Shen Ling Bai Zhu - Codonopsis, Poria, Atractylodes Combo (Internal Dampness)


The best general formula to dispel internal dampness in Chinese medicine, Shen Ling Bai Zhu contains a variety of herbs that are highly recommended for dampness, leading with codonopsis, poria mushroom, and atracylodes. This formula also contains many of the medicinal foods we recommend for dampness including Chen Pi (aged tangerine peel), Chinese pearl barley (also known as Job’s Tears), lotus seeds, and Chinese yam (Shan Yao). 

First appearing in the 1078 Song Dynasty imperial formula manual Prescriptions of the Bureau of Taiping People's Welfare Pharmacy” Shenling Baizhu San was originally indicated for “those with weak and deficient digestion, poor appetite, fatigue, torpor, sleepiness, bloating, loose stools and shortness of breath.” Most importantly, the imperial physicians noted “This formula is well balancedlong term ingestion cultivates qi, nourishes the spirit, improves digestion, freshens the complexion and strengthens upright qi (upright qi is a concept close to our modern understanding of the immune system). Thus, the strength of Shen Ling Bai Zhu, apart from its proven efficacy detailed below, comes from the fact that it is a well-balanced, food grade formula which can be taken over a long period of time with little to no worries about side effects.

Modern scientific studies have found that Shenling Baizhu San (SLBZS) treats dampness—extra fluid sitting around in the body—by improving elimination and absorption in the GI, reducing edema, draining lymph and promoting diuresis. A 2019 study of 34 post-operative breast cancer patients with lymphedema found that SLBZS was more effective than the biomedical pharmaceutical diosmin at reducing edema and pain. (1b) A 2020 study found that the principle ingredient in SLBZS, Coix seed, significantly reduced edema in a mouse model. (2) A variety of studies including Feng, 2013 and Xie 2008 (3, 4) have also detailed the diuretic effects of poria and alisma radix. Finally, a network pharmacology study of the combination of poria, ginseng, atractylodes and licorice (known as The Four Gentlemen Decoction) found in SLBZS mitigates GI inflammation, enhancing fluid absorption and elimination and improving symptoms of fatigue and tiredness.

For adults, take 6 to 12 tablets, 2 times a day.

1. Studies For SLBZS
a. Shen-ling-bai-zhu-san, a spleen-tonifying Chinese herbal formula, alleviates lactose-induced chronic diarrhea in rats
i. Ji HJ, Kang N, Chen T, Lv L, Ma XX, Wang FY, Tang XD. Shen-ling-bai-zhu-san, a spleen-tonifying Chinese herbal formula, alleviates lactose-induced chronic diarrhea in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2019 Mar 1;231:355-362. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2018.07.031. Epub 2018 Jul 31. PMID: 30071269.
ii. In contrast, general symptoms were improved to a certain extent and body weight loss was alleviated in the rats treated by SLBZS for one week. Fecal fluid content in diarrheal rats treated by SLBZS presented a gradual decrease trend with about 55% in the end, which was significantly less than the model group with about 81%. Meanwhile, SLBZS significantly improved the serum d-xylose level and reversed abnormal changes of tight junctions and microvilli in intestine. 
b. 何小楊.參苓白術散加減治療脾虛濕瘀型乳腺癌術后上肢淋巴水腫34
i. 何小楊.參苓白術散加減治療脾虛濕瘀型乳腺癌術后上肢淋巴水腫34[J].浙江中醫雜志,2019,54(02):124.DOI:10.13633/j.cnki.zjtcm.2019.02.028.
ii. 治疗组疼痛改善22, 肿胀改善31, 麻木改善28;对照组分别为18, 15, 13例。两组比较, 有显著性差异 (P<0.05)
iii. 口服地奥司明片500mg/, 每日2片。diosmin
iv. 口服加减参苓白术散:薏苡仁、鸡血藤各30g, 党参10g, 茯苓、怀山药、泽泻各20g, 白术、炒扁豆、赤芍各15g, 炙甘草、春砂仁各9g, 桔梗12g, 地龙6g。每日1, 水煎分用。功能锻炼操及疗程同上。[]
Shenlingbaizhu San classical Chinese knowledge
a. 冶脾胃虛弱,飲食不進,多睏少力,中滿痞噎,心忪氣喘,嘔吐泄瀉及傷寒咳噫。 此藥中和不熱,久服養氣育神,醒脾悅色,順正辟
b. Song Dynasty Prescriptions of the Bureau of Taiping People's Welfare Pharmacy 1078