Gancao Xiexin Tang was first recorded by the Han physician Zhang Zhongjing about 1,800 years ago. Both Shanghan lun and Jingui yaolüe, the now separated parts of his classic guidebook on herbal formulas (Shanghan zabing lun), cite this particular formula. In modern times, this formula is usually regarded as a variation of the widely used Pinellia Purge the Heart Decoction (Banxia Xiexin Tang) and thus most often prescribed as a remedy for Banxia Xiexin Tang symptom complex (discomfort in stomach area, belching, diarrhea). This is precisely the usage suggested for this remedy in the Shanghai lan, where Gancao Xiexin Tang and Shengjiang Xiexin Tang are listed as variations of the standard Banxia Xiexin Tang.

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