Cinnamon Twig Decoction

Release Exterior Cold

Actions: Releases pathogenic influences from the muscle layer and regulates the Ying and Wei Qi.

Key Symptoms: spontaneous sweating, tight rectus muscles.


  • Exterior Cold from deficiency.
  • Tai Yang deficiency.
  • Also for a similar presentation in patients recovering from serious illness or after childbirth.

Pathology: Tai Yang and Lung Qi is deficient. The Yang is floating because it is weak and becomes unrooted, causing fever. Nutritive Qi related to Spleen Qi is also weak, which allows the surface to be weak and leak sweat causing spontaneous sweating. Commonly used for fever and sweating in pregnancy.

Gui Zhi 9g
Bai Shao 9g
Sheng Jiang 9g
Da Zao 12 pieces
Zhi Gan Cao 6g

Indications: Fever and chills unrelieved by sweating, headache, aversion to wind, stiff neck, nasal congestion, dry heaves, no particular thirst.

Pulse: floating, may be deficient with pressure and right cun and guan.

Tongue: thin white and moist coating.

Kampo Dosage:

Gui Zhi 3g
Bai Shao 3g
Sheng Jiang 3g
Da Zao 4g
Zhi Gan Cao 2g

Acupuncture Treatment:

  • LU8 or LU9 to circulate Yang

Related Formulas:

  • Gui Zhi Jia Shao Yao Tang: when symptoms are more internal and related to Spleen.
  • Da Qing Long Tang: Ying Qi is deficient but there is no sweating and the patient experiences fever and vexation.
  • Gui Zhi Qu Shao Yao Tang: Wei Qi is deficient but not Ying Qi, heartbeat is rapid, pulse is hasty.

Bensky: pg. 35