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J Tradit Chin Med. 2011 Dec;31(4):303-7.

A study of the law of herbal administration in treating lung-distension by TCM physicians through history using cluster analysis.

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  • 1Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital affiliated with Xinjiang Medical University & National Clinical Research Base of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Urumqi, 830000, Xinjiang, China.



To review the herbal drugs used most often for treating lung-distension by determining those used by physicians throughout history; to study their property, taste, and channel tropism; and to explore their compatibility.


Historical prescriptions for treating lung-distension were collected and sorted. Property, taste and channel tropism were determined, and the law of herbal administration was determined by cluster analysis.


One hundred and ninety five prescriptions were found, involving 166 herbal drugs, with a total appearance frequency of 1296 drugs. The herbs involved 8 properties (total appearance frequency, 1296), 7 forms of taste (total appearance frequency, 1991) and involved all 12 regular channels (total appearance frequency, 3382). Sixteen herbal drugs were used most often and formed 4 cluster prescriptions: C1: Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae Amarum), Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae), and Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae); C2: Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi), Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae), and Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens); C3: Da Zao (Fructus Jujubae), Ma Huang (Herba Ephedrae), and Shi Gao (Gypsum Fibrosum); and C4: Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae), Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi), Fu Ling (Poria), Sang Bai Pi (Cortex Mori), Xi Xin (Herba Asari), Gan Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis), and Bai Shao (Radix Paeoniae Alba).


In treating lung-distension, phlegm retention has been traditionally considered the underlying pathology, emphasizing regulation of the lung and spleen as key and stressing patient nourishment and mental improvement. Prescriptions for lung-distension should be made with reference to the property, taste, channel tropism, and effectiveness of the chosen herbal drugs.

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