Breast Engorgementaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Breastfeeding Conditions

Did you mean? Clogged Milk Ducts

Root Causes of Breast Engorgement in TCM

Explore below more details about what might cause Breast engorgement according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • By Organ
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Blood Stasis
  • Heat
  • Phlegm
  • Qi Rebellion
  • Blood Deficiency
  • Liver
  • Stomach
  • Spleen
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Stagnation

Qi Stagnation in TCM is like having a traffic jam in your body's energy system. Qi, the vital life force that flows through your body, is supposed to move smoothly to maintain health and balance. But with Qi Stagnation, this flow gets blocked or slowed down, like cars stuck on a highway. This can lead to symptoms like feeling stressed, emotional mood swings, and physical discomfort, often described as a feeling of fullness or tightness, especially in the chest or abdomen. It's as though the body's internal energy circulation is disrupted, causing various issues. TCM sees this as an energy flow problem, different from modern medicine's focus on specific physiological processes.... see more

Qi Stagnation Patterns That Can Lead to Breast Engorgement

Common Symptoms: Irritability Mood Swings Depression Irregular Periods Abdominal Pain Menstrual Cramps Dark Menstrual Blood Pre Menstrual Tension

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Qi And Blood Stagnation Breast distention, Chest distension, Chest pain, Stabbing fixed pain, Dark face, Purple lips, Purple nails, Irritability, Mood swings, Depression, Mottled skin, Foot edema, Abdominal masses, Melena black tarry stool, Menstrual cramps, Amenorrhea, Dark menstrual clots, Dark menstrual blood, Prolonged lochia, Irregular periods... see more Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang | Tao Hong Si Wu Tang | Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang | Wu Yao Tang | Jia Wei Xiao Yao San | Wei Jing Tang | Xiao Yao San
Liver Qi Stagnation Breast distention, breast engorgement, Hypochondriac distention, Chest distension, Upper abdominal distension, Abdominal distention, Sighing, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Irregular periods, Globus sensation, Pre menstrual breast distension, Pre menstrual tension, Anxiety, Anger... see more Wu Yao Tang | Gua Lou San | Xiao Yao San | Xia Ru Yong Quan San | Yue Ju Wan
Qi Stagnation Breast distention, General fullness, Moving pain, Depression, Irritability, Mood swings, Sighing Xiao Yao San | Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Si Mo Tang | Qi Ge San
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Breast distention, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San | Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Blood Stasis

Blood Stasis in TCM is a concept where the blood flow in the body is not as smooth or efficient as it should be. Imagine a river that's supposed to flow freely, but instead, it's getting blocked or moving too slowly in some parts. This can lead to various health issues, like pain that feels sharp or stabbing, dark bruises, and a complexion that looks purplish. TCM believes that good health relies on the smooth and vibrant flow of Qi and blood throughout the body, so when blood gets stuck, it's like a traffic jam in your body, leading to discomfort or health problems.... see more

Blood Stasis Patterns That Can Lead to Breast Engorgement

Common Symptoms: Irritability Abdominal Masses Menstrual Cramps Amenorrhea Dark Menstrual Clots Dark Menstrual Blood Prolonged Lochia Irregular Periods

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Qi And Blood Stagnation Breast distention, Chest distension, Chest pain, Stabbing fixed pain, Dark face, Purple lips, Purple nails, Irritability, Mood swings, Depression, Mottled skin, Foot edema, Abdominal masses, Melena black tarry stool, Menstrual cramps, Amenorrhea, Dark menstrual clots, Dark menstrual blood, Prolonged lochia, Irregular periods... see more Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang | Tao Hong Si Wu Tang | Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang | Wu Yao Tang | Jia Wei Xiao Yao San | Wei Jing Tang | Xiao Yao San
Blood Stagnation in the Directing and Penetrating Vessels Breast distention, Irregular periods, Brown vaginal discharge, Dark menstrual clots, Menstrual cramps, Dark menstrual blood, Prolonged lochia, Lower abdominal pain, Umbilical pain, Breast engorgement, Breast pain... see more Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Heat

