Apthous ulcers according to Chinese Medicine

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In Chinese Medicine, apthous ulcers can be associated with two so-called "patterns of disharmony". Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted. It is not equivalent to the Western concept of "disease", as a matter of fact here apthous ulcers can be caused by two different patterns.

To understand whether someone's apthous ulcers might be caused by a given pattern, one needs to look for signs and symptoms associated with the pattern beyond what one might typically experience from apthous ulcers alone. For instance when apthous ulcers is caused by the pattern Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency, patients also experience symptoms such as dizziness, unsteadiness, blurred vision and deafness. Similarly, patients with Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency typically exhibit weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

We've listed below a description of the two patterns associated with apthous ulcers so that you can start to get an understanding of the various possibilities according to Chinese Medicine.

Once identified, patterns are often treated using herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. Here we detail below Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a formula that can help treat the patterns Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency and Qi Deficiency Fever.

The two "patterns of disharmony" associated with apthous ulcers

The Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen in Chinese Medicine

Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Recommended herbal formula: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Symptoms: Deafness Tinnitus Dizziness Weak voice Unsteadiness Loose stools Poor appetite Blurred vision Pale complexion Shortness of breath

Apthous ulcers might be due to Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as dizziness, unsteadiness, blurred vision and deafness. Similarly, patients with Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency typically exhibit weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Read more about Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency here

Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) is the key herb for Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a formula used for Qi Deficiency Fever

Qi Deficiency Fever

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Recommended herbal formula: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Symptoms: Aversion to cold Spontaneous sweating Thirst for warm drinks Intermittent fever that worsens upon exertion

Apthous ulcers might be due to Qi Deficiency Fever if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as intermittent fever that worsens upon exertion, spontaneous sweating, aversion to cold and thirst for warm drinks. Similarly, patients with Qi Deficiency Fever typically exhibit empty (Xu) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Read more about Qi Deficiency Fever here

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a herbal formula that might help with apthous ulcers

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Source date: 1247

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner). Raises the Yang. Detoxifies. Lifts what has sunken.

Why might Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang help with apthous ulcers?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help with the patterns Spleen and Stomach Qi Deficiency and Qi Deficiency Fever which are sometimes associated with apthous ulcers. If any of these patterns look like something you might suffer from, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang here

Most common herbs used to treat apthous ulcers in Chinese Medicine