Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 寒湿

Pinyin name: Hán shī


Common symptoms: Fever Eczema Sneezing Diarrhea Neck pain and fifteen other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slippery (Hua), Slow (Chi), Soggy (Ru)

Tongue description: White coating

Spleen Qi or Yang Deficiency is often the precursor of general Dampness in the body. It is because the Spleen is responsible for water or any Body Fluids transportation and transformation and its disfunction can lead to the formation of Dampness, which can eventually become Phlegm

If there is also Exterior Dampness and Cold invasion, it can combine with the internal Dampness and worsen the condition. It can eventually become Interior Cold-Damp. 

If the Damp-Cold invades the Channels and joints, it causes Painful Obstruction Syndrome with symptoms like joints pain, swollen or stiffness.  Notopterygium roots is recommended for upper body pain, while Pubescent angelica roots is the best for lower body. 

When the Damp-Cold settles down in Organs, it is better to use drying and warming herbs that can enter these Organs, such as Tangerine peel, Korean mint, Crow-dipper rhizome or Houpu Magnolia bark

Diagnosing Damp-Cold

'Cold' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Cold pattern 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 Damp-Cold will tend to exhibit deep (Chen), slippery (Hua), slow (Chi) or soggy (Ru) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Damp-Cold might experience symptoms like fever, face pimple, facial plaque and eczema (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Damp-Cold

Wei Ling Tang

Source date: 1481 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Promotes urination. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Drains Dampness. Promotes the movement of Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Formula summary

Wei Ling Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Water Plantain (Ze Xie) and Black Atractylodes Rhizomes (Cang Zhu) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1481 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that expel Dampness.

Read more about Wei Ling Tang

Diet recommendations

Avoid cold or raw foods which can hurt the Spleen and Stomach further and worsen Damp Cold. 

Most important herbs used to treat Damp-Cold