Purpuraaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Skin Pigmentation & Discoloration Issues

Did you mean? Petechiae

What is Purpura?

Purpura refers to the appearance of purple-colored spots on the skin or mucous membranes, resulting from small blood vessels leaking under the skin. These spots can vary in size and are not raised, distinguishing them from other skin conditions like petechiae and ecchymoses. Purpura can signal various underlying conditions, ranging from minor injuries to more serious medical issues, including infections and blood disorders.

Recognizing purpura is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause, underscoring the importance of medical attention for sudden or unexplained occurrences of these distinctive spots.

How does TCM view Purpura?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) interprets purpura through a lens of internal disharmony. Unlike Western medicine, which often focuses on the immediate physical manifestations and potential external causes, TCM delves into the body's Qi (vital energy), Blood, Yin, and Yang to identify underlying imbalances.

Purpura, in TCM, is seen as a manifestation of such imbalances, particularly involving Blood Stagnation or Dampness. Identifying and addressing the specific pattern of disharmony is essential in TCM, highlighting a holistic approach that aims to treat both the symptoms and their root causes.

Causes of Purpura According to TCM

In TCM, purpura is commonly associated with Blood Stagnation and Dampness invading the Channels, joints, and muscles. This perspective suggests that the improper flow of Qi and Blood within the body leads to the accumulation of Dampness and subsequent Blood Stagnation, which can manifest externally as purpura.

Such Stagnation not only impedes the nourishment and oxygenation of the skin and underlying tissues but also contributes to the leakage of blood into the skin, resulting in the characteristic purple spots. Addressing these issues involves restoring the smooth flow of Blood and Qi, as well as eliminating any pathogenic Dampness, to alleviate the symptoms and prevent recurrence.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Purpura

To counteract purpura and the underlying conditions of Blood Stagnation and Dampness, TCM recommends specific formulas and herbs aimed at invigorating Blood and dispelling stagnation. One such formula is Shu Jing Huo Xue Tang, which includes Dong quai (Dang Gui) among its key ingredients. Dong quai, known for its properties to invigorate and harmonize the Blood, plays a crucial role in this formula by addressing Dampness invading the Channels and promoting the smooth flow of Blood and Qi throughout the body.

Through these targeted treatments, TCM seeks to not only resolve the visible manifestations of purpura but also restore internal balance and harmony, underpinning a comprehensive approach to healing and wellness.

See more details below about Shu Jing Huo Xue Tang, a herbal formula used to address purpura.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation

TCM Herbs for Purpura

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

  • By Herb Category
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency

"Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency" recommended for purpura

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Dong Quai (Dang Gui) Shu Jing Huo Xue Tang
White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) Shu Jing Huo Xue Tang