Heatstroke according to Chinese Medicine

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Heatstroke factsheet

In Chinese Medicine, heatstroke 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 heatstroke can be caused by three different patterns.

To understand whether someone's heatstroke 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 heatstroke alone. For instance when heatstroke is caused by the pattern Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder, patients also experience symptoms such as .

We've listed below a description of the three patterns associated with heatstroke 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 heatstroke, depending on which pattern fits your profile.

The three "patterns of disharmony" associated with heatstroke

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

Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder

Recommended herbal formula: Bi Yu San

Heatstroke might be due to Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as .

Read more about Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder here

Talc (Hua Shi) is the key herb for Liu Yi San, a formula used for Summer Heat

Summer Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Soggy (Ru)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Recommended herbal formula: Liu Yi San

Symptoms: Fever Thirst Sweating Diarrhea Vomiting Irritability Urinary difficulty

Heatstroke might be due to Summer Heat if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as fever, sweating, thirst and irritability. Similarly, patients with Summer Heat typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or soggy (Ru) pulses as well as a tongue with yellow coating.

Read more about Summer Heat here

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

Damp-Heat in the Bladder

Heatstroke might be due to Damp-Heat in the Bladder if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as painful urinary dribbling and stony painful urinary dribbling.

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Bladder here

The two herbal formulas that might help with heatstroke

Liu Yi San

Source date: 1172 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Clears Summer-Heat. Drains Dampness. Supplements Qi.

Why might Liu Yi San help with heatstroke?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help with the patterns Summer Heat and Damp-Heat in the Bladder which are sometimes associated with heatstroke. 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 Liu Yi San here

Bi Yu San

Source date: 1172 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat, cools Blood and relieves toxicity. Promotes urination. Eliminates Summer-Heat. Stops convulsions.

Why might Bi Yu San help with heatstroke?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder, a pattern sometimes associated with heatstroke. If it looks like you might suffer from Summer Heat with Heat Stagnation in the Liver and Gallbladder, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Bi Yu San here