Damp-Phlegm

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At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 痰湿      Pinyin name: Tán Shī

Pattern nature: Full

Pattern hierarchy: General pattern with specific forms like Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus

Causes

Common causes: 1. External Wet, 2. Diet

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Nausea Obesity No thirst Fat belly Overweight and five other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)

Tongue description: Swollen tongue with sticky white coating

Treatment

Treatment principle: Expel Dampness and Phlegm, tonify the Spleen Qi

Common formulas: Er Chen Tang Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang Shen Qi Wan

Pathology

This Phlegm is associated with or deriving from Dampness. The typical manifestation is profuse amount of white sticky sputum which is easy to spit as well as overweight. For these middle age men who develop big, fat and soft bellies, there are often some degree of Damp-Phlegm. 

The pattern can be acute or chronic. In acute cases, it is normally caused by Wind invasion of the Lungs. If the patient's immune system is not strong enough to defense this Pernicious Evil, the patient then develops acute cough with profuse sputum. 

In chronic cases, it is often the result of prolonged Spleen Qi Deficiency. It is because the Spleen is responsible for Body Fluids transformation and transportation. Kidney Qi Deficiency is also a cause, as the Kidneys control water circulation and balance Body Fluids in the body. They are the root of water metabolism in the body.

The Spleen and Kidneys dysfunction leads to Phlegm formation. Then it often gets stored in abdomen and causes a fat and soft belly. 

Choose Er Chen Tang due to Lung Deficiency caused Damp-Phlegm. As for Spleen Qi Dysfunction, use Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang. For Kidneys related Damp-Phlegm, use Shen Qi Wan

Causes

External Wet : Prolonged exposure to wet environment can cause this pattern.

Diet: Overconsumption of dairy, cold, raw, greasy or fat foods.

Diagnosing Damp-Phlegm

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)

Tongue description: Swollen tongue with sticky white coating

Main symptoms: Nausea Obesity No thirst Fat belly Overweight Swollen limbs Profuse white sputum Sticky taste in the mouth Epigastric focal distention Focal distention of the chest

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the profuse white sticky sputum but easy to spit, chest and epigastric oppression as well as obesity, especially the fat on belly.

Treating Damp-Phlegm

Treatment principle

Expel Dampness and Phlegm, tonify the Spleen Qi 

Herbal formulas used to treat Damp-Phlegm

Er Chen Tang

Source date: 1148 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm. Regulates Qi and harmonizes the Middle Burner (Stomach and Spleen).

Formula summary

Er Chen Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1148 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dry Dampness and transform Phlegm.

Besides Damp-Phlegm, Er Chen Tang is also used to treat Damp-Phlegm in the Lungs or Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs.

Read more about Er Chen Tang

Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1675 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Spleen and Stomach Qi. Removes Dampness. Moves Qi. Alleviates pain.

Formula summary

Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1675 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Phlegm.

Besides Damp-Phlegm, Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang is also used to treat Phlegm or Phlegm in the Uterus.

Read more about Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang

Shen Qi Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and warms Kidney Yang.

Formula summary

Shen Qi Wan is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm Yang and tonify.

Besides Damp-Phlegm, Shen Qi Wan is also used to treat Oedema or Kidney Yang Deficiency.

Read more about Shen Qi Wan

Diet recommendations

Try more physical exercises so as to have a better metabolism. Avoid fat and greasy foods. Avoid dairy, cold or raw foods. Avoid alcohol.