Understanding: Free & Easy Wanderer (Xiao Yao San)

Understanding: Free & Easy Wanderer (Xiao Yao San)

xiao yao wan free and easy wanderer plum flower 200ct bupleurum peony jia wei xiao yao wan plum flower free and easy wanderer plus dan zhi

Also Known as:
Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San
Bupleurum and Peony Formula


The formula is fundamentally comprised of six herbs:

  • Three of the herbs (bupleurum, tang-kuei, and peony) are aimed at improving liver function,
  • three (hoelen, atractylodes, baked licorice) are aimed at improving spleen function.

Looking at it another way, three of the herbs serve primarily as nourishing tonics (tang-kuei, peony, and baked licorice) and three serve primarily as herbs to disperse stagnation (bupleurum, hoelen, and atractylodes).


Chinese Medicine Understanding:

The broad applications listed for Xiao Yao San can be understood in terms of its objective: treating a fundamental underlying disorder, which is the obstructed flow of qi that results from certain mental processes.

The mind that has not learned how to face problems effectively, that struggles, strives, and competes, will cause the body's qi to stagnate, which, over time, yields various symptoms and diseases.  

This simple formula embodies the medical principles of tonifying and dispersing in a balanced manner. The herbs benefit spleen and the liver, the two organs that are commonly involved in disharmony of qi circulation.


Western Understanding:

Xiao yao wan is said to address a variety of conditions, such as: 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Infertility
  • Migraine
  • Menstrual pain
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Weight loss

In addition, Xiao Yao San is thought to alleviate pain, ease stress, balance hormones, and improve your mood.

Evidence-based review of the efficacy of Xiao Yao San:
Chinese Herbal Formula Xiao Yao San for Treatment of Depression: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

(In conclusion: Comparing to three categories (tricyclic-tertiary amines, nontricyclic, specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)) of antidepressant drugs such as Amitriptyline, venlafaxine and Fluoxetine, the prescription based on Xiao Yao San in different forms appears to improve the symptoms with less adverse event. The combination of Xiao Yao San and antidepressants may have shorter onset time compare to antidepressants using alone.)


8 teapills, 3 times per day

Paeonia lactiflora root-wine-fried
Poria cocos sclerotium
Atractylodes macrocephala rhizome
Paeonia suffruticosa root-bark
Gardenia jasminoides fruit
Bupleurum chinense root
Angelica sinensis root
Zingiber officinale rhizome-fresh
Glycyrrhiza uralensis root
Mentha haplocalyx herb


  • Use with caution during pregnancy.
  • Contraindicated for those with underlying Deficiency and Cold.
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