Understanding Gu Jing Wan (Menses-Securing Pill)
Gù Jīng Wán (Menses-Securing Pill) is an excellent formula that is often under-utilized by Western practitioners.
Source: Yī Xué Rù Mén (“The Gateway to Medicine”).
huáng qín (scutellaria, Scutellariae Radix) 30 g
bái sháo yào (white peony, Paeoniae Radix Alba) 30 g
guī bǎn ( tortoise shell, Testudinis Carapax et Plastrum) 30 g
chūn gēn pí (ailanthus root bark, Ailanthi Radicis Cortex) 21 g
huáng bǎi ( phellodendron, Phellodendri Cortex) 9 g
xiāng fù (cyperus, Cyperi Rhizoma) 7.5 g
Traditional Method: Grind and form into pills with alcohol. The pills should be the size of firmiana seeds, and 50 pills are taken per dose with alcohol. In the modern day, 9 grams of powder is taken 1–2 times per day with warm water. It can also be used as a water decoction.
Actions: Enriches yin and clears heat, stanches bleeding and secures the menses.
Indications: Yin vacuity with internal heat, manifesting in incessant or profuse menstruation or flooding and spotting. The blood is deep red or purple-dark with stasis clots, and may be accompanied by vexing heat in the heart and chest, abdominal pain, reddish urine, a red tongue, and a wiry, rapid pulse.
Flooding and spotting or profuse menstruation is generally described as a disease of the chōng and rèn vessels, but it is differentiated into patterns of vacuity and repletion, heat and cold. This formula is used for patterns of yin vacuity with effulgent fire, as well as concurrent liver depression with heat. The fire-heat exploits the chōng and rèn vessels and causes frenetic movement of the blood.
Guī bǎn (Testudinis Plastrum) is used in a high dose to boost the kidney and enrich yin while downbearing fire. Bái sháo (Paeoniae Radix Alba) constrains yin and nourishes the liver. Huáng qín (Scutellariae Radix) clears heat and stanches bleeding. These three medicinals are used in a relatively high dose and together enrich yin while clearing heat to stop the bleeding. They are all regarded as sovereign medicinals here.
Huáng bǎi (Phellodendri Cortex) drains fire to consolidate yin, and it helps huáng qín to clear heat while helping guī bǎn to downbear fire. It is a minister.
Chūn gēn pí is astringent and cool; it secures the menses and stops bleeding, and is regarded as an assistant.
Because there is a fear that excessive use of cold medicinals to stop bleeding can cause stasis, a small amount of the acrid and slightly warm xiāng fù (Cyperi Rhizoma) is used to regulate qi and quicken the blood. It is also an assistant.
When all the medicinals are combined, yin and blood are nourished, fire and heat are cleared, qi and blood are regulated, and all of the signs resolve on their own. Both this formula and the formula gù chōng tāng (Thorough-fare-Securing Decoction) are often used to treat flooding and spotting or profuse menstruation. However, this formula emphasizes enriching yin and clearing heat to treat conditions caused by yin vacuity with blood heat, while gù chōng tāng emphasizes supplementing qi and securing to treat patterns caused by spleen-kidney vacuity with insecurity of the chōng vessel.