Pogostemon

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can Huo Xiang treat bad breath/halitosis if combined with Zi Su Ye and Bo He?

  2. Peter Borten says:

    Those are all good herbs for bad breath from a “mouth perspective” – that is, they are fresh tasting and have some antimicrobial activity. But they probably won’t totally address the underlying pattern that’s producing the halitosis.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Besides its use for digestion, is Huo Xiang also a rejuvenative herb? Like, it helps to rejuvenate cells and restore Qi?

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