Gut response

This clinical case study features three herbal formulas created by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold. All 60 of their formulas are available from their Chinese Medicine Works herbal pharmacy in San Francisco.

(All Chinese Medicine Works herbal remedies are also available to health care providers and their patients through prescriptions online at Kan Herb.)

Chinese herbal medicine cures acute constipation

A 63-year-old woman sought help with a left sided abdominal ache and constipation that occurred after eating at a restaurant the day before. This woman previously suffered bouts of intestinal complaints, including diarrhea, following the surgical removal of her thyroid gland due to Graves Disease. Bearing this in mind, it seemed prudent to select a remedy that would be effective without aggravating her gastrointestinal tract.


Her tongue had a slightly thickened, yellow-white coating consistent with many forms of indigestion. It was also reddened at the lateral edges (the Liver zone). The redness of the edges of the tongue was a diagnostically consistent feature that, along with characteristics of her personality and history, distinguished her as a Wood Type with a constitutional pattern of Liver-Spleen and Liver-Lung disharmony. In view of these factors and her acute symptoms, the following formula was given to harmonize Liver and Stomach (Wood and Earth), regulate the Qi of the Stomach, and gently activate the bowel. Her prescription included the following herbal remedies formulated by Harriet and Efrem:

Harmonize Liver-Spleen20cc
Tummy Tamer20cc
Easy Going20cc

Dosage: 2 squirts every 4 hours until symptoms resolve
[With the dropper unscrewed and in the bottle, firmly squeeze the bulb, and this equals 1 squirt]

She phoned to say that she had recovered within 48 hours without any ill effects and, at that point, stopped taking the herbal formula.

HARMONIZE LIVER-SPLEEN disperses Qi, Moisture, and Blood, tonifies Blood, dispels Wind and Heat, activates digestion, and relieves tension. TUMMY TAMER relieves indigestion, gas, and bloating due to food accumulation and stagnation of Qi and Moisture. EASY GOING activates the bowels, overcoming constipation due to food stagnation and accumulation.