Banxia houpo tang

March 22, 2017


Banxia houpo tang

Natural Standard Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Related Terms

  • Banxia houpo tang, chi, ginger, hange koboku to, herbal therapy, hoelen, Kampo, magnolia cortex, perilla, pinelliae, poria, TCM, TJ 16, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, qi, zingiberis rhizoma.

  • For more information on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Kampo or individual herbs, please see Natural Standard's Herbs & Supplements and Complementary Practice Databases.


  • Magnolia and pinelliae formula, a fixed ratio mixture, has two other commonly used names: banxia houpo tang (traditional Chinese medicine) and hange koboku-to (Japanese Kampo). Magnolia and pinelliae formula consists of five crude herbs: pinellia tuber, poria, magnolia bark, perilla, and ginger. This formula is generally used to promote the flow of chi (also spelled qi). According to Chinese medical philosophy, chi circulates through the body and enlivens it. Health is a function of a balanced, harmonious flow of chi and illness results when there is a blockage or an imbalance in the flow of chi.

  • The banxia houpu decoction was prescribed 1,000 years ago by a famous Chinese folk doctor Zhong-jing Zhang and is currently being used in China to treat depression.

  • Japanese experts claim that hange koboku-to will also relieve fatigue, boost immunity, and help relieve the symptoms of chemotherapy. Currently, this herbal formula is being used in research to treat patients who are resistant to conventional forms of antibiotics.


  • A study published in Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin found that magnolia and pinelliae formula locally affects levels of neuropeptides and substance P in the blood. It has been suggested that magnolia and pinelliae formula (hange koboku-to) affects neuropeptides, as well as levels of 5-HTP; which are related to feelings of physical pain and mood. Case studies have reported that hange koboku-to relieves patients of panic attacks. Many studies have also reported altered production and/or levels of noradrenaline, dopamine, cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormones, and other chemicals.

  • Magnolia and pinelliae formula (banxia houpu tang) has been used to treat hoarse voice, foreign body sensations in the throat and/or esophagus as well as swallowing disorders in Parkinson's disease and other conditions.

  • As for the empirical effects, some patients without organic pathological changes in the trachea and esophagus showed remarkable improvement using magnolia and pinelliae formula. The pharmacological effects may be based on the inhibition of laryngeal reflex, improvement in swallowing reflex disorders and moderating of anxiety and nervous tension.

  • This formula is commonly used in Japan to treat depression and anxiety disorders and has been also used to treat mild and manic-depressive disorders for centuries. There has been increasing interest in its therapeutic application in depression. However, the mechanisms behind behavioral changes are still poorly understood. It is occasionally used to treat problems in the peripheral nervous system.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Herbs taken in combination with one another, as in the magnolia and pinelliae formula, may influence the effects and actions of one another in the body. There is little to no available research on the way that herbal prescriptions affect the properties of its components. Therefore, those with sensitive medical conditions, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers should exercise extreme caution if and when they decide to take magnolia and pinelliae formula.

  • Animal and human studies have found that magnolia and pinelliae formula has a documented effect on chemicals that affect mood, reaction to stress, and the transmission of the body's signals along nerves. Patients considering taking these herbs should consult a mental health professional. Individuals with a history of serious mental illness should avoid magnolia and pinelliae formula or use it with extreme caution. Many studies have been conducted or are currently underway that examine the chemical interactions caused by magnolia and pinelliae formula.

  • A 1978 study found l-ephedrine in pinellia tuber, an herb in magnolia and pinelliae formula. The amount of l-ephedrine may or may not have any clinical significance; however the Food and Drug Administration has banned ephedrine compounds in the United States since 2004.

  • Caution is advised in those with cardiovascular problems. Consult a healthcare professional immediately if rapid heartbeats or shortness of breath develops.

Author Information

  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).


Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. Luo L, Nong Wang J, Kong LD, et al. Antidepressant effects of Banxia Houpu decoction, a traditional Chinese medicinal empirical formula. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Nov;73(1-2):277-81. View Abstract

  2. Mantani N, Hisanaga A, Kogure T, et al. Four cases of panic disorder successfully treated with Kampo (Japanese herbal) medicines: Kami-shoyo-san and Hange-koboku-to. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2002 Dec;56(6):617-20. View Abstract

  3. Naito T, Itoh H, Takeyama M. Effects of Hange-koboku-to (Banxia-houpo-tang) on neuropeptide levels in human plasma and saliva. Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 Nov;26(11):1609-13. View Abstract

  4. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. www.naturalstandard.com

  5. Oshio H, Tsukui M, Matsuoka T. Isolation of l-ephedrine from "pinelliae tuber". Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1978 Jul;26(7):2096-7. View Abstract

  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). www.fda.gov

  7. Zhang W, Li J, Zhu J, et al. Chinese medicine Banxia-houpu decoction regulates c-fos expression in the brain regions in chronic mild stress model in rats. Phytother Res. 2004 Mar;18(3):200-3. View Abstract

Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


March 22, 2017