Break Into a Smile™ Formulae

break_into_a_smileThere is a formula called Shi Xiao San which some people translate as “Losing Smile Powder” but in fact it means “Breaking into a Smile Powder”, i.e. the patient breaks into a smile because the formula addresses Blood stasis. I have borrowed this name for the formula Chai Hu Shu Gan Tang Buplerum Soothing the Liver Decoction which addresses Qi stagnation.


Bai Shao Radix Paeoniae albae
Chai Hu Radix Bupleuri
Xiang Fu Rhizoma Cyperi
Fu Ling Sclerotium Poriae albae
Zhi Ke Fructus Aurantii
Chen Pi Pericarpium Citri reticulatae
Chuan Xiong Rhizoma Ligustici wallichii
Dan Shen Radix Salviae miltiorrhizae
Tai Zi Shen Radix Pseudostellariae
Yan Hu Suo Rhizoma Corydalis
Suan Zao Ren Semen Ziziphi spinosae
Zhi Gan Cao Radix Glycyrrhizae preparata

Order Formulae


Liver-Qi stagnation, Spleen- and Stomach-Qi deficiency.


Regulates Qi, eliminates stagnation, harmonizes the Liver.

Tongue: Normal or slightly red on the sides.
Pulse: Wiry.

Classical Antecedent

Chai Hu Shu Gan Tang

Differences from Classical Antecedent

Invigorating Blood action, calming the Mind action, tonifying Qi and Yin of Stomach.

Acupuncture Points

Ren-10 Xiawan, Ren-6 Qihai, ST-25 Tianshu, SP-15 Daheng, ST-27 Daju, ST-29 Guilai, LIV-3 Taichong, T.B.-6 Zhigou, P-6 Neiguan, G.B.-34 Yanglingquan, ST-39 Xiajuxu, Du-24 Shenting, G.B.-13 Benshen, with even or reducing method.

Break into Smile is a variation of Chai Hu Shu Gan Tang (Bupleurum Soothing the Liver Decoction) which moves Liver-Qi and eliminates stagnation. The classic prescription was modified by adding:

  • Dan Shen to invigorate Blood and calm the Mind
  • Tai Zi Shen was added to nourish Stomach-Yin as this of- ten accompanies Liver-Qi stagnation or to protect Stomach-Yin from the hot and pungent herbs in the formula
  • Suan Zao Ren was added to anchor the Hun
  • Yan Hu Suo was added to ease discomfort
  • Fu Ling to resolve Dampness

The formula addresses “zhang” that is a typical symptom of Qi stagnation.

It is useful to compare and contrast this formula with Smooth Passage™ and Soothe the Centre™. All three address Liver-Qi stagnation, but there are differences:

  • Break into a Smile™ is for Liver-Qi stagnation as a Full condition, while Smooth Passage™ is for stagnant Liver-Qi invading the Intestines and Spleen in the Lower Burner; Soothe the Centre™ is for stagnant Liver-Qi invading the Stomach in the Middle Burner.
  • The pulse indicating the use of Break into a Smile™ is Wiry on all positions, while that indicating the use of Smooth Passage™ is often Wiry on one side only or Wiry on both third positions. The pulse indicating the use of Soothe the Centre™ is Wiry on the left and Weak on the right or Wiry on both second positions.

This product is a dietary (food) supplement, as prescribed by a qualified practitioner. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any disease. Do not take if nursing or pregnant. Not intended to replace a varied diet. Not to be consumed for longer 3 months on a continued basis.