Pinellia and Magnolia Bark Decoction
Promote the Movement of Qi

Actions: Promotes the movement of qi, dissipates clumps, directs rebellious qi downward, and transforms phlegm.

Pattern: Plum-pit qi; Liver Qi stagnation with Phlegm.

Ban Xia 9-12g
Hou Po 9g
Fu Ling 12g
Sheng Jiang 15g
Zi Su Ye 6g

Sheng Jiang is more often used at a 9g dosage.

Indications: A feeling of something caught in the throat that can neither be swallowed nor ejected, a stifling sensation in the chest and hypochondria.  There may also be coughing with phlegm or vomiting .  Others may experience melancholy or depression, a tendency towards fatigue, insomnia, anger or irritability.  Women may have irregular menses, dysmenorrhea, and breast distention or pain.

Pulse: Wiry and slow, or wiry and slippery.

Tongue: Moist or greasy, white tongue coat.

Cautions & Contraindications:

  • Contraindicated with chest pain due to Lung Yin Deficiency, or with Heat due to Qi Stagnation.
  • Do not use long term.

Ban Xia

  • Dries Dampness, transforms Phlegm, stops vomiting, descends rebellious Qi and harmonizes the Stomach.
  • With Hou Po, for Phlegm-induced cough, vomiting, and epigastric and abdominal distention, Phlegm-Dampness with Qi Stagnation with a sensation of fullness in the chest with coughing and wheezing, nausea, vomiting and a sensation of distention in the hypochondrium and Plum-pit Qi Stagnation.
  • With Fu Ling, expels Phlegm and stops nausea and vomiting, hiccoughs, coughs with clear, profuse Phlegm and loose and watery stools, treats Phlegm, thin mucus and turbid Dampness and prevents turbid Phlegm and Dampness from disturbing the Heart with dizziness, palpitations and insomnia.
  • With Sheng Jiangfor vomiting due to Cold, thin mucus.
  • With Hou Po, Zi Su Ye and Fu Ling, for Plum-pit Qi Stagnation.

Hou Po

  • Moves Qi, resolves Stagnation, descends rebellious Qi, dries Dampness, transforms Phlegm eliminates stuffiness and aids in dissipating clumps.
  • With Zhi Ban Xia and Fu Ling, for Phlegm Obstructing the Qi, leading to coughing, vomiting or a sense of something stuck in the throat.

Fu Ling

  • Promotes urination, drains Dampness, Strengthens the Spleen, harmonizes the Middle Jiao and transforms Phlegm.

Sheng Jiang

  • Warms the Middle, stops vomiting, warms the Lungs and stops coughing.
  • With Zhi Ban Xia, harmonizes the Stomach and stops vomiting and coughing.

Zi Su Ye

  • Promotes the movement of Spleen and Stomach Qi (Harmonizes the Middle Jiao, relieves intestinal gas), improves Lung function and expands the chest (relieves Cold induced wheezing).
  • With Zhi Ban Xia and Hou Po, for Spleen and Stomach Qi Stagnation with accumulation of Phlegm.


  • For severe Qi Stagnation with stress and anxiety: add Chai Hu, Yu Jin, Xiang Fu, and Qing Pi, or combine with Chai Hu Shu Gan Tang.
  • For abdominal distention: add Sha Ren and Mu Xiang.
  • For vomiting: add Sha Ren, Ding Xiang, and Bai Dou Kou.
  • For throat pain and swelling: add Xuan Shen and Jie Geng.
  • For dysphagia with chest fullness: add Sha Ren and Yu Jin.
  • For fullness and distention in the chest and hypochondrium, add Mu Xiang, Qing Pi, and Zhi Ke.
  • For hypochondriac pain: add Chuan Lian Zi and Yan Hu Suo.
  • For Plegm accumulation: combine with Er Chen Tang.
  • For Food Stagnation: combine with Liu He Tang.
  • For depression, combine with Yue Ju Wan.
  • For chest pain: add Gua Lou and Xie Bai.
  • For deficiency Cold of the Stomach: add Wu Zhu Yu.
  • For cough and dyspnea: add Zhe Bei Mu and Xing Ren.
  • For hoarseness: add Xuan Shen, Mai Men Dong, Jie Geng, and Zi Wan.
  • For palpitations and insomnia: combine with Gan Mai Da Zao Tang
  • For throat spasms and tightness: add Zhi Shi and Jie Geng.

Western Medical Conditions:

  • Globus hystericus
  • Depression syndrome
  • Hysteria
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Recurrent neurotic esophageal constriction
  • Chronic laryngitis
  • Tracheitis
  • Neurosis
  • Throat blockage
  • Gastrointestinal neurosis
  • Ascites
  • Emotional instability
  • Neurogenic vomiting
  • Psychosis
  • Perimenopausal syndrome
  • Laryngitis
  • Edema of the vocal cords
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Indigestion
  • Emphysema
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Pharyngeal paresthesia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypopnea
  • Panic disorder
  • Gastroatonia
  • Amenorrhea
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Nervous exhaustion
  • Nervousness
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Hoarseness due to the common cold
  • Asthma
  • Whooping cough
  • Toxemia during pregnancy
  • Blood vessel disorders
  • Edema
  • Esophageal spasms
  • Gastric relaxation
  • Chronic gastritis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Tonsillitis
  • Goiter
  • Cervical spine syndrome
  • Bronchitis
  • Morning sickness
  • Vertebrobasilar insufficiency
  • Swallowing disorder in aspiration pneumonia
  • Stress
  • Enteritis
  • Gastroptosis
  • Insomnia

Bensky pg. 291