In TCM "Heat" signifies an excess of Yang energy, leading to an imbalance where heat predominates over the body's cool Yin aspects. This condition is metaphorically akin to an internal over-heating. Symptoms indicative of Heat can include feelings of warmth, fever, sweating, irritability, red face, thirst with a preference for cold drinks, and a rapid pulse. The tongue may appear red with a yellow coating. Unlike the common interpretation of heat in terms of temperature, in TCM, it represents a state of hyperactivity or inflammation in the body.... see more

Heat Patterns That Can Lead to Breast Engorgement

Common Symptoms: Headaches Thirst Eye Hyperemia Constipation Flushed Face Tooth Pain Stomatitis Periodontitis

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Breast distention, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San | Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat Breast distention, breast engorgement, Tooth pain, Headaches, Stomatitis, Periodontitis, Glossitis, Trigeminal neuralgia, Diabetes, Viral myocarditis, Breast lumps, Breast hardness... see more Gua Lou San
Detailed description of the cause

Phlegm

In TCM "Phlegm" as a pattern of disharmony is a complex concept that extends beyond the physical manifestation of mucus. It represents a pathological factor that can disrupt the flow of Qi (vital energy) and blood, leading to various health issues. Phlegm in TCM is seen as a sticky, turbid substance arising from the body's inability to metabolize fluids properly, often due to a dysfunction of the spleen. It's not only associated with respiratory problems like cough and congestion but also with systemic issues. Symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness, mental cloudiness, dizziness, and in some cases, the formation of lumps or masses. Phlegm can even be "invisible," contributing to emotional disturbances like depression or stress. ... see more

Phlegm Patterns That Can Lead to Breast Engorgement

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Phlegm Breast distention, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Head fog, Dizziness Yue Ju Wan | Wen Dan Tang | Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Rebellion

Rebellious Qi in TCM is a bit like having a rebel inside your body. Qi, which is the vital energy flowing through your body, is supposed to move in certain directions to keep everything in balance and working well. But with Rebellious Qi, this energy decides to go the opposite way. Think of it like a river flowing upstream instead of downstream. This can cause various issues like heartburn, coughing, or even headaches. It's as if the body's natural flow is disrupted, creating a kind of internal chaos. TCM focuses on correcting this flow, restoring order and balance.... see more

Qi Rebellion Patterns That Can Lead to Breast Engorgement

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Rebellious Liver Qi Breast distention, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Hiccups, Sighing, Nausea or vomiting, Belching, Stomach churning, Irritability, Breast engorgement, Headaches, Dizziness... see more Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Si Ni San
Detailed description of the cause

Blood Deficiency

Blood Deficiency in TCM is like when your body's tank runs low on the vital energy that blood provides. It's not exactly the same as anemia in modern medicine, which is about having too few red blood cells. Instead, Blood Deficiency in TCM is about your body not having enough of the life-giving qualities that blood brings, like nourishment and moisture. This can make you feel tired, look pale, and even feel dizzy or have blurry vision. It's like a garden not getting enough water to stay lush and vibrant. TCM sees this as an imbalance where the body isn't being nourished as it should be, impacting overall health and well-being.... see more

Blood Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Breast Engorgement

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Blood Deficiency with disharmony of Liver and Spleen Breast distention, Chest distension, Chest pain, Anemia, Dizziness, Headaches, Xerostomia, Dry throat, Lack of appetite, Irregular periods, Leukorrhea... see more Xiao Yao San
Detailed description of the cause

Liver

In TCM the Liver is viewed as the organ responsible for the smooth flow of Qi, Blood, and emotions throughout the body. It plays a key role in regulating mood, storing blood, supporting digestion, and ensuring the health of tendons and eyes. When the Liver malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to a range of issues such as irritability, mood swings, menstrual irregularities, eye problems, and muscular stiffness or pain. A malfunctioning Liver in TCM reflects not only physical disturbances but also emotional and mental disharmony, emphasizing the holistic approach of TCM in addressing health and wellness.... see more

