Sho seiryu to, also known as TJ-19, is a Japanese herbal formula often used for short periods of time to ward off, and help a patient recover from, colds in the absence of fever. In Chinese, this same herbal formula is known as xiao qing long tang, and the indications are identical to that of sho seiryu to. Though these formulas have different spellings and pronunciations, they contain the same ingredients. The ingredients are equal proportions of licorice root, schizandra fruit, ephedra, cinnamon twig, ginger root, peony root, asarum herb, and pinella. Traditionally, 1 dose of sho seiryu to contains 9g of each ingredient.
The origins of this sho seiryu to and xiao qing long tang are in the traditional medical practices of Japan and China, respectively. This formula was first written about by Zhang Zhong Jing, known as the Chinese Hippocrates, in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) classic text Shang Han Lun (On Cold Damage), about 1,800 years ago. Traditional Japanese medicine developed a similar but separate tradition, called Kampo. Kampo developed when the texts and medical theories were brought to the island from mainland China. In TCM, xiao qing long tang is usually prescribed after an acupuncture treatment. In Kampo, sho seiryu to may be indicated without an acupuncture treatment. This formula is not indicated by long-term use in Kampo or TCM.
The use of sho seiryu to and Xiao qing long tang are indicated in Kampo and TCM as a treatment for illness with symptoms of lethargy, aching muscles, swelling, coughing, aversion to cold, and excessive phlegm. It is a primary treatment for colds in China and Japan, as well as among practitioners in the Kampo and TCM traditions outside of the United States.
Western-style clinical trials on animals have shown that sho seiryu to may improve immune function and counteract the effects of asthma. Sho seiryu to has been the subject of many clinical trials, although high-quality studies in humans are lacking.
The Japanese government regulated the production of sho seiryu to, or TJ-19. In the United States, sho seiryu to is not available from a pharmacy or via a doctor's prescription, because this formula includes ephedra, an illegal herb. Because of an exception in Food and Drug Administration law, only registered practitioners of TCM or Kampo may obtain this formula for distribution to patients.
Asarum, bai shao, ban xia, cinnamon twig, ephedra, gen cao, ginger root, gu zhi, Kampo, licorice root, ma huang schizandra fruit, minor blue dragon, peony root, pinella, qi, So cheong ryong tang (Korean), TCM, TJ-19, Traditional Chinese Medicine, we wei zhi, xi xin, Xiao qing long tang (Chinese), yang.