Urinary stones according to Chinese Medicine

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Urinary stones factsheet

In Chinese Medicine, urinary stones can be associated with four 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 urinary stones can be caused by four different patterns.

To understand whether someone's urinary stones 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 urinary stones alone. For instance when urinary stones is caused by the pattern Summer Heat, patients also experience 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.

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

The four "patterns of disharmony" associated with urinary stones

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

Urinary stones 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

Urinary stones 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

Rhubarb (Da Huang) is the key herb for Da Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for Heat in Yang brightness Organs

Heat in Yang brightness Organs

Pulse type(s): Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Grey or black coating, Yellow coating

Recommended herbal formula: Da Cheng Qi Tang

Symptoms: Flatulence Focal distention Abdominal fullness Severe constipation Tense and firm abdomen Abdominal pain that increases upon pressure

Urinary stones might be due to Heat in Yang brightness Organs if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as severe constipation, flatulence, focal distention and abdominal fullness. Similarly, patients with Heat in Yang brightness Organs typically exhibit full (Shi) pulses as well as a tongue with grey or black coating, yellow coating.

Read more about Heat in Yang brightness Organs here

Rhubarb (Da Huang) is the key herb for Da Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for Yang Excess

Yang Excess

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

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

Recommended herbal formula: Da Cheng Qi Tang

Symptoms: Fever Thirst Red face Irritability Restlnessness Scanty dark urination Yellow vaginal discharge

Yang Excess is a Full Yang state and its symptoms are similar to those are caused by the Heat Pernicious invasion. Yang is associated with Heat, activity and Dryness and these are the general symptoms when patients have Excess Yang. However, they become more specific depending on the Organ involved. For instance, Excess Liver Yang can cause migraines, or Excess Heart Yang can result in manic behavior and extreme restlessness. When there is Excess Yang, the body is in a hyperfunctional state. Over time, the Body Fluids can be "burned off" by the presence of Excessive Yang, resulting in a condition of Yin Deficiency.

Excess Yang is most likely caused by the Heat Pernicious Influence, either External or Internal. It can also be caused by internal damage from the Seven Emotions, the Stagnation of Qi or Blood, over-exposure to hot climates or environments, indigestion, and the over consumption of hot-natured and fried greasy foods, coffee, alcohol and red meat.

Read more about Yang Excess here

The three herbal formulas that might help with urinary stones

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 urinary stones?

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 urinary stones. 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

Da Cheng Qi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Purges Heat from the Stomach and Intestines. Relieves constipation.

Why might Da Cheng Qi Tang help with urinary stones?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help with the patterns Heat in Yang brightness Organs and Yang Excess which are sometimes associated with urinary stones. 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 Da Cheng Qi Tang here

Si Ni San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Regulates Liver and Spleen. Eliminates Internal Heat.

Why might Si Ni San help with urinary stones?

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

Read more about Si Ni San here