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.
Damp-Heat 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 Damp-Heat gives rise to such diverse symptoms as abdominal fullness, abdominal tightness, purplish menstrual blood and thick menstrual blood (as well as thirty three others).
To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Damp-Heat patients tend to exhibit rapid (Shu) or slippery (Hua) pulses as well as a red tongue with sticky coating, yellow coating.
Patterns aren't exactly the Chinese Medicine equivalent to Western diseases, they're rather the underlying causes behind diseases or health conditions. Here Damp-Heat is thought to sometimes induce conditions such as abnormal vaginal discharge, intermenstrual bleeding or menstrual cramps.
'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): Rapid (Shu) or slippery (Hua)
Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating
Tongue color: Red
Possible symptoms: Fever Thirst Fatigue 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 Frequent sighing Vaginal discharge Abdominal fullness Frequent urination Abdominal tightness Sore and weak limbs Lower abdominal pain Feeling of heaviness 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 Bitter taste in the mouth Small clots in menstrual blood Yellow or brown vaginal discharge
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-Heat will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu) or slippery (Hua) pulses as well as a red tongue with sticky coating, yellow coating.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Damp-Heat might experience symptoms like abdominal fullness, abdominal tightness, purplish menstrual blood and thick menstrual blood (full list here above).
Source date: 1107 AD
Number of ingredients: 6 herbs
Key actions: Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen. Relieves Liver Qi stagnation. Nourishes the Blood.
Xiao Yao San is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1107 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that harmonize Liver-Spleen.
Source date: 1682 AD
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Chinese Gentian (Long Dan Cao) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1682 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat from the Organs.
Source date: 1826 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Strengthens the Spleen. Dries Dampness. Clears Heat. Stops vaginal discharge.
Yi Huang Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Yam (Shan Yao) and Foxnut Seeds (Qian Shi) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1826 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge.
Typical symptoms for menstrual cramps caused by Damp-Heat: Fever Thirst Dry mouth Restlessness Heavy periods Feeling of heat Sore lower back Abdominal fullness Abdominal tightness Sore and weak limbs Lower abdominal pain Feeling of heaviness Thick menstrual blood Scanty and dark urine Feeling of bearing down Purplish menstrual blood Smelly Vaginal discharge Bitter taste in the mouth Small clots in menstrual blood
When Damp-Heat causes menstrual cramps a feeling of lower abdominal tightness, distention, and cramps appears and gets stronger when the period is about to start. The discomfort lasts until the middle of the periods. The menstrual flow is often heavy and the blood is purplish in color and thick in texture. Other typical symptom can be an excessive smelly yellow vaginal discharge outside of menstruation times.
When patients have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic vaginitis,...Read more about menstrual cramps
Recommended herbal formula: Ba Zheng San
Mid-cycle bleeding under this pattern can be recognized by the sticky texture of the blood, without clots. Blood volume can be scanty or heavy.
The Spleen is the main Organ involved. When the Spleen is weak, it fails to perform properly its function of transforming and transporting Body Fluids. Therefore Dampness accumulates and it also create Heat or Fire. The Damp Heat not only harms the Directing and Penetrating Vessels but also provokes the Blood and cause bleeding during mid-cycle. The Read more about intermenstrual bleeding