Lupus according to Chinese Medicine

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and SLE redirect here

Lupus factsheet

Chinese name: 红斑狼疮

Pinyin name: Hóng Bān Láng Chuāng

Possible causes and remedies:

Lupus, or SLE, is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks organs and connective tissues in many parts of the body.

It is characteristically difficult to diagnose because the symptoms could be due to many other conditions. They can include fatigue, anorexia, emaciation, arthralgia, low-grade fever and skin rashes (with a characteristic butterfly-like rash on the center of the face). Subsequent functional damage of multiple internal organs may occur as the disease progresses, with damage to the liver, kidneys and cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems.

As you can see below we've detailed for you the three "patterns of disharmony" associated with lupus. 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 a Western condition, as a matter of fact here lupus can be explained by three different patterns.

Each of those patterns can be treated with one or several herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. It is the Chinese Medicine equivalent to drugs, apart that it's 100% natural!

In total we detail below three formulas that can help treat the various patterns that cause lupus, depending on which pattern fits your profile.

The three "patterns of disharmony" associated with lupus

Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Recommended herbal formula: Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Symptoms: Fatigue Insomnia Hair loss Joint pain Tidal fever Night sweats Irritability Red skin eruptions Hot palms and soles Waist pain and soreness

In this case Yin-Deficiency occurs when Pathological Heat has consumed Body Fluids and Yin. This in turn leads to Empty-Heat, that is Heat due to an absence of Yin (cold in nature) and therefore a relative surplus of Yang (hot in nature). 

Read more about Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency here

Excess-Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Tight (Jin), Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Reddish-Purple

Recommended herbal formula: Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Symptoms: Fever Thirst Flushed face Irritability Constipation Red skin rashes Arthritic symptoms Scanty and dark urine Blotches dotted over the skin

The treatment principle for this pattern is to cool Blood, relieve toxicity, clear Heat, and generate Fluids.

Read more about Excess-Heat here

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

Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

Recommended herbal formula: Wu Ling San

Symptoms: Loose stools Oedema of face Pale complexion Oedema of limbs Cold extremities Frequent urination Shortness of breath Abdominal distention and fullness

The treatment principle for Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency when it comes to Lupus is to warm and tonify the Spleen and Kidney as well as promote urination.

Read more about Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency here

The three herbal formulas that might help with lupus

Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin and clears Heat.

Why might Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang help with lupus?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with lupus. If it looks like you might suffer from Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang here

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system. Removes Blood Stagnation.

Why might Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang help with lupus?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Excess-Heat, a pattern sometimes associated with lupus. If it looks like you might suffer from Excess-Heat, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang here

Wu Ling San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes urination,. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Promotes Qi transformation function. Drains Dampness. Clears edema.

Why might Wu Ling San help with lupus?

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

Read more about Wu Ling San here