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Zizyphus 18 is based primarily on two formulas that have been widely used in the form of patent remedies from China: Tianwang Buxin Dan (Ginseng and Zizyphus Formula; with a high dose of rehmannia and yin tonics) and Bunao Wan (Cerebral Tonic Pills; with a high dose of schizandra and heavy sedatives); see Pine Mountain for both these formulas. The objective of Zizyphus 18 is to nourish the kidney, liver, spleen, and heart so as to aid the resting of the spirit at night and at times of stress. The heart tonic herbs zizyphus, biota, albizzia, ophiopogon, and polygala are commonly used in cases of spirit agitation or heart palpitations that are due to a deficiency syndrome. These herbs are supported here by other tonics that nourish the kidney/liver (cuscuta, cistanche, rehmannia, lycium fruit) and the spleen (ginseng, astragalus, hoelen, dioscorea, lotus seed). It is considered important to distinguish between mental agitation that is associated with deficiency, as treated by this formula, versus that which occurs as the result of excess, which would be treated by other means (examples are Fu Shen 16, Ardisia 16). Deficiency syndromes usually require a prolonged period of therapy, so Zizphus 18 might be taken over a period of several months. However, one can often gain a degree of immediate response by taking a higher dose of tablets (up to 6 at one dose) at the time of need, such as before going to bed, in order to alleviate insomnia that night.