Gui Zhi - Cinnamon Twig

TCM Materia Medica

Gui Zhi TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "gui zhi" which in english is Gui Zhi herb"cinnamon twig", is categorized within the "herbs that release the exterior wind cold" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the heart, lung and urinary bladder channels and exhibits acrid, sweet (gan) and warm (wen) taste/temperature properties.

Dosages and preparations will vary according to each individual and the overall approach of a formula, but generally this herb has the following dosage and/or preparation guidelines:

  • Dosage: 3-9g for exterior conditions
  • Dosage: 9-15g for bi syndromes

Of many possible clinical applications, it may be considered to influence the following issues/symptoms:

  • Releases muscle layer and adjusts ying and wei qi levels
  • Useful in wind-cold-damp bi syndromes to warm channels and disperse cold
  • Resolves blood stagnation particularly from cold - dysmenorrhea
  • Unblocks yang qi in the chest - shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations
  • Resolve edema and accumulation of cold phlegm

Gui Zhi has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

  • Avoid in wind-heat and/or empty heat conditions
  • Avoid in heat in the blood, particularly w/vomiting

Gui Zhi may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: chest pain, dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain - cramps), edema and/or palpitations

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, gui zhi is generally included in the following 12 formulas:

ViewChai Hu Gui Zhi Gan Jiang Wan (Bupleurum, Cinnamon Twig and Ginger Decoction)

Shaoyang disorder with water accumulation - A modification of xiao chai hu tang with gui zhi and gan jiang to work with mixed pattern cases of "heat above, cold below".  Generally for patients with e…

ViewChai Hu Gui Zhi Tang Wan (Bupleurum and Cinnamon Twig Decoction)

A combination of gui zhi tang and xiao chai hu tang - together they work with both taiyang and shaoyang syndromes - common colds and flu, fever, chills, joint pain, nausea, abdominal/epigastric diste…

ViewChai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Wan (Bupleurum, Dragon Bone, and Oyster Shell Formula)

Palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, agitation/irritibility, and insomnia from heat due to liver yang or fire. Mental disorders such as including biopolar and schizophrenia resulting from distrubed …

ViewGe Gen Wan (Kudzu Decoction)

Wind-cold invasion with upper neck and back pain - cold or flu, mild fever, no sweating, stiffness.

ViewGui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (Cinnamon and Poria Teapills)

For abdominal masses such as uterine cysts, ovarian cysts, benign tumors. May be used when blood stagnation symptoms appear during pregnancy. Uterine bleeding especially if the color is dark.

ViewGui Zhi Tang Wan (Cinnamon Twig Decoction)

Gan Mao (wind-cold) - Common cold or flu (or related illnesses, asthma, rhinitis, etc.) presenting with fever and chills (unrelieved by sweating), headache, aversion to wind, no desire for fluids, dr…

ViewHuang Qi Gui Zhi Wu Wu Wan (Astragalus and Cinnamon Twig Five Herb Decoction)

Common with blood deficient patterns for dispersing interior cold, xue bi, (blood painful obstruction), generally manifesting as numbness of the extremities.  With the appropriate underlying patterns…

ViewJin Gui Shen Qi Wan (Kidney Qi Pill from the Golden Cabinet)

Lethargy, low libedo, frequent urination with possible incontinence resulting from kidney yang deficiency. Sensation of cold, especially in the lower half.

ViewRen Shen Yang Rong Wan (Ginseng Decoction to Nourish the Nutritive Qi)

Tonifies both qi and blood and nourishes the heart and calms the spirit - generally used for weakness from longer term or deep diseases such as cancer and for a host of other conditions affecting a b…

ViewWu Ling San Wan (Five-Ingredient Powder with Poria)

Generally used, often in conjunction with other formulas, as a mild-diuretic and mild spleen strengthening formula - for edema from spleen qi deficiency primarily.

ViewWu Mei Wan (Mume Fruit Pill)

Generally used with roundworms - abdominal pain, irritability, stifled chest w/heat, vomiting after eating, cold hands and/or feet.   Chronic diarrhea, IBS, or other digestive disorders characterize…

ViewXiao Qing Long Wan (Minor Blue Dragon Pills)

Cold/flu like symptoms such as aversion to cold, cough, clear watery phlegm -from exterior wind cold invasion. Wheezing, heavy sensation, edema due to interior water accumulation.

As noted above, gui zhi is within the herbs that release the exterior wind cold functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... many are acrid and warm used when fever is mild, chill severe, headache, body & neck pain, no thirst focus is on the superficial layer of the body and lung precautions: do not overdose herbs that promote sweating – disperses qi too much a…)".

All Content 1999-2022
Chad J. Dupuis / Yin Yang House
Our Policies and Privacy Guidelines
Our Affiliated Clinics