Ma Huang (ephedrae herba)
(warm and spicy) drastic diaphoretic (for when sweating is not present in a wind cold attack), subdues rebellious lung qi, promotes urination to reduce edema. caution for weak body, hypertension, deficient type of sweating or wheezing.
Bai Zhi (angelicae dahuricae radix)
(warm and spicy) treats yang ming (frontal and supraorbital) headache and sinus headache, reduces pus and swelling, treats damp and discharge of lower jiao, expels w-c-d for bi syndrome. contra: blood/yin def, bursted sore, draining pus.
Cong Bai (allii fistulosi bulbus)
(spicy, warm) Releases exterior for early wind cold attack, unblocks yang
Fang Feng (saposhnikoviae radix)
(spicy, sweet, sl warm) expels liver wind and reduces spasms, detoxifies mercury poison, dispels wind cold damp for bi syndrome, releases exterior wind cold and heat (b/c sl warm and less drying), treats migraines, also for painful diarrhea and migraine headache. contra: for spasm due to blood def. and yin def. with heat.
gao ben (ligustici rhizoma)
(spicy, warm) dispels w-c-d via drying nature. tx jue yin vertex headaches. guides qi to tai yang and du channels. contra for blood/yin def and hot d/o because it is drying.
gui zhi (cinnamoni ramulus)
(spicy, sweet, warm) releases exterior wind cold from the muscle layer (for when sweating is present in a wind cold attack due to weak lung wei qi), promotes blood circulation and warms the channels as well as the middle, harmonizes ying and wei, assists the heart and unblocks yang qi in chest. contraindicated for warm febrile d/o, yin def. heat and blood heat w/vomiting. caution: pregnancy/excessive menses.
jing jie (schizonepetae herba)
(spicy, aromatic, sl warm) releases both exterior wind cold and wind heat (b/c it is slightly warm and less drying), stops itching and rashes, stops bleeding (if charred). contra: ext deficiency and fully erupted measles or open sores.
qiang huo (notopterygium rhizoma seu radix)
(spicy, bitter, aromatic, warm) releases exterior wind cold, expels wind-cold-damp especially in upper jiao, guides other herbs to tai yang and du meridian. contra:blood/yin def., overdosage may cause n/v.
sheng jiang (zingiberis rhizoma)
(spicy, warm) releases exterior and warms middle jiao, harmonizes ying and wei, stops cough
xi xin (asari herba)
(spicy, warm) warms the lung and transforms phlegm, very good analgesic. contra: profuse sweat d/t qi def., headache d/t blood def, cough d/t yin def.
xin ye (magnolia flos)
(spicy, warm) releases exterior wind cold, opens nasal passages and treats congestion and sinus headache
zi su ye (perilla folium)
(spicy, aromatic warm) releases exterior cold and treats seafood poisoning/nausea, moves qi and expands the chest, calms fetus for morning sickness. contra: warm febrile disease/qi and exterior deficiency
xiang ru (moslae herba)
(spicy, aromatic, sl warm) expels summerheat from exterior and damp from interior, promotes urination