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.
Chinese name: 宫寒
Pinyin name: Gōng Hán
'Cold in the Uterus' is one the most common TCM pattern for women. It can be responsible for many gynecological diseases such as menstrual cramps, irregular periods, infertility, etc. Coldness can also lead to other TCM patterns such as Blood and Qi Stagnation.
There are two types of Cold patterns: Full Cold or Empty Cold
Full cold refers to actual Cold Evil invading the Uterus. It often happen to women who consume excessive amount of cold food (e.g. ice cream, raw food, ice-cold drinks), live in cold environments or do sports in winter or during menstruation. Dampness Stagnation often come along with this Full Cold pattern. The treatment principle is to use herbs that expel the Cold as well as the Dampness and warm the Uterus. Formulas like Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang are recommended.
Empty Cold is the result of Yang Deficiency, especially the Spleen and Kidney Yang. With Yang Deficiency in these two Organs, body water metabolism is impaired and thus Coldness in the Body Fluids can not be transferred and it accumulates. Also, when Yang is lacking, it can not warm the necessary Organs. Therefore, only herbs that expel coldness is not enough. The treatment should be more focused on supporting Yang and boosting Qi. Wen Qi Hua Shi Tang is recommended as a herbal formula in this case. It is for long-term retention of Cold and Dampness in the Uterus which leads to Qi and Yang Deficiency and painful periods.
The Uterus is a so-called "Extraordinary" Organ. Learn more about the Uterus in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen) or soggy (Ru)
Tongue coating: Thin white coating
Tongue color: Pale
Possible symptoms: Diarrhea Sore back No period Sore legs Pale face Tiredness Cold limbs Infertility Late period Scanty periods Painful period Abdominal pain Feeling of cold Frequent urination Dark colored blood Cold hands and feet Lower abdominal pain Irregular menstruation Pain relieved with heat Dark clots in menstrual blood
Diagnosing a pattern in Chinese Medicine is no easy feat and should be left to professional practitioners.
In particular one has to know how to differentiate between different types of pulses and tongue coatings, shapes and colors. Here patients with Cold in the Uterus will tend to exhibit deep (Chen) or soggy (Ru) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Cold in the Uterus might experience symptoms like infertility, scanty periods, painful period and late period (full list here above).
Source date: 846 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.
Si Wu Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) and White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) as principal ingredients. Invented in 846 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Blood.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 12 herbs
Key actions: Warms the Uterus and vessels. Nourishes Blood. Dispels Cold. Dispels Blood Stagnation.
Wen Jing Tang is a 12-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) and Evodia Fruits (Wu Zhu Yu) as principal ingredients. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation.
Source date: 1830 AD
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Key actions: Expels Cold and warm the menstruation Blood. Stops pain. Invigorates Blood. Dispels Blood stagnation.
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1830 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation.
Eat warm, easy-digestible and nourishing foods and cut out tropical fruits and too much raw food. Avoid cold drinks and foods, especially those directly from the fridge.
Typical symptoms for menstrual cramps caused by Cold in the Uterus: Sore back Sore legs Pale face Cold limbs Scanty periods Feeling of cold Frequent urination Lower abdominal pain Pain relieved with heat Dark clots in menstrual blood
'Cold in the Uterus' is one the most common TCM patterns for women who suffer from dysmenorrhea. It can causes intense pain but can be largely relieved with the application of heat. Blood Stagnation often comes along as a consequence of this pattern because Cold obstructs the Uterus and thus impairs the flow of Blood.
If Cold in the Uterus is the main cause behind menstrual cramps, the menstrual blood is often red and the clots are typically dark and rather small or stringy. However, if Blood...Read more about menstrual cramps
Typical symptoms for late menstruation caused by Cold in the Uterus: Tiredness Late period Scanty periods Painful period Feeling of cold Dark colored blood Lower abdominal pain Pain relieved with heat Dark clots in menstrual blood
Blood can congeal due to Cold invasion. Then new Blood can not be created and the Directing (Ren Mai 任脉) and Penetrating (Chong Mai 冲脉) Vessels are empty. They fail to fill the Uterus and thus the periods consistently come after the expected time. Other typical symptoms are a feeling of cold, scanty periods with dark blood and clots and abdominal pain which can be relieved with Heat. There are two types of Cold in the Uterus pattern that can cause delayed menstruation: Full or Empty.
For the...Read more about late menstruation