Can Major Buplureum Decoction treat panting & wheezing?

Occasionally when reading books written by clinical masters of our time regarding the usage of Jing Fang 经方 (classic formulas) we stumble upon what seems at first to be bizarre yet intriguing ways of using these formulas that in no way reflect any of the usages we were taught in school.  One in particular that comes to mind is Hu Xi-Shu’s usage of Major Buplureum Decoction (Da Chai Hu Tang) for wheezing and panting (what we may call modern day asthma).  In his ‘Popular Lectures on Cold Damage’ (伤寒论通俗讲话), Dr Hu explains that many patients presenting with wheezing and/or panting manifest a Shao-Yang, Yang-Ming combination disease.  Therefore, the cardinal Shang Han Lun formula Da Chai Hu Tang (Major Buplureum Decoction) may be used with quite astonishing results.   Many of Dr. Hu’s students would often ask him why when treating wheezing he wouldn’t just use Ma Huang (Radix Ephedra)?  He would simply state that unless the case presenting was a Ma Huang pattern, its use was not warranted.  In the Shang Han Lun (On Cold damage) it states that “In wheezing with chest fullness, Ma Huang is appropriate, but in wheezing with abdominal fullness, Ma Huang should not be used”.

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