Liver Patterns That Can Lead to Breast Engorgement

Common Symptoms: Headaches Hypochondriac Distention Upper Abdominal Distension Irregular Periods Irritability Dizziness Chest Distension Sighing

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Liver Qi Stagnation Breast distention, breast engorgement, Hypochondriac distention, Chest distension, Upper abdominal distension, Abdominal distention, Sighing, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Irregular periods, Globus sensation, Pre menstrual breast distension, Pre menstrual tension, Anxiety, Anger... see more Wu Yao Tang | Gua Lou San | Xiao Yao San | Xia Ru Yong Quan San | Yue Ju Wan
Rebellious Liver Qi Breast distention, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Hiccups, Sighing, Nausea or vomiting, Belching, Stomach churning, Irritability, Breast engorgement, Headaches, Dizziness... see more Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Si Ni San
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Breast distention, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San | Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Blood Deficiency with disharmony of Liver and Spleen Breast distention, Chest distension, Chest pain, Anemia, Dizziness, Headaches, Xerostomia, Dry throat, Lack of appetite, Irregular periods, Leukorrhea... see more Xiao Yao San
Detailed description of the cause

Stomach

In TCM the Stomach is regarded as the "sea of nourishment," pivotal for digesting food and transforming it into Qi and blood. It works closely with the Spleen to distribute these essential nutrients throughout the body. When the Stomach is out of balance or malfunctions in TCM, it often leads to digestive problems such as bloating, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, or a feeling of fullness. There may also be issues like acid reflux or a sour taste in the mouth. Emotionally, an imbalanced Stomach can contribute to excessive worry and overthinking, reflecting the TCM belief that physical and emotional well-being are deeply interconnected.... see more

Stomach Patterns That Can Lead to Breast Engorgement

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat Breast distention, breast engorgement, Tooth pain, Headaches, Stomatitis, Periodontitis, Glossitis, Trigeminal neuralgia, Diabetes, Viral myocarditis, Breast lumps, Breast hardness... see more Gua Lou San
Detailed description of the cause

Spleen

In TCM the Spleen plays a vital role in digestion and transformation, converting food into energy and nutrients, and overseeing the distribution of Qi and Blood. It's also crucial in maintaining the health of muscles and limbs and ensuring the blood remains within the vessels. When the Spleen malfunctions in TCM, it can lead to a variety of issues such as digestive disorders, fatigue, weak muscles, bloating, and a feeling of heaviness. It can also cause a pale complexion, poor appetite, and a tendency to bruise easily. Emotionally, a Spleen imbalance is often associated with excessive worry or overthinking, reflecting its role in the interplay between physical and mental health.... see more

Spleen Patterns That Can Lead to Breast Engorgement

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Blood Deficiency with disharmony of Liver and Spleen Breast distention, Chest distension, Chest pain, Anemia, Dizziness, Headaches, Xerostomia, Dry throat, Lack of appetite, Irregular periods, Leukorrhea... see more Xiao Yao San

TCM Herbal Formulas for Breast Engorgement

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address breast engorgement, organized by cause and by formula type.

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Blood Stasis
  • Heat
  • Phlegm
  • Qi Rebellion
  • Blood Deficiency
  • Formulas that promote qi movement
  • Formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation
  • Formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen
  • Formulas that clear internal abscesses and sores
  • Formulas that tonify blood
  • Formulas that clear heat and resolve toxicity
  • Formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm
  • Formulas that clear liver-Heat
  • Formulas that clear heat from the organs

All Formulas Recommended for Breast Engorgement Caused by Qi Stagnation

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Xiao Yao San Qi And Blood Stagnation, Liver Qi Stagnation, Qi Stagnation
Wu Yao Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation, Liver Qi Stagnation
Gua Lou San Liver Qi Stagnation
Yue Ju Wan Liver Qi Stagnation
Chai Hu Shu Gan San Qi Stagnation
Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Tao Hong Si Wu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Jia Wei Xiao Yao San Qi And Blood Stagnation
Wei Jing Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Xia Ru Yong Quan San Liver Qi Stagnation
Si Mo Tang Qi Stagnation
Qi Ge San Qi Stagnation
Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire

