Gan Mai Da Zao Tang Glycyrrhiza-Triticum-Jujuba Decoction is first mentioned in the Jin Gui Yao Lue by Zhang Zhong Jing (220 AD). It is in chapter 22 “Pulses and Patterns of Complicated Women’s Diseases”. Zhang Zhong Jing says “Women suffering from anxiety are affected by sadness and crying, they are like lost souls [shen ling] and yawn frequently: use Gan Mai Da Zao Tang.”
I use this formula for depressed mood and anxious mood occurring against a background of deficiency (which may be of Qi or Blood). I call this one of the “magic” formulae because the very simple ingredients do not explain the profound effect of this formula. In fact, the ingredients (only three) are mild foods: licorice, wheat husks and dates.
Since this formula has only three ingredients, I sometimes add it to another formula I am using.