History & Use of Yu Ping Feng San
History of Yu Ping Feng San
In the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are numerous herbal formulas that have stood the test of time. One such revered formula is Yu Ping Feng San(YPFS), also known as Jade Wind Screen. Yu Ping Feng San derives its name from its primary function of forming a screen or barrier against the invasion of wind, otherwise known as airborne pathogens. Its combination of three key ingredients – the root of Astragalus (Huang Qi), the rhizomes of Atractylodes (Bai Zhu), and the root of Saposhnikovia (Fang Feng) – works synergistically to strengthen and fortify the immune system.
It was first mentioned in The Teachings of Zhu Dan-Xi (Dan Xi Xin Fa) during the Song Dynasty, dating back to 920 A.D. With its rich history spanning centuries, Yu Ping Feng San has been considered a go-to remedy for bolstering the immune system and protecting against respiratory infections, especially during times of epidemics.
Health Benefits of Yu Ping Feng San
Yu Ping Feng San has been used over time to support respiratory health during allergy season, improve resistance to colds and flu, and even reduce the recurrence of asthma attacks. One review entitled “Potential effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine Yu ping feng san for adult allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” written by Qiulan Luo et al and published in 2017 in the BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies Journal, aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of YPFS for treating adult allergic rhinitis. The review involved a comprehensive search of seven major databases and included 22 randomized controlled trials in their analysis. The meta-analysis showed that YPFS effectively reduced nasal symptom scores, including itchy nose, sneezing, blocked nose, and runny nose, compared to placebo. The results determined that YPFS, when used in combination with pharmacotherapy, was more effective than pharmacotherapy alone.
Another study published in Medicine Journal in 2023 entitled “Yu ping feng san for pediatric allergic rhinitis” and written by Yong Liao, PhD et al, reviewed the potential treatment effects and safety of Yu Ping Feng San for pediatric allergic rhinitis (PAR) patients. The researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and found that current evidence does not support the routine use of YPFS for the treatment of PAR. The review included 10 RCTs involving 1,069 participants aged 3-15 years. The efficacy evaluation did not show a benefit for the experimental group, and the variation of serum IgA, immunoglobulin E, and IgG in the studies did not show statistical significance. However, YPFS was found to have relatively better safety and lower recurrence rates compared to Western medical therapy. The study concludes that further large, rigorously designed studies are necessary to determine the utility of YPFS in PAR.
A 2019 study entitled “A Chinese Prescription Yu-Ping-Feng-San Administered in Remission Restores Bronchial Epithelial Barrier to Inhibit House Dust Mite-Induced Asthma Recurrence,” written by Kaifan Bao et al and published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology Journal, investigated the potential efficacy and mechanism of Yu Ping Feng San against asthma recurrence. YPFS was found to alleviate the recurrence of asthma and was even more effective than three different types of medications dexamethasone, montelukast, and salbutamol. Furthermore, YPFS restored the bronchial epithelial barrier through desmoglein 1 (DSG1) and by decreasing thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) overexpression, contributing to chronic asthma relapse. Overall, this study suggests that YPFS has promising potential as a therapeutic strategy against chronic asthma.
A recent 2023 study entitled “Shiwei Qingwen decoction regulates TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway and NLRP3 inflammasome to reduce inflammatory response in lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury” written by Qian Zhang et al and published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology aimed to investigate the effects of Shiwei Qingwen decoction (SWQ), which is a Chinese herbal formula based on Yu Ping Feng San, on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury (ALI) and understand its mechanism of action. The researchers analyzed the chemical composition of SWQ and evaluated its impact in an ALI rat model. They observed that SWQ reduced lung damage, decreased levels of inflammatory mediators, and suppressed the expression of pro-inflammatory factors. Using network pharmacology analysis, they identified the association of SWQ with the TLR4/NF-κB inflammation pathway. Additionally, further experiments demonstrated that SWQ downregulated proteins associated with the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway and the NLRP3 inflammasome in both in vivo and in vitro models. Based on these findings, the study concludes that SWQ has the potential to alleviate inflammation in ALI by inhibiting the activation of the TLR4/NF-κB and NLRP3 inflammasome pathways, suggesting its possible clinical application in preventing and treating acute lung injury.
