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Gentiana 12 is a derivative of the traditional formula Gentiana Combination (Longdan Xiegan Tang), which is the primary formula of Chinese medicine recommended for acute syndromes of liver fire and damp-heat. The basic formula has been modified here by using additional herbs to purge liver fire and clean toxins: coptis and sophora. Further, kadsura bark and moutan are included to promote circulation of blood. Liver fire may manifest symptoms of red eyes, facial flushing, swellings in the upper body, oral ulcerations, hyperactivity, and insomnia (see Fu-shen 16 for sedating liver yang agitation). Damp-heat usually manifests as moist sores, especially infections affecting the mucous membranes and the lower body. The toxin clearing and blood vitalizing additions make the formula especially useful for infections and swellings. Gentiana is one of the stronger agents for purging liver fire and damp-heat, but it can cause diarrhea if used over an extended period or in high dose. Therefore, it is best to use the formula in full dosage for a brief time and then either reduce the dosage or switch to another prescription that has a milder action but can be taken for several months, if necessary (examples: Eclipta Tablets for hepatitis; Cnidium 9 for headache; Chien-li Tablets for eye inflammation). In treating an infection outbreak, such as herpes simplex, or a skin infection (bacterial or fungal), it is best to take this formula at high dosage, up to 6 tablets each time, 3 times daily, for a few days. For liver fire rising upward to cause headaches and red eyes, see Long Dan Xia Gan Wan (Pine Mountain) in which chrysanthemum has been added to the traditional formula.
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