The Herbal Recipe for Healing Asthma and Common Cold: The Ephedra Decoction (Mahuang Tang)

Common cold, influenza infections, and asthma of the cold types are usually shown as chills, fever, no sweating, asthma, headaches, general body pain, thin, white tongue coating, and superficial and tense pulse. The herbal recipe of The Ephedra Decoction (“Ma Huang Tang” in Chinese) is well-known for the treatment of such diseases. This recipe is used for healing asthmatic bronchitis and acute rheumatic arthritis.

The herbal recipe of The Ephedra Decoction (Mahuang Tang) can help induce sweat, and remove the exterior pathogenic wind and cold factors. It can improve the lung’s function and the flow of Qi, and relieve asthma. The recipe contains four herbs:

Ephedra (Mahuang) 6 g, Cinnamon Twigs (Guizhi) 4 g, Apricot Seed (Xingren) 9 g, Licorice (Gancao) 3 g.

The herbs can be cooked with water to make a decoction. After drinking the decoction, it is recommended that the patient should stay in a warm bed to induce slight sweating and achieve the best healing result.

This recipe was designed by the “medical saint” in Chinese history, Dr. Zhongjing Zhang in the Han Dynasty. It was recorded in Dr. Zhang’s famous classical book in Chinese medicine, Treatise on Febrile Diseases (Shang Han Lun).

Current studies have indicated that this herbal recipe can remove fever, stop coughing, relieve pain, induce sweat, and promote diuresis. However, it is not appropriate for those with Qi or blood deficiencies, heat syndromes, or weakness in their constitutions. Stop taking the decoction as soon as the sweat is induced and the ailment is cured. Prolonged intake could be harmful to the health.

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