Pretreatment to Respiratory Epidemics
Throughout history, Yu Ping Feng San has played a vital role in safeguarding health, particularly during times of epidemics. It has been traditionally used to prevent respiratory infections, making it a preferred choice for immune support during flu seasons and widespread outbreaks. One study entitled “The Use of an Herbal Formula by Hospital Care Workers During the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Epidemic in Hong Kong to Prevent Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Transmission, Relieve Influenza-Related Symptoms, and Improve Quality of Life: A Prospective Cohort Study” written by Joseph T.F. Lau et al and published in 2005 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, aimed to investigate the effectiveness of an herbal formula in preventing the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) among healthcare workers during the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong. The study involved two cohorts of healthcare workers: one group taking the herbal supplement for a 2-week period, and a control group that did not receive the supplement. The results showed that none of the healthcare workers who used the supplement contracted SARS, compared to 0.4% of those who did not use the supplement. Additionally, users of the herbal supplement reported improvements in influenza-like symptoms and quality of life. The study concluded that the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine supplements has the potential to prevent the spread of SARS.
A recent 2022 study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine written by Xin-yu Ji et al and entitled “Medication Rule Analysis of the Diagnosis and Treatment Programs of Chinese Medicine for the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 in China,” aimed to identify the medicinal measures and rules of Traditional Chinese Medicine and provide clinical reference in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Data from government and media websites of various provinces in China was collected and analyzed using cluster analysis and complex network analysis. The compiled data suggested that among the 27 CM diagnosis and treatment plans, 203 therapeutic prescriptions were enrolled, with the top 4 herbs being Radix glycyrrhizae, Semen armeniacae amarum, Herba ephedrae, and Herba agastachis, respectively, and the core combinations were Herba ephedrae and Semen armeniacae amarum. 48 preventive formulae were identified; the ten most frequently used herbs included Radix Astragali seu hedysari, Radix glycyrrhizae, Radix saposhnikoviae, and Flos lonicerae. The core prescription of CM compatibility was Radix astragali seu hedysari, Radix glycyrrhizae, and Radix saposhnikoviae, which is the main component of Yu Ping Feng San. In the context of preventing COVID-19, Chinese Medicine primarily emphasizes enhancing human immunity. On the other hand, when it comes to treatment, the focus shifts towards prescriptions that aim to clear the lungs and eliminate dampness. According to the study, TCM prescriptions vary with regions, perhaps due to climatic and environmental differences, which can aid clinicians in quickly developing TCM plans and treating patients based on their clinical status.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is something called “Wei Chi” or “Protective Chi.” It’s created by the “mist” in our lungs and is the most superficial of all the “Chi” – or energy forces in the body. According to TCM, Wei Chi is our external defense that flows right through the pores of our skin and all of our mucosal membranes. When our Wei Qi is weak, our bodies are more open to an attack. In a different study entitled “Yu Ping Feng San, an Ancient Chinese Herbal Decoction Containing Astragali Radix, Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma and Saposhnikoviae Radix, Regulates the Release of Cytokines in Murine Macrophages” written by Crystal Y. Q. Du et al and published in 2013 in the PLoS One Journal, researchers aimed to analyze the chemical composition and biological properties of Yu Ping Feng San. They found that choosing a specific combination of different herbs when forming a TCM herbal formula, such as YPFS, can greatly enhance the pharmaceutical effects by getting more extricable active ingredients in the final decoction.
The researchers broke the formula down into different components such as Astragali Radix (the best immune tonic herb in stabilizing and strengthening the protective ‘‘Qi”) and Saposhnikoviae Radix (used to expel ‘‘wind’’, relieve exterior syndrome, eliminate dampness, relieve convulsion and diarrhea). In order for an herbal formula to function effectively, the immune system has to strike a balance between the activities of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. The results showed that the YPFS formula obtained both pro- and anti-inflammatory effects in cultured macrophages, as opposed to the separate component extracts when tested.
Respiratory Readiness - Prevention Phase Protocol
The Respiratory Readiness – Prevention Phase Protocol I created is intended to support your immune system during these colder months. It’s important to actively support the mouth, nose, sinuses, lungs, and GI tract when you are healthy. Click below for some proper preparations for the seasonal airborne assaults that we have become all too aware of over the past two years can be an excellent place to start.
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