Benign prostatic hypertrophy according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > List of conditions > Benign prostatic hypertrophy

In Chinese Medicine, benign prostatic hypertrophy can be associated with three 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 benign prostatic hypertrophy can be caused by three different patterns.

To understand whether someone's benign prostatic hypertrophy 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 benign prostatic hypertrophy alone. For instance when benign prostatic hypertrophy is caused by the pattern Full Cold in the Directing and Penetraing Vessels, patients also experience symptoms such as painful period, cold in the lower abdomen, infertility and late period. Similarly, patients with Full Cold in the Directing and Penetraing Vessels typically exhibit deep (Chen), slow (Chi) or tight (Jin) pulses as well as a bluish-purple, pale tongue.

We've listed below a description of the three patterns associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy 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 two formulas that can help treat the various patterns associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy, depending on which pattern fits your profile.

The three "patterns of disharmony" associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy

Full Cold in the Directing and Penetraing Vessels

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi), Tight (Jin)

Tongue color: Bluish-Purple, Pale

Recommended herbal formula: Wen Jing Tang

Symptoms: Infertility Late period Painful period Cold in the lower abdomen Dark clots in menstrual blood Abdominal pain after childbirth

Benign prostatic hypertrophy might be due to Full Cold in the Directing and Penetraing Vessels if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as painful period, cold in the lower abdomen, infertility and late period. Similarly, patients with Full Cold in the Directing and Penetraing Vessels typically exhibit deep (Chen), slow (Chi) or tight (Jin) pulses as well as a bluish-purple, pale tongue.

Read more about Full Cold in the Directing and Penetraing Vessels here

Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus

Benign prostatic hypertrophy might be due to Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as late period, painful period, dark clots in menstrual blood and brown vaginal discharge. Similarly, patients with Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus typically exhibit choppy (Se), deep (Chen), slow (Chi) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a bluish-purple tongue.

Read more about Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus here

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

Kidney Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Recommended herbal formula: Shen Qi Wan

Symptoms: Incontinence Lower back pain Urinary difficulty Lower abdominal pressure Weakness of the lower extremities Cold sensation in the lower half of the body

Benign prostatic hypertrophy might be due to Kidney Yang Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as lower back pain, weakness of the lower extremities, cold sensation in the lower half of the body and lower abdominal pressure. Similarly, patients with Kidney Yang Deficiency typically exhibit empty (Xu) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.

Read more about Kidney Yang Deficiency here

The two herbal formulas that might help with benign prostatic hypertrophy

Wen Jing Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Uterus and vessels. Nourishes Blood. Dispels Cold. Dispels Blood Stagnation.

Why might Wen Jing Tang help with benign prostatic hypertrophy?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help with the patterns Full Cold in the Directing and Penetraing Vessels and Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus which are sometimes associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy. 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 Wen Jing Tang here

Shen Qi Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and warms Kidney Yang.

Why might Shen Qi Wan help with benign prostatic hypertrophy?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Kidney Yang Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy. If it looks like you might suffer from Kidney Yang Deficiency, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Shen Qi Wan here