Cold in the Uterus

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Pattern factsheet

Related conditions: Menstrual cramps Late menstruation

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Sore back Sore legs Pale face Tiredness Cold limbs and nine other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Deep (Chen), Tight (Jin)

Tongue color: Bluish-Purple, Pale

Cold in the Uterus is a pattern of disharmony in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine views the human body as a complex system that tends toward harmony. A pattern of disharmony is a disorder that prevents that harmony from occurring.

Patterns give rise to symptoms that may at first glance seem unrelated from a Western standpoint but that actually make a lot of sense when one understands Chinese Medicine theory. For instance here Cold in the Uterus gives rise to such diverse symptoms as lower abdominal pain, pain relieved with heat, dark clots in menstrual blood and scanty periods (as well as ten others).

To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Cold in the Uterus patients tend to exhibit choppy (Se), deep (Chen) or tight (Jin) pulses as well as a bluish-purple, pale tongue.

Patterns aren't exactly the Chinese Medicine equivalent to Western diseases, they're rather the underlying causes behind diseases or health conditions. Here Cold in the Uterus is thought to sometimes induce conditions such as late menstruation or menstrual cramps.

Diagnosing Cold in the Uterus

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

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 choppy (Se), deep (Chen) or tight (Jin) pulses as well as a bluish-purple, pale tongue.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Cold in the Uterus might experience symptoms like lower abdominal pain, pain relieved with heat, dark clots in menstrual blood and scanty periods (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Cold in the Uterus

Si Wu Tang

Source date: 846 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.

Formula summary

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.

Besides Cold in the Uterus, Si Wu Tang is also used to treat Blood Deficiency or Blood Stagnation.

Read more about Si Wu Tang

Wen Jing Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Uterus and vessels. Nourishes Blood. Dispels Cold. Dispels Blood Stagnation.

Formula summary

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.

Besides Cold in the Uterus, Wen Jing Tang is also used to treat Cold in the Uterus or Qi And Blood Stagnation.

Read more about Wen Jing Tang

Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang

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.

Formula summary

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.

Besides Cold in the Uterus, Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang is also used to treat Blood Stagnation or Cold in the Uterus.

Read more about Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang

Wen Qi Hua Shi Tang

Source date: 1827 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Supports Kidney Yang. Supplies Spleen Qi. Expels Cold and Dampness from the Uterus.

Formula summary

Wen Qi Hua Shi Tang is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1827 AD, it belongs to the categories of formulas that warm the middle and dispel Cold and formulas that warm Yang and tonify.

Besides Cold in the Uterus, Wen Qi Hua Shi Tang is also used to treat Cold in the Uterus.

Read more about Wen Qi Hua Shi Tang

Da Ying Jian

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi and Blood. Expels Cold.

Formula summary

Da Ying Jian is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Blood.

Read more about Da Ying Jian

Special highlight: the link between menstrual cramps and Cold in the Uterus

Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) is the key herb for Wen Jing Tang, a formula used for menstrual cramps caused by Cold in the Uterus

'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

Special highlight: the link between late menstruation and Cold in the Uterus

Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) is the key herb for Wen Jing Tang, a formula used for late menstruation caused by Cold in the Uterus

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