Thick Menstrual Bloodaccording to TCM

What is Thick Menstrual Blood?

Thick menstrual blood refers to a condition where the blood discharged during menstruation is unusually dense or heavy in consistency. This can be accompanied by larger-than-normal blood clots. While some variation in menstrual blood consistency is normal, notably thick blood can sometimes indicate underlying health issues.

Women experiencing this symptom may also notice changes in their menstrual cycle, such as irregularities in flow or duration. Understanding the nature of menstrual blood is important, as it can provide insights into a woman's overall reproductive health.

How Does TCM View Thick Menstrual Blood?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a unique perspective on thick menstrual blood, viewing it as a symptom of underlying imbalances within the body's systems. Unlike Western medicine, which tends to focus on the physical characteristics of menstrual blood, TCM considers thick menstrual blood as an indicator of disharmony in the body's energy flow, specifically involving Qi (vital energy), Blood, and the balance of Yin and Yang.

TCM stresses the importance of identifying the specific pattern of disharmony causing the symptom, as effective treatment depends on addressing these underlying causes.

Root Causes of Thick Menstrual Blood in TCM

In TCM, thick menstrual blood is often attributed to patterns such as Heat in the Blood or Damp-Heat. Heat in the Blood can cause the blood to become thick and sticky, leading to symptoms like a feeling of heat, thirst, and red skin eruptions.

Damp-Heat, another pattern, involves an excess of heat and moisture in the body, which can also manifest as thick menstrual blood, along with symptoms like fever, headaches, and a feeling of heaviness. These patterns illustrate the holistic approach of TCM, where physical symptoms are seen as reflections of deeper imbalances in the body's energy system.

Explore below more details about what might cause Thick menstrual blood according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • By Organ
  • Heat
  • Dampness
  • Phlegm
  • Uterus
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 Thick Menstrual Blood

Common Symptoms: Feeling Hot Thirst Excessive Menstruation Restlessness Hematuria Fever Anxiety Xerostomia

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heat in the Blood Thick menstrual blood, Feeling hot, Red skin eruptions, Thirst, Frequent bleeding, Bloody sputum, Hematochezia, Hematuria, Vomiting blood, Hemoptysis, Nosebleeds, Excessive menstruation... see more Qing Jing San | Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Liang Di Tang | Di Gu Pi Yin
Heat in Uterus Blood Thick menstrual blood, Excessive menstruation, Sudden period before schedule, Dark menstrual blood, Sticky menstrual blood, Thirst, Flushed face, Anger, Anxiety, Dark urine, Constipation... see more Huai Jiao Wan
Damp-Heat Thick menstrual blood, Fever, Neck gland swelling, Headaches, Tight feeling in chest and stomach, Sticky taste in the mouth, Absence of thirst, Feeling hot, Feeling of heaviness, Bitter taste in the mouth, Acne... see more Er Miao San | Xiao Yao San | Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Dampness

"Dampness" in TCM is a concept that describes a pattern of disharmony where the body accumulates excess moisture. Imagine the heavy, sticky feeling you get on a very humid day; that's similar to what dampness feels like internally. It can manifest as a sense of heaviness, bloating, sluggishness, or even a foggy mind. This condition is often thought to arise from environmental factors like living in a damp place, dietary habits that promote moisture in the body, or internal imbalances that hinder the body's ability to process fluids properly. In TCM, dampness can obstruct the normal flow of energy and fluids in the body, leading to various symptoms.... see more

Dampness Patterns That Can Lead to Thick Menstrual Blood

Common Symptoms: Late Menstruation Lower Abdominal Pain Generalized Fatigue Diarrhea Feeling Of Heaviness Leukorrhea Dizziness Sore And Weak Limbs

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus Thick menstrual blood, Late menstruation, Amenorrhea, Scanty menstruation, Lower abdominal pain, Abdominal heaviness, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Generalized fatigue, Diarrhea, Dull pale complexion, Obesity, Infertility, Ovarian cysts, Ovarian fibroids, Polycystic ovary syndrome, Pseudocyesis, Sputum, Feeling of heaviness... see more Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang | Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang
Damp-Heat Thick menstrual blood, Fever, Neck gland swelling, Headaches, Tight feeling in chest and stomach, Sticky taste in the mouth, Absence of thirst, Feeling hot, Feeling of heaviness, Bitter taste in the mouth, Acne... see more Er Miao San | Xiao Yao San | Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang
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 Thick Menstrual Blood

