The 6+ Benefits of Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi

A Novel Way To Regulate The Gut-Brain Axis

Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Decoction is a novel way to regulate the gut-brain axis and improve gastric distress. 




  1. Basics 
  2. Benefits of XSLJZD
  3. My Experience
  4. Where To Get XSLJZD
  5. Caveats
  6. Mechanism Of Action
  7. More Research


Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Decoction (XSLJZD) is a blend of Chinese herbs and is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). R R

It is powerful at improving disorders of the Gut-Brain Axis by regulating neuropeptides in the gut and hypothalamus. R



Benefits Of XSLJZD

1. Helps The Gut

XSLJZD can improve digestion by (fully discussed in next section): R R

  • Decreasing gastric sensitivity
  • Improving gastrointestinal motility
  • Improving gastric emptying
  • Regulating gastrointestinal hormones

For example, it is very effective in treating dyspepsia. R R

It is also effective in restoring gastric emptying rate and improve symptoms in diabetic gastroparesis. R

2. Increases Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide



Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP) plays an extremely crucial role in regulation of the gut-brain axis as well as circadian rhythms. R 

XSLJZD in normal doses is able to increase VIP in the stomach and blood, and reduce it in the hypothalamusR

In low doses however, it can does the opposite (reduces VIP in the stomach/blood, but significantly increases it in the hypothalamus). R

3. Increases Ghrelin

XSLJD also increases ghrelin, which is important for regulating appetite, the distribution and rate of use of energy, and reward perception. R

Thus, XSLJD may be able to increase dopamine and acetylcholine (in nucleus accumbens), increase hunger, and improve gastric motility. R R

4. Increases Cholecystokinin

Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a peptide hormone responsible for stimulating the digestion of fat and protein (stimulating digestive enzymes). R

CCK also acts as a hunger suppressantR

XSLJD can help increase circulating CCK, thus possibly improving these functions. R

5. Reduces Inflammation And Sensitivities

XSLJZD can also reduce inflammation. R

For example, in critically ill patients, XSLJZD could reduce inflammatory cytokines. R

XSLJZD may help with bloating and food sensitivities. R

It can also help with allergy-induced asthma and rhinitis. R R R R

6. May Fight Cancer

XSLJZD may have anti-tumor effects, improving the outcome of cancer and is commonly prescribed for: 

  • Breast Cancer R
  • Colon Cancer (also helps decrease gastric distress) R R
  • Gastric Cancer R
  • Pancreatic Cancer R 

My Experience

I have been using low doses (2 pills instead of 8) of XSLJZD to increase VIP to help my neuroinflammation from Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). 

I do believe this is helping with my treatment, but I’ll be taking intranasal VIP soon.

As for its direct effects, it has improved my hunger and decreased some of my food sensitivities.

Where To Get XSLJZD




In clinical trials, XSLJZD showed no adverse effects. R

Only two studies have mentioned adverse effects including nausea, stomachache, headache, diarrhea, and skin allergies. R

XSLJZD seems to increase ghrelin, CCK, and VIP in a dose-dependent manner. R

Increased ghrelin and CCK may increase anxiety, but I don’t notice it.

Mechanism Of Action


  • Increases Calcium R
  • Increases CCK R
  • Increases Ghrelin R
  • Increases IL-8 R
  • Increases IL-10 R
  • Increases Motilin R
  • Increases VIP R
  • Reduces COX-2 R
  • Reduces Gastrin R
  • Reduces IFN-gamma R
  • Reduces IL-1b R
  • Reduces IL-4 R 
  • Reduces IL-5 R R
  • Reduces IL-12 R
  • Reduces TNF-alpha R R


  • In the stomach and serum, XSLJZD increased ghrelin, CCK, VIP proteins and genes. R
  • In the hypothalamus, XSLJZD increased the protein expression of ghrelin, CCK, and VIP, but decreased the mRNA expression. R
  • The decrease in the mRNA expression of these neuropeptides in the hypothalamus maybe considered as feedback regulation. R
  • So how does it work on the GBA? – Well, ghrelin, CCK and VIP are produced in the stomach and then released into the circulation and arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus (which is a ‘circumventricular organ’ with fenestrated capillaries and an incomplete blood–brain barrier) is implicated in food intake regulation and energy homeostasis. R
  • Circulating gut hormones then can pass across the median eminence and directly affect the activity of ARC neurons and regulate the brain-gut axis. R
  • In allergies, XSLJZD may help by decreasing serum IgE level, IFN-gamma and IL-5 but increasing IL-10 production, and suppressing cyclooxygenase 2. R
  • As for constituents in XSLJZD, it contains flavonoids, alkaloids, triterpenic acids, triterpene saponins, lactones, sesquiterpenoids and some other compounds. R

More Research

There are a few different XSLJZD which may consist of the following: (copied from references here -> R R R)

  • Amomum villosum, Astragalus mongholicus, Codonopsis pilosula, Fructus Aurantii, Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch, Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort, Medicated Leaven, Poria cocos, Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae, Rhizoma corydalis
  • Panax ginseng, Rhizoma atractylodis macrocephalae, Poria, Radix glycyrrhizae, Pericarpium citri reticulatae, Pinellia tuber, Fructus amomi, Radix aucklandiae
  • Codonopsis pilosula, atractylodes macrocephala koidz, poria cocos, radix glycyrrhizae preparata, rhizoma pinelliae preparatum, pericarpium citri reticulatae, fructus amomi villosi, radix aucklandiae, rhizoma zingiberis recens