Yiqi Congming Tang

Yiqi Congming Tang has been widely used in the Orient and subjected to pharmacological research for its ability to improve brain functions (3), but it is rarely taught to Western students. Most overview texts on Chinese herb formulas bypass this one, because it does not fit the individual categories of therapy into which the formulas are classified, such as tonifying qi, clearing heat, or resolving the surface, but combines them in a single formulation. Also, there has been some contradictory information as to whether this formula is suited to treating acute eye and ear disorders, such as conjunctivitis or otitis media, or only chronic disorders such as macular degeneration, senile cataracts, tinnitus, and deafness. For example, in the book Commonly Used Chinese Herb Formulas with Illustrations (4), it is stated that the formula “is not effective in treating acute inflammation of ears and eyes,” and this is restated in the Companion Handbook (5) based on that text. By contrast, the formula is sometimes used for such disorders in China, and claimed to be effective, as in the case of otitis media (6). Such contradictory indications may have also inhibited teachings about the formula. Yiqi Congming Tang is designed to rectify internal disorders of yin fire and sinking yang qi, but it can also be used to treat wind-heat syndromes that arise as a consequence of these internal disorders.

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