Xiao Yao Wan: Top 13 Health Benefits [Amazing Facts]

Xiao Yao Wan tonic formula is a classic preparation in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and quite possibly can be described as one of the quintessential herbal formulas in TCM.

Herbal formulas and preparations are common in TCM. Several different herbs are combined to create a more efficient treatment form as compared to using only specific individual herbs. The Xiao Yao Wan formula is commonly adapted into Chinese patent herbal medicine today, among the many types of Chinese patent medicines that are still sold and used these days.

Historically, this formula, also known as the Tang Kuei formula,  was first mentioned in 992 C.E. in the publication “Tai Ping Imperial Grace Formulary” and is one of the main herbal formulas that students of TCM study. The formula is often customized by graduates later in their practice, to match the blend and dosages to each patient’s individual needs.

It’s a little tricky to find but you can usually get the formula in natural health food stores as well as any traditional Chinese medicine supplier. You can also find Xiao Yao Wan, aka Free and Easy Wanderer online with ease.Free and easy wonderer

Xiao Yao Wan has several other common names including its English translation Free and Easy Wanderer Tea Pills, Relaxed Wanderer, and Free and Easy Rambling Pills.

Warning: The most common form of the tea pills are manufactured in China and unfortunately, have talcum powder in them. Talcum powder is a common carcinogen that has been strongly linked to disease and other diseases. So please check the additional ingredients and additives when locating a personal source.

This is the classical formula used to make the xiao yao wan tonic.

Name Chinese Latin Part Used Elements Meridians QTY/Ratio
 Bupleurum Chai Hu Chinese Bupleurum Root Fire, Metal Gall Bladder, Liver, Pericardium, Triple Warmer  6
White Peony Bai Shao Paeonia lactiflora Root Wood, Fire Liver, Spleen  6
Dong Quai Dong Quai Angelica Sinensis Root Metal, Earth, Fire Heart, Liver, Spleen  6
Atractylodes Bai Zhu Atractylodes Macrocephala Root Earth, Fire Spleen, Stomach  6
Poria Fu Ling Polyporaceae Fruiting Body Earth Heart, Spleen, Lung  6
Ginger Sheng Jiang Zingiber officinale Fresh Root Metal Lung, Spleen, Stomach  4
Prepared Licorice Zhi Gan Cao Prepared Glycyrrhiza glabra Root Earth All Meridians  3
Wild Mint Bo He Herba Menthae Haplocalycis Dried Leaves Metal Lung, Liver  2

These individual herbs are combined together and then extracted with hot water. Traditionally this would be a tea but you can also make them into a spray-dried hot water extract to take in capsule form.

If you get tea pills, a common form of the tonic, other ingredients may also include: Botanical wax, Activated carbon, and Talcum. Be sure check for these they are not medicinal and especially talcum has been linked to disease and should not be consumed regularly.

Top 13 Benefits of Xiao Yao Wan

For hundreds of years this powerful “tonic” formula has been recommended and used in traditional Chinese medicine, mainly for its use in treating health conditions like:

  1. Female hormone imbalances (due to prolonged use of contraceptives/ birth control pills)
  2. Women’s hormonal discomforts (including menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause)
  3. Premenstrual syndrome/ PMS (such as irritability and mood swings)
  4. Mental health conditions (such as depression, panic attacks, and anxiety)
  5. Poor or lack of sleep
  6. Low energy/ fatigue and stress
  7. Blood deficiencies
  8. Headaches and other body pains related to menstrual cycles
  9. Liver Qi Stagnation
  10. Indigestion
  11. Skin acne
  12. Ovarian polycystic syndrome
  13. Food cravings or fluctuating body weight when coupled with difficult cycles
xiao yao wan infographic
This infographic illustrates 13 benefits of xiao yao wan

Does It Work?

The Xiao Yao Wan formula has been used in in TCM to treat the above health conditions with great anecdotal success, but there has been very few clinical studies to confirm these effects and completely rule out the placebo

Never the less, if you believe in alternative medicine and specifically TCM this is probably one of the most trusted formulas in that tradition of medicine.

The benefits of Xiao Yao Wan have not been clinically tested but have a such a long history of household use throughout China, most especially in the treatment of mental health disorders such as acute fears and insomnia, unpredictable mood; and poor focus, energy, or motivation. The herbal tea serves as a wonderful and effective mood stabilizer.

Also what clinical data there is on Free and Easy Wanderer has been overwhelmingly positive and promising and has gone to support the historic evidence of the benefits of this formula, making it probably one of the most trustworthy formulas in TCM.

Most acupuncturists today recommend Xiao Yao Wan especially to women, not only to help improve mental health but also to treat health conditions involving female hormones and menstrual cycle.

How fast does Relaxed Wanderer work and how do you take Xiao Yao Wan?

Most people start by taking four pills a day (in some cases up to 8 a day) taken in the morning and evening. It takes a week of daily use before the bulk of the effects are felt and as a tonic herb, it is recommended to take it daily long term.

Overall, this product is great for women who want to live life like a real Free and Easy Wanderer. It provides relief especially for women with conditions like stress, hormonal imbalances, and physical pain or discomforts; giving you a greater sense of health and wellbeing.

For centuries, the Chinese have believed in and used this combination of herbs for good reason. The Chinese herbal formula counteracts the potential side effects of the individual herbs while supporting each other’s health benefits. This makes it an almost perfectly safe and effective tonic with some great alternative health holistic benefits.

Pharmaceutical hormone replacement pills over time can produce harmful side effects, and most conventionally manufactured over-the-counter drugs simply don’t work. Containing a variety of natural herbs with packed vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, Xiao Yao Wan, Free and Easy Wanderer produces almost zero negative side effects.

We’ll update this information with contraindications and new scientific published studies and medical reviews as they become available.

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3 thoughts on “Xiao Yao Wan: Top 13 Health Benefits [Amazing Facts]

  1. In Chinese medicine they don’t prescribed formulas based on modern symptoms, they prescribe based on the Chinese medical syndrome differentiation. Xiao Yao San is specifically for “liver qi stagnation with blood deficiency” or “liver attacking spleen”. Generally this is determined by pulse, tongue and interview.

    Because most modern people have some level of liver qi stagnation, many clinics will just give it to for anxiety symptoms, especially if the person is stressed out, “wiry” + has digestive symptoms (i.e. constipation or diarrhea). However, in CM, anxiety can have many root causes. There could be 10 people with anxiety that all have a different syndrome differentiation and in turn a different herbal formula prescribed.

    Sorry for this long answer. You could try it for anxiety, but if it doesn’t work then it’s likely because the anxiety is for a different reason than the formula treats.

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