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Chien-li Tablets are named for the idea that when vision is clear, one can see a great distance (chien-li = a thousand li, a measure of distance). Visual obstruction, such as nebulae and cataracts, is treated in China by numerous folk remedies, traditional prescriptions, patents, and modern clinical formulas, as well as eye drops. The internal treatments generally involve nourishing the eyes, clearing heat, and dispelling wind; a model formula is Gardenia and Vitex Combination (Xigan Mingmu Tang). Weakness in eye nourishment makes them susceptible to disease; this aspect of treatment mainly involves tonics for the kidney and liver, such as lycium, rehmannia, and cornus. In addition, circulation to the eyes needs to be improved: princepia is a blood vitalizing herb that cools liver heat and clears vision. Heat causes the normally clear fluids of the eye to become cloudy. This causative factor is alleviated by cooling herbs; the ones used here, such as buddleia and cassia seed, are specific for the eyes. Wind is the environmental condition that combines with the internal or exogenous heat to yield the visual obstruction. Acrid-cooling herbs that benefit the eyes, such as vitex, eriocaulon, and chrysanthemum, are selected for treating the condition; cordyceps-cicada both dispels wind and nourishes the kidney/liver; tribulus calms liver wind and dispels external wind. The combined herbal approach prevents further obscuration, while natural healing processes may alleviate the existing condition. Many of the herbs are suitable for treating other eye disorders, such as keratitis, scleritis, iritis, and glaucoma. Chien-li Tablets can be administered with other prescriptions, such as Chrysanthemum 9, Ming Mu Di Huang Wan or Long Dan Xie Gan Wan (Pine Mountain), Iridoid Complex (White Tiger), and Lycuvin (White Tiger).

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