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In the source text, this formula is recommended for women who feel as if a piece of roasted meat were stuck in their throats. This condition, which of course may also be experienced in men, has come to be called plum-pit qi. The pattern of constrained qi with concurrent phlegm is not the only cause of this condition, but is by far the most common. Other causes include fire from constraint, and qi and blood deficiency. This formula is composed of warm, acrid, and fragrant substances which are drying and dispersing in nature and can therefore easily injure the yin and fluids. Thus, the formula is appropriate only in cases of constrained qi and phlegm. This condition is known as plum-pit qi (mei he qi) and is said to result from emotional upset due to circumstances which the patient figureatively cannot swallow. The qi thereupon becomes constrained and the Lungs and Stomach lose their ability to move the qi downward. This in turn leads to problems with the transportation and transformation of fluids, which leads to the formation of phlegm. The phlegm clashes with the qi and ultimately lodges in the throat. The obstruction of the qi mechanism by phlegm is also manifested in the stifling sensation in the chest and hypochondria. In severe cases, there will also be coughing or vomiting. The moist or greasy tongue coating, and the slow and wiry pulse, are signs of constrained qi and phlegm-dampness. (From Bensky: Chinese Herbal Medicine Formulas and Strategies)