All Formulas Recommended for Breast Engorgement Caused by Blood Stasis

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Xiao Yao San Qi And Blood Stagnation
Wu Yao Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Tao Hong Si Wu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Jia Wei Xiao Yao San Qi And Blood Stagnation
Wei Jing Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan Blood Stagnation in the Directing and Penetrating Vessels

All Formulas Recommended for Breast Engorgement Caused by Heat

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Gua Lou San Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat
Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire

All Formulas Recommended for Breast Engorgement Caused by Phlegm

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Yue Ju Wan Phlegm
Wen Dan Tang Phlegm
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang Phlegm

All Formulas Recommended for Breast Engorgement Caused by Qi Rebellion

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Chai Hu Shu Gan San Rebellious Liver Qi
Si Ni San Rebellious Liver Qi

All "formulas that promote qi movement" recommended for breast engorgement

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Wu Yao Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation, Liver Qi Stagnation
Yue Ju Wan Liver Qi Stagnation, Phlegm
Chai Hu Shu Gan San Qi Stagnation, Rebellious Liver Qi
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang Phlegm
Si Mo Tang Qi Stagnation
Qi Ge San Qi Stagnation

All "formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen" recommended for breast engorgement

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Xiao Yao San Liver Qi Stagnation, Qi And Blood Stagnation, Qi Stagnation, Blood Deficiency with disharmony of Liver and Spleen... see more
Jia Wei Xiao Yao San Qi And Blood Stagnation
Si Ni San Rebellious Liver Qi

All "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation" recommended for breast engorgement

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan Blood Stagnation in the Directing and Penetrating Vessels
Xia Ru Yong Quan San Liver Qi Stagnation

All "formulas that clear internal abscesses and sores" recommended for breast engorgement

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Tuo Li Xiao Du San Jealous Breast (Du Ru), Blow Breast (Chui Ru)
Wei Jing Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation

Acupoints for Breast Engorgement

Explore below some acupoints used to address breast engorgement, organized by meridian.

  • By Meridian
  • Kidney Channel
  • Gall Bladder Channel
  • Liver Channel
  • Directing Vessel
  • Bladder Channel
  • Stomach Channel
  • Spleen Channel
Youmen KID-21

Youmen KID-21

6 cun above the umbilicus and 2 cun below the sternocostal angle, 0.5 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Shenfeng KID-23

Shenfeng KID-23

In the 4th intercostal space, 2 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Zulingqi GB-41

Zulingqi GB-41

In the depression distal to the junction of the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones, on the lateral side of the tendon of extensor digitorum longus muscle of the foot.

Diwuhui GB-42

Diwuhui GB-42

Between the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones, on the medial side of the tendon of extensor digitorum longus muscle of the little toe.

Taichong LIV-3

Taichong LIV-3

On the dorsum of the foot, between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones, in the depression proximal to the metatarsophalangeal joints and the proximal angle between the two bones.

Qimen LIV-14

Qimen LIV-14

On the mammillary line, two ribs below the nipple, in the 6th intercostal space, 4 cun lateral to the midline. Please note that there is an alternative location for LIV-14 at the lower edge of the ribcage in line with the nipple or, in women, 4 cun from the midline. In fact, one could look upon these as two separate points. The one in the intercostal space is used more for Channel problems. While the one at the lower edge of the ribcage is used more for Organ problems.

Shanzhong REN-17

Shanzhong REN-17

On the midline of the chest, on the level of the 4th intercostal space or nipples.

Yutang REN-18

Yutang REN-18

On the midline of the chest, on the level of the 3rd intercostal space.

Huangmen BL-51

Huangmen BL-51

3 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 1st lumbar vertebra (L1).

Rugen ST-18

Rugen ST-18

In the 5nd intercostal space, on the mammillary line, 4 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Shidou SP-17

Shidou SP-17

6 cun lateral to the anterior midline, 2 cun lateral to the mamillary line, in the 5th intercostal space.