Damp-Heat invading the Spleen

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Pattern factsheet

Associated TCM concepts: Dampness Heat/Fire evil Spleen


Common symptoms: Oily sweat Poor appetite Dull headache Feeling of heat Low-grade fever and twelve other symptoms

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

Tongue description: Red with sticky yellow coating

This pattern is essentially the same as Cold-Damp invading the Spleen except that in this case there is Heat

Many of the symptoms are due to Dampness: the feeling of fullness and heaviness, the nausea, the sticky tongue coating and the Slippery pulse.

The symptoms that indicate Heat are the foul smell of the stools, the bitter taste in the mouth, the burning sensation of the anus and the scanty dark urine.

The low-grade fever is constant throughout the day, as opposed to low-grade fever from Yin Deficiency which only appears in the afternoon or early evening. It is caused by the combination of Damp-Heat.

The pattern as described here applies to relatively acute cases. In more chronic cases, some of the symptoms are often missing like the fever, the burning sensation of the anus and the dull-yellow complexion.

Diagnosing Damp-Heat invading the Spleen

The Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen 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 invading the Spleen 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 invading the Spleen might experience symptoms like poor appetite, feeling of heaviness, thirst without a desire to drink and nausea or vomiting (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Damp-Heat invading the Spleen

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

Read more about Lian Po Yin

Diet recommendations

Avoid greasy, fatty or fried foods and alcohol; eat grains, legumes, vegetables and greens. Rest also abundantly. 

Most important herbs used to treat Damp-Heat invading the Spleen