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 six 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

Recommended herbal formula: Da Cheng Qi Tang

Urinary stones might be due to Yang Excess if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as .

Read more about Yang Excess here

The six 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

Dao Chi San

Source date: 1119 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Clears the Heart. Promotes urination.

Why might Dao Chi 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 Dao Chi San here

Wu Lin San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Clears heat. Cools the Blood. Promotes urination. Unblocks painful urinary dribbling.

Why might Wu Lin 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 Wu Lin San here

Shi Wei San

Source date: 1687 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Clears heat. Promotes the resolution of Dampness. Unblocks painful urinary dribbling. Expels stones.

Why might Shi Wei 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 Shi Wei San here