Suan Zao Ren Tang – Sleep for the weary
This formula is first seen in Zhang Zhong-Jing’s Jin Gui Yao Lüe (Essential Prescriptions from the Golden Cabinet).
Through the ages, this formula is consistently seen as the perfect fit for vacuity-taxation vexation-insomnia. This deficiency situation, which is characterized by insomnia accompanied by fatigue and irritability, is the result of long-term overwork of one sort or another. The mechanism by which depletion of the body’s resources leads to vexation insomnia is that a weakened heart, depleted liver blood, and weak spleen qi leave the spirit without nourishment and it is thus uncomfortable in its lair (the heart). The Hun (residing in the liver) is also stressed owing to binding depression of liver qi (which is, in part owing to blood vacuity). With these aspects of a person’s psyche disturbed, sleep is difficult. The treatment principle is to quiet the spirit, nourish the heart and liver and boost spleen qi to engender blood.
In our modern, stressed society this type of insomnia is a common occurrence. When employing this formula keep in mind that a much larger dose of Suan Zao Ren (Ziziphus seed) was used in the original formula than is the practice in modern times. Thus, one may want to add extra Suan Zao Ren to the formula especially for the evening dose (ideally about 30-45 minutes before sleep). This formula addresses both the root (qi-blood deficiency) and branch (vexation insomnia) simultaneously. Though the branch may feel the effects quickly, long-term relief requires taking the formula for weeks or months.
Suan Zao Ren Tang – Granular Formulas
Suan Zao Ren – Single Herb Granules