Urticaria according to Chinese Medicine

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In Chinese Medicine, urticaria 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 urticaria can be caused by four different patterns.

To understand whether someone's urticaria 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 urticaria alone. For instance when urticaria is caused by the pattern Heat and Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner, patients also experience symptoms such as lower abdominal pain, night fever, delirious speech and irritability. Similarly, patients with Heat and Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner typically exhibit choppy (Se) or full (Shi) pulses.

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

The four "patterns of disharmony" associated with urticaria

The Triple Burner is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Triple Burner in Chinese Medicine

Heat and Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Full (Shi)

Recommended herbal formula: Tao He Cheng Qi Tang

Symptoms: Thirst Amenorrhea Night fever Irritability Dysmenorrhea Restlnessness Delirious speech Lower abdominal pain

Urticaria might be due to Heat and Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as lower abdominal pain, night fever, delirious speech and irritability. Similarly, patients with Heat and Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner typically exhibit choppy (Se) or full (Shi) pulses.

Read more about Heat and Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner here

Exterior Cold invading the Interior

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Recommended herbal formula: Da Huang Fu Zi Tang

Symptoms: Chills Constipation Abdominal pain Low-grade fever Hypochondriac pain Cold hands and feet

Urticaria might be due to Exterior Cold invading the Interior if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, hypochondriac pain and chills. Similarly, patients with Exterior Cold invading the Interior typically exhibit tight (Jin) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with thick white coating.

Read more about Exterior Cold invading the Interior here

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

Kidney Yang Deficiency

Urticaria might be due to Kidney Yang Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as soreness and weakness in the lower back, cold in the lower extremities, impotence and spermatorrhea.

Read more about Kidney Yang Deficiency here

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling) is the key herb for Wu Pi Yin, a formula used for Oedema

Oedema

Pulse type(s): Slowed-down (Huan), Hidden (Fu)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Recommended herbal formula: Wu Pi Yin

Symptoms: Labored breathing Urinary difficulty General sensation of heaviness distention and fullness

Urticaria might be due to Oedema if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as labored breathing, urinary difficulty and general sensation of heaviness distention and fullness. Similarly, patients with Oedema typically exhibit slowed-down (Huan) or hidden (Fu) pulses as well as a tongue with thick white coating.

Read more about Oedema here

The four herbal formulas that might help with urticaria

Tao He Cheng Qi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Dispels Heat and. Eliminates Blood Stagnation.

Why might Tao He Cheng Qi Tang help with urticaria?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Heat and Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner, a pattern sometimes associated with urticaria. If it looks like you might suffer from Heat and Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Tao He Cheng Qi Tang here

Da Huang Fu Zi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Interior. Disperses Cold. Unblocks the bowels. Alleviates pain.

Why might Da Huang Fu Zi Tang help with urticaria?

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

Read more about Da Huang Fu Zi Tang here

Ba Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yang. Warms the Kidneys and lower extremities.

Why might Ba Wei Di Huang Wan help with urticaria?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Kidney Yang Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with urticaria. 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 Ba Wei Di Huang Wan here

Wu Pi Yin

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Reduces edema, diuretic. Regulates and strengthens Spleen Qi.

Why might Wu Pi Yin help with urticaria?

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

Read more about Wu Pi Yin here