Li Dongyuan's Formula Structure - An Open Secret


Li Dongyuan created many formulas. But many of these formulas have a particular structure that allowed him incredible flexibility combined with high efficacy. Understanding this structure allows you to design your own formulas in the same way.

Course Overview

In "Li Dongyuan's Formula Structure - An Open Secret" we look at how Li Dongyuan used a module-like system of constructing many of his formulas, using couplets and triplets of different classes of herbs to achieve a wide variety of effects. The famous Shang Han Lun expert Liu Duzhou loved Li Dongyuan's formulas, and we employ many case histories from Liu to flesh out the contemporary clinical use of formulas such as: (a) Sheng Yang Yi Wei Tang (b) Yi Qi Cong Ming Tang (c) Yuan Ming Nei Zhang Sheng Ma Tang (d) Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (e) Tiao Zhong Yi Qi Tang (f) Wen Wei Tang (g) Li Dongyuan's original Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang We dissect each of the above to show the same basic structural pattern that underlies the design of each, and that can be used in our own practice to design prescriptions for an individual patient. To help this, Li Dongyuan's formula modifications are also covered, and his use of acrid and bitter herbs in combination. We also look at "yin fire" -- both the phenomenon itself and the history that led to Li Dongyuan's development of the concept. Then we describe in detail the variety of ways that the different categories of "internal heat" are dealt with, from "leading fire back to the source" to "lifting yang to eliminate heat" to the use of wind-herbs to disperse fire in various channels.


Course Objectives

  • To recognize and appreciate the flexible way Li Dongyuan structured his formulas, and to be able to apply that structure and flexibility to your own herbal prescriptions. Learn the components that Li combined to achieve a complex whole.

  • To understand the historical situation that informed Li Dongyuan’s clinical understanding, particularly the impact of the Mongol invasion upon northern China and how this created the insights into "internal damage" and "yin fire."

  • To deepen your ability to employ the specific methods that Li Dongyuan used to address his understanding of “heat from internal damage,” for example "Lifting to Drain Fire" or "Lifting to Disperse Fire."

Provider: CPD Cert

Access: Lifetime

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