Making Li Zhong Wan

Li Zhong Wan is a classical Chinese formula indicated for the predicament of “sudden turmoil”–a stomach upset with vomiting and diarrhea, band-like headaches, and pain. I decided to make this formula from scratch.

This pill is made of four ingredients:

Bai zhu (white atractylodes root)

Gan jiang (dried ginger)

Ren shen (ginseng root) – I used Dang shen (codonopsis root) at the advice of my professors

Zhi gan cao (honey-fried licorice root)

All four ingredients are included in equal amounts. In the classical source text in which this formula was first described, the Shang Han Lun, the dosage given is 3 liang (about 9 g.) for each herb.

To make the formula, I combined the raw ingredients, blended them up into a powder, and added honey, using just enough to hold the ingredients together into a ball. The pills, as you may notice, are pretty large in size–about the size of a (small) chicken’s egg yolk.

To use, you would place one of these pills in boiling water and crush up to make a tea. It should be drunk warm, and in acute situations, can be taken 3-6 times a day.


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