The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Er Miao San is a 2-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 1481 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that expel Dampness. Its main actions are: 1) expels Dampness from the Lower Burner and 2) drains Heat from the Lower Burner.
In Chinese Medicine health conditions are thought to arise due to "disharmonies" in the body as a system. These disharmonies are called "patterns" and the very purpose of herbal formulas is to fight them in order to restore the body's harmony.
In this case Er Miao San is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Damp-Heat or Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis or gout for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the two ingredients in Er Miao San, we review the patterns and conditions that Er Miao San helps treat.
Huang Bo is a king ingredient in Er Miao San. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Dried bark
Category: Herbs that clear Heat and dry Dampness
Huang Bo directly enters into the Lower Burner to eliminate Heat and dry Dampness. The cooling nature of Phellodendron bark prevents the warmth of Black atractylodes rhizome from further aggravating pathogenic Heat, even as each herb supports the other in drying Dampness.
Part used: The dried rhizome
Category: Aromatic herbs that transform Dampness
Cang Zhu resolves Damp Heat from the Middle Burner such as the Spleen. Its acrid and warming nature supports the Spleen's transformation and transportation function. It also moderates the bitter, cooling, and downward-directing aspect of Phellodendron bark.
It's important to remember that herbal formulas are meant to treat patterns, not "diseases" as understood in Western Medicine. According to Chinese Medicine patterns, which are disruptions to the body as a system, are the underlying root cause for diseases and conditions.
As such Er Miao San is used by TCM practitioners to treat two different patterns which we describe below.
But before we delve into these patterns here is an overview of the Western conditions they're commonly associated with:
Again it wouldn't be correct to say "Er Miao San treats menstrual cramps" for instance. Rather, Er Miao San is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind menstrual cramps.
Now let's look at the two patterns commonly treated with Er Miao San.
'Heat' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Heat pattern in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)
Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating
Tongue color: Red
Symptoms: Fever Thirst Fatigue Dry mouth Dizziness Red urine Joint pain Heavy head Late period Restlessness Loose stools Heavy periods Poor appetite Chest pressure Feeling of heat Sore lower back Vaginal itching Frequent sighing Vaginal discharge Abdominal fullness Frequent urination Abdominal tightness Sore and weak limbs Lower abdominal pain Feeling of heaviness Thick menstrual blood Scanty and dark urine Trichomonas infection Irregular menstruation Thermophilus infection Feeling of bearing down Purplish menstrual blood Smelly Vaginal discharge Sticky vaginal discharge Bitter taste in the mouth Small clots in menstrual blood Yellow or brown vaginal discharge
Er Miao San is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Damp-Heat. This pattern leads to symptoms such as abdominal fullness, abdominal tightness, purplish menstrual blood and thick menstrual blood. Patients with Damp-Heat typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or slippery (Hua) pulses as well as a red tongue with sticky coating, yellow coating.
The Triple Burner is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Triple Burner in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)
Tongue coating: Sticky coating
Symptoms: Dry mouth Dry throat Lower back pain Painful urination Urinary retention Red and swollen feet Lower abdominal pain Red and swollen knees Scanty and dark urine Scanty and yellow urine Sores on the lower extremities Weakness of the lower extremities Thick yellow smelly vaginal discharge
Er Miao San is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. This pattern leads to symptoms such as scanty and yellow urine, lower back pain, weakness of the lower extremities and red and swollen feet. Patients with Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or slippery (Hua) pulses as well as a tongue with sticky coating.