Cold-Phlegm in the Lungs

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 寒痰阻肺

Pinyin name: Hán Tán Zǔ Fèi

Associated TCM concepts: Phlegm Cold pattern Lungs

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Coughing Dizziness Cold hands Feeling of cold Phlegm in throat and four other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Slow (Chi)

Tongue description: Swollen and wet tongue with a sticky white coating

The pathological manifestations of this pattern are quite similar to the ones of Damp-Phlegm in the Lungs. The key differences are the symptoms of Coldness such as cold hands, cold feeling and feeling of cold in chest. This feature can be reflected by the white and watery sputum. 

The typical symptoms of Phlegm are sputum in the throat and chest oppression. The Phlegm can also obstruct the head and cause heaviness and dizziness. 

Diagnosing Cold-Phlegm in the Lungs

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

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua) or slow (Chi)

Tongue description: Swollen and wet tongue with a sticky white coating

Possible symptoms: Coughing Dizziness Cold hands Feeling of cold Phlegm in throat Feeling of heaviness White and watery sputum Feeling of cold in chest Feeling of oppression of the chest

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-Phlegm in the Lungs will tend to exhibit slippery (Hua) or slow (Chi) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Cold-Phlegm in the Lungs might experience symptoms like feeling of cold in chest, coughing, white and watery sputum and feeling of cold (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Cold-Phlegm in the Lungs

Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Warms and transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Strengthens the Spleen. Resolves Dampness.

Formula summary

Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform water and Dampness.

Besides Cold-Phlegm in the Lungs, Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang is also used to treat Phlegm or Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium.

Read more about Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang

Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Lungs. Transforms congested Fluids.

Formula summary

Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform Phlegm-Cold.

Besides Cold-Phlegm in the Lungs, Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang is also used to treat Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs or Cold-Phlegm.

Read more about Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang

San Zi Yang Qin Tang

Source date: 1856 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Directs the Qi downward. Transforms Phlegm. Reduces harbored food.

Formula summary

San Zi Yang Qin Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with White Mustard Seeds (Bai Jie Zi), Perilla Seeds (Zi Su Zi) and Radish Seeds (Lai Fu Zi) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1856 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform Phlegm-Cold.

Besides Cold-Phlegm in the Lungs, San Zi Yang Qin Tang is also used to treat Cold-Phlegm or Phlegm clogging the Lungs with Qi Stagnation.

Read more about San Zi Yang Qin Tang

Diet recommendations

Avoid dairy foods, cold and raw foods and iced drinks.