Damp-Heat in the Stomach

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 胃湿热

Pinyin name: Wèi Shī Rè

Associated TCM concepts: Dampness Heat/Fire evil Stomach


Common symptoms: Nausea Facial pain Blocked nose Epigastric pain Feeling of heat and six other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)

Tongue description: Red with sticky yellow coating

In this pattern Dampness obstructs the Stomach, which prevents the descending of Stomach Qi and causes nausea and a feeling of fullness of the epigastrium.

The Stomach Channel connects to the face so the Dampness also leads to the symptoms of facial pain, blocked nose and thick nasal discharge. Viewed from a Western medicine standpoint, this pattern is a common cause of chronic sinusitis.

The feeling of heaviness is also caused by Dampness which obstructs the muscles. 

The Heat dimension of the pattern causes thirst but the obstruction of the Middle Burner (where the Stomach is located) by Dampness makes the patient reluctant to drink. This is a somewhat counter-intuitive symptom but one commonly reported by patients suffering from this pattern.

Diagnosing Damp-Heat in the Stomach

The Stomach is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Stomach 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-Heat in the Stomach will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu) or slippery (Hua) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Damp-Heat in the Stomach might experience symptoms like epigastric pain, epigastrium fullness, feeling of heaviness and facial pain (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Damp-Heat in the Stomach

Lian Po Yin

Source date: 1862 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Transforms Dampness. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Middle Burner.

Formula summary

Lian Po Yin is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian) and Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1862 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and expel dampness.

Besides Damp-Heat in the Stomach, Lian Po Yin is also used to treat Damp-Heat invading the Spleen or Damp-Heat.

Read more about Lian Po Yin

Diet recommendations

Favor a diet free of dairy and fried and/or greasy foods. In general since there is Heat, ensure your diet has a higher concentration of cold-natured ingredients.

Most important herbs used to treat Damp-Heat in the Stomach