Nephritis according to Chinese Medicine

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

To understand whether someone's nephritis 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 nephritis alone. For instance when nephritis is caused by the pattern Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium, patients also experience symptoms such as cough with pain in the chest and hypochondria, hard focal distention in the epigastrium, dry heaves and shortness of breath. Similarly, patients with Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium typically exhibit deep (Chen) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with thin white coating.

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

The three "patterns of disharmony" associated with nephritis

Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Recommended herbal formula: Shi Zao Tang

Symptoms: Vertigo Headaches Dry heaves Shortness of breath Hard focal distention in the epigastrium Cough with pain in the chest and hypochondria

Nephritis might be due to Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as cough with pain in the chest and hypochondria, hard focal distention in the epigastrium, dry heaves and shortness of breath. Similarly, patients with Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium typically exhibit deep (Chen) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with thin white coating.

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium here

Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

Recommended herbal formula: Xiao Qing Long Tang

Symptoms: Wheezing No thirst Absence of sweating Generalized body pain Alternating fever and chills General sensation of heaviness Stifling sensation in the chest Coughing of copious thin and white sputum

Nephritis might be due to Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as alternating fever and chills, absence of sweating, wheezing and stifling sensation in the chest. Similarly, patients with Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm typically exhibit tight (Jin) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a tongue with thick white coating.

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm 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

Nephritis 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 four herbal formulas that might help with nephritis

Shi Zao Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Purges and drives out Phlegm-Fluids.

Why might Shi Zao Tang help with nephritis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium, a pattern sometimes associated with nephritis. If it looks like you might suffer from Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Shi Zao Tang here

Xiao Qing Long Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Warms the Lungs. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Why might Xiao Qing Long Tang help with nephritis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm, a pattern sometimes associated with nephritis. If it looks like you might suffer from Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Xiao Qing Long 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 nephritis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Kidney Yang Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with nephritis. 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

Wan Dai Tang

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies the Middle Burner. Removes Dampness. Stops vaginal discharge. Strengthens the Spleen.

Why might Wan Dai Tang help with nephritis?

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

Read more about Wan Dai Tang here