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus Thick menstrual blood, Late menstruation, Amenorrhea, Scanty menstruation, Lower abdominal pain, Abdominal heaviness, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Generalized fatigue, Diarrhea, Dull pale complexion, Obesity, Infertility, Ovarian cysts, Ovarian fibroids, Polycystic ovary syndrome, Pseudocyesis, Sputum, Feeling of heaviness... see more Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang | Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Uterus

In TCM the Uterus (or "Bao Gong") is not just a reproductive organ but a vital system closely linked to Kidney energy, responsible for menstrual health, fertility, and pregnancy. It's also connected to the Heart and Liver, reflecting the importance of emotional and blood health in reproductive wellness. In TCM, the Uterus is seen as a reservoir of Blood and Qi, crucial for reproductive health and general vitality. When the Uterus malfunctions or is imbalanced, it can lead to menstrual irregularities, infertility, miscarriages, or menopausal symptoms. Additionally, there might be symptoms like lower abdominal pain or emotional disturbances such as mood swings, often linked to Liver Qi stagnation. These manifestations highlight the TCM perspective that the health of the Uterus is intertwined with the overall balance of energy and blood in the body, as well as emotional well-being.... see more

Uterus Patterns That Can Lead to Thick Menstrual Blood

Common Symptoms: Sticky Menstrual Blood Excessive Menstruation Sudden Period Before Schedule Dark Menstrual Blood Thirst Flushed Face Anger Anxiety

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heat in Uterus Blood Thick menstrual blood, Excessive menstruation, Sudden period before schedule, Dark menstrual blood, Sticky menstrual blood, Thirst, Flushed face, Anger, Anxiety, Dark urine, Constipation... see more Huai Jiao Wan
Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus Thick menstrual blood, Late menstruation, Amenorrhea, Scanty menstruation, Lower abdominal pain, Abdominal heaviness, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Generalized fatigue, Diarrhea, Dull pale complexion, Obesity, Infertility, Ovarian cysts, Ovarian fibroids, Polycystic ovary syndrome, Pseudocyesis, Sputum, Feeling of heaviness... see more Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang | Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang

TCM Herbal Formulas for Thick Menstrual Blood

To address thick menstrual blood, TCM practitioners may recommend specific formulas and herbs based on the identified pattern of disharmony. For Heat in the Blood, a formula like Qing Jing San, containing Goji Tree Root Bark (Di Gu Pi), can be effective in cooling the Blood.

In cases of Damp-Heat, Er Miao San, with ingredients like Phellodendron bark (Huang Bo), is used to expel dampness and clear heat. These treatments are tailored to the individual's unique pattern of disharmony, aiming to restore the natural balance within the body and alleviate the symptoms associated with thick menstrual blood. The selection of herbs and formulas in TCM is highly individualized, reflecting each patient's specific needs and conditions.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address thick menstrual blood, organized by cause and by formula type.

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Heat
  • Dampness
  • Phlegm
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that clear blood-Heat
  • Formulas that clear heat from the organs
  • Formulas that stop bleeding
  • Formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm
  • Formulas that dispel phlegm
  • Formulas that expel dampness
  • Formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen
  • Formulas that clear heat and expel dampness

All Formulas Recommended for Thick Menstrual Blood Caused by Heat

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Qing Jing San Heat in the Blood
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Heat in the Blood
Liang Di Tang Heat in the Blood
Di Gu Pi Yin Heat in the Blood
Huai Jiao Wan Heat in Uterus Blood
Er Miao San Damp-Heat
Xiao Yao San Damp-Heat
Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang Damp-Heat

All Formulas Recommended for Thick Menstrual Blood Caused by Dampness

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus
Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus
Er Miao San Damp-Heat
Xiao Yao San Damp-Heat
Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang Damp-Heat

All Formulas Recommended for Thick Menstrual Blood Caused by Phlegm

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus
Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus

All "formulas that nourish yin and tonify" recommended for thick menstrual blood

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Liang Di Tang Heat in the Blood
Di Gu Pi Yin Heat in the Blood

TCM Herbs for Thick Menstrual Blood

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address thick menstrual blood, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that cool the blood
  • Herbs that clear heat and dry dampness
  • Herbs that stop bleeding
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency
  • Herbs that invigorate the blood
  • Tonic herbs for qi deficiency
  • Cool/Acrid herbs that release the exterior

"Herbs that cool the Blood" recommended for thick menstrual blood

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Goji Tree Root Bark (Di Gu Pi) Qing Jing San | Di Gu Pi Yin
Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) Liang Di Tang | Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang
Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang

"Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness" recommended for thick menstrual blood

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Chinese Gentian (Long Dan Cao) Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo) Er Miao San