Urinary tract infection according to Chinese Medicine

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Urinary tract infection factsheet

In Chinese Medicine, urinary tract infection 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 urinary tract infection can be caused by three different patterns.

To understand whether someone's urinary tract infection 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 tract infection alone. For instance when urinary tract infection is caused by the pattern Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, patients also experience symptoms such as soreness and weakness in the lower back, lightheadedness, vertigo and tinnitus. Similarly, patients with Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency 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 three patterns associated with urinary tract infection 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 tract infection, depending on which pattern fits your profile.

The three "patterns of disharmony" associated with urinary tract infection

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

Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Recommended herbal formula: Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Symptoms: Vertigo Tinnitus Night sweats Lightheadedness Diminished hearing Chronic sore throat Spontaneous and nocturnal emissions Soreness and weakness in the lower back

Urinary tract infection might be due to Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as soreness and weakness in the lower back, lightheadedness, vertigo and tinnitus. Similarly, patients with Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

Read more about Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency here

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

Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang

Urinary tract infection might be due to Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as menopausal symptoms, hypertension, irregular menstruation and hot flushes.

Read more about Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang here

Honeysuckle Flowers (Jin Yin Hua) is the key herb for Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin, a formula used for Toxic Heat

Toxic Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

Recommended herbal formula: Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin

Symptoms: Boils Sores Erythema Swellings Carbuncles

Urinary tract infection might be due to Toxic Heat if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as boils, carbuncles, erythema and swellings. Similarly, patients with Toxic Heat typically exhibit rapid (Shu) pulses as well as a red tongue with yellow coating.

Read more about Toxic Heat here

The three herbal formulas that might help with urinary tract infection

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1119 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).

Why might Liu Wei Di Huang Wan help with urinary tract infection?

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

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan here

Er Xian Tang

Source date: 1950 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Yin and tonifies Yang of the Kidneys. Clears Empty Heat. Regulates the Directing and Penetrating Vessels.

Why might Er Xian Tang help with urinary tract infection?

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

Read more about Er Xian Tang here

Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin

Source date: 1742 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Resolves Toxicity. Cools the Blood. Reduces swelling.

Why might Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin help with urinary tract infection?

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

Read more about Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin here