Pulmonary tuberculosis according to Chinese Medicine

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Pulmonary tuberculosis factsheet

In Chinese Medicine, pulmonary tuberculosis 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 pulmonary tuberculosis can be caused by two different patterns.

To understand whether someone's pulmonary tuberculosis 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 pulmonary tuberculosis alone. For instance when pulmonary tuberculosis is caused by the pattern Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire, patients also experience symptoms such as coughing with blood-streaked sputum, wheezing, dry throat and hot palms and soles. Similarly, patients with Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

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

The two "patterns of disharmony" associated with pulmonary tuberculosis

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

Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire

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

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Recommended herbal formula: Bai He Gu Jin Tang

Symptoms: Wheezing Dry throat Night sweats Hot palms and soles Coughing with blood-streaked sputum

Pulmonary tuberculosis might be due to Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as coughing with blood-streaked sputum, wheezing, dry throat and hot palms and soles. Similarly, patients with Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

Read more about Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire here

Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency

Recommended herbal formula: Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Symptoms: Emaciation Night fever

Pulmonary tuberculosis might be due to Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as night fever and emaciation.

Read more about Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency here

The two herbal formulas that might help with pulmonary tuberculosis

Bai He Gu Jin Tang

Source date: 1573 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Lung and Kidney Yin. Lubricates the Lung and clears phlegm.

Why might Bai He Gu Jin Tang help with pulmonary tuberculosis?

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

Read more about Bai He Gu Jin Tang here

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 pulmonary tuberculosis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with pulmonary tuberculosis. 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