Nephritic Edemaaccording to TCM

What is Nephritic Edema?

Nephritic edema is a clinical condition typically associated with nephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys. This form of edema is characterized by swelling, particularly in the lower extremities, due to fluid retention and kidney dysfunction.

It often accompanies other symptoms of nephritis, like high blood pressure, hematuria (blood in the urine), and proteinuria (protein in the urine). Nephritic edema arises when the kidneys are unable to effectively filter and excrete fluids from the body, leading to an accumulation of fluid in the tissues.

How does TCM view Nephritic Edema?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) interprets nephritic edema differently from Western medicine. TCM views this condition as a symptom of imbalance in the body's natural energy systems. It is understood as an accumulation of Dampness and a dysfunction in the body's ability to process and eliminate Body Fluids, often related to the Kidney and Spleen systems.

TCM emphasizes identifying the specific patterns of disharmony underlying nephritic edema, treating it by restoring balance and enhancing the body's natural fluid metabolism.

Causes of Nephritic Edema According to TCM

In TCM, nephritic edema is often attributed to underlying imbalances within the body. A primary cause is the dysfunction of the Kidney system, which in TCM is responsible for fluid regulation. When the Kidney Qi is not firm, it can lead to an inability to manage water metabolism, resulting in edema.

Another cause is Spleen Qi Deficiency, as the spleen in TCM is vital for transforming and transporting Body Fluids. A weakened Spleen can lead to the accumulation of Dampness, exacerbating edema. Treatment in TCM focuses on strengthening these organ systems and promoting the proper movement of Qi and Bod Fluids.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Nephritic Edema

To treat nephritic edema, TCM practitioners typically recommend specific herbal formulas. One such formula is Ji Jiao Li Huang Wan, which includes Stephania Roots (Fang Ji). This formula is known for its properties to clear Heat and dry Dampness, targeting the Bladder and Lungs to alleviate Body Fluids retention.

Another formula, Shu Zao Yin Zi with Poke Roots (Shang Lu), is used for its cathartic properties, helping to drain downward and target multiple organs including the Bladder, Spleen, Kidney, and Lung.

Additionally, Yu Gong San, containing Morning glory seeds, is employed for its ability to expel excess water, benefiting the Kidney and Large Intestine. These TCM treatments are chosen based on the individual's pattern of disharmony, aiming to correct the root causes and relieve the symptoms of nephritic edema.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address nephritic edema, organized by formula type.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that drive out excess water

All "formulas that drive out excess water" recommended for nephritic edema

Formula Key herbs
Ji Jiao Li Huang Wan Stephania Roots (Fang Ji)
Shu Zao Yin Zi Poke Roots (Shang Lu)
Yu Gong San Morning Glory Seeds (Qian Niu Zi)

TCM Herbs for Nephritic Edema

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address nephritic edema, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Cathartic herbs that drain downward
  • Herbs that pacify internal liver wind and stop tremors
  • Herbs that clear heat and dry dampness

"Cathartic herbs that drain downward" recommended for nephritic edema

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Poke Roots (Shang Lu) Shu Zao Yin Zi
Morning Glory Seeds (Qian Niu Zi) Yu Gong San