Product Primer: Gan Mao Ling

Posted by Kat Powers on

Getting to Know Gan Mao Ling

This formula is also known as: Gan Mao Dan, Common Cold Pill

Primary herbs/function:  Most of these herbs are cooling and can transform phlegm.  This formula may be taken for the common cold or more specific infectious conditions such as eye or ear infections.  This formula may aid in the reduction of inflammation and/or pus.  Primary herbs include mint, honeysuckle, chrysanthemum, and evodia lepta.  

Chinese Medicine Theory:  Releases exterior, disperses wind-heat, with evodia to balance the harsh cooling properties of other herbs and address some cold conditions.  The addition of evodia makes this formula more balanced and appropriate for most mild common illnesses. 

Western condition specific perspective: this formula can address the following:

  • cough 
  • fever
  • headache
  • congestion
  • slight chills
  • sore throat (with possible swelling)
  • conjunctivitis
  • otitis media
  • pharyngitis
  • rhinitis
  • measles with heat rash

Evidence based review/research: In general the treatment of the common cold by Chinese medicine standards has been studied and the results have not found significant adverse effects.  As always an allergic reaction is possible but uncommon.  Please see this study for further details. 

This specific formula is being or has recently been studied.  Please see this study for additional information including the extended reading available through their research section (end of document).

Why We Love It

We love having herbs on the shelf at home to take at the very first sign of illness.  This formula is pretty great for that and will usually help.  Sometimes another strategy is needed later, but often this will prevent full blown common cold misery.  It can also help with eye and ear pain, swelling, and pus.

The Details

4 tablets, 3 times per day
Should be discontinued once acute symptoms are resolved

Ilex asprella root (gang mei gen)
Evodia lepta herb (san cha ku)
Chrysanthemum indicum flower (yi ju hua)
Vitex negundo herb (huang jing)
Isatis indigotica root (ban lang gen)
Lonicera japonica flower (jin yin hua)


Epsilon Acupuncture does not intend to diagnose, cure, or treat any disease and always recommends our readers to be under the care of a physician.  That being said, this formula is relatively safe for short term use.  Consult with your provider before using long-term, if you are pregnant, or if you have any specific questions.  

About The Author

Kat Powers is a licensed and actively practicing acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist in the Portland OR area.  She holds a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine.  

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