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.
Yin Chen Hao Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Virgate Wormwood (Yin Chen) as a principal ingredient.
Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and expel dampness. Its main actions are: 1) clears heat and 2) resolves dampness.
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 Yin Chen Hao Tang is used by TCM practitioners to fight patterns like Damp-Heat in the Liver, Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder or Damp-Heat. From a Western Medicine standpoint, such patterns can give rise to a range of conditions such as viral hepatitis, cirrhosis or hepatic atrophy for instance.
On this page, after a detailed description of each of the three ingredients in Yin Chen Hao Tang, we review the patterns and conditions that Yin Chen Hao Tang helps treat.
Yin Chen is a king ingredient in Yin Chen Hao Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Part used: Dried aerial parts
Category: Herbs that drain Dampness
In general Yin Chen's main actions are as follows: "Drains Damp and clears Heat, especially from the Liver and Gallbladder. Eliminates Heat and relieves the Exterior. Relieve Jaundice."
In the context of Yin Chen Hao Tang, it is used because it treats all types of jaundices, but especially jaundice due to Damp-Heat.
Zhi Zi is a deputy ingredient in Yin Chen Hao Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Part used: Dried ripe fruit
In general Zhi Zi's main actions are as follows: "Clears Heat and calms spirit. Drains Damp-Heat affecting the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears Heat in the Blood and stops bleeding. Anti-inflammatory."
Da Huang is an assistant ingredient in Yin Chen Hao Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
Part used: Dried root and rhizome
Category: Purgative herbs that drain downward
In general Da Huang's main actions are as follows: "Drains Excess Heat and eliminates Dampness, especially when in the Bright Yang stage according to the Six Stages Theory. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding. Invigorates Blood, breaks up Stasis and relieves pain. Clears Heat and toxins from Excess. Applied topically for Hot sores and Blood Stasis."
In the context of Yin Chen Hao Tang, it is used because it purges Heat, eliminates stagnated Heat and directs downward.
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 Yin Chen Hao Tang is used by TCM practitioners to treat three 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 "Yin Chen Hao Tang treats viral hepatitis" for instance. Rather, Yin Chen Hao Tang is used to treat patterns that are sometimes the root cause behind viral hepatitis.
Now let's look at the three patterns commonly treated with Yin Chen Hao Tang.
The Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating
Tongue color: Red
Symptoms: Fever Nausea Jaundice Vomiting Dark Urine sticky taste Vulvar sores Poor appetite Vulvar eczema Vaginal itching Menstrual cramps Midcycle bleeding Burning urination Abdominal fullness Urinary difficulty Feeling of heaviness Hypogastrium fullness Hypochondrium fullness Midcycle bleeding pain Irregular menstruation Yellow vaginal discharge Red and swelling scrotum Red and swelling genital Red and swelling papular Bitter taste in the mouth Vesicular skin rashes and itching
Yin Chen Hao Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Damp-Heat in the Liver. This pattern leads to symptoms such as hypochondrium fullness, abdominal fullness, hypogastrium fullness and bitter taste in the mouth. Patients with Damp-Heat in the Liver typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as Red body with redder sides sticky yellow coating.
This pattern is caused by excessive Heat in the Liver and Dampness due to Spleen Deficiency. Dampness is created if the Spleen's transportation and transformation function is impaired. When Damp-Heat builds up, the flow of Qi is disturbed, resulting in Qi Stagnation symptoms. When lasting for a... read more about Damp-Heat in the Liver
The Gallbladder is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Gallbladder in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)
Symptoms: Fever Tinnitus Dizziness Irritability Yellow complexion Hypochondrial pain Nausea or vomiting Feeling of heaviness Swelling of the feet Scanty and dark urine Numbness in the limbs Hypochondrial distention Inability to digest fats Bitter taste in the mouth Yellow sclera of the eyes Loose stools or constipation Thirst without a desire to drink Alternation of hot and cold feeling
Yin Chen Hao Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder. This pattern leads to symptoms such as hypochondrial pain, hypochondrial distention, nausea or vomiting and inability to digest fats. Patients with Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder typically exhibit rapid (Shu), slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian) pulses.
As such the whole Middle Burner is typically affected, hence the symptoms of nausea and vomiting: the obstruction caused by Dampness prevent Stomach Qi from... read more about Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder
'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): Soggy (Ru)
Symptoms: Fever Thirst Fatigue Hot body Headaches No thirst 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 Aversion to cold Frequent sighing Vaginal discharge Abdominal fullness Frequent urination Swollen neck glands Abdominal tightness Sore and weak limbs Feeling of heaviness Lower abdominal pain Scanty dark urination 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 Sticky taste in the mouth Bitter taste in the mouth Small clots in menstrual blood Yellow or brown vaginal discharge Stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium
Yin Chen Hao Tang is sometimes prescribed by TCM practitioners to treat Damp-Heat. This pattern leads to symptoms such as fever, swollen neck glands, headaches and stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium. Patients with Damp-Heat typically exhibit soggy (Ru) pulses.
The general symptoms of Damp-Heat are the heaviness of the body and head as well as low temperature fever rising in the afternoon. The patients are not hot on... read more about Damp-Heat
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