At a glance

Preliminary reading: What is a pattern?


Common symptoms: Fever Thirst Flushed face Irritability Constipation and four other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Tight (Jin), Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Reddish-Purple


Excess-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 Excess-Heat gives rise to such diverse symptoms as fever, flushed face, red skin rashes and blotches dotted over the skin (as well as five others).

To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Excess-Heat patients tend to exhibit rapid (Shu), tight (Jin) or full (Shi) pulses as well as a reddish-purple tongue with 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 Excess-Heat is thought to sometimes induce conditions such as lupus.

Diagnosing Excess-Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), tight (Jin) or full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Reddish-Purple

Main symptoms: Fever Thirst Flushed face Irritability Constipation Red skin rashes Arthritic symptoms Scanty and dark urine Blotches dotted over the skin

Treating Excess-Heat

Herbal formulas used to treat Excess-Heat

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system. Removes Blood Stagnation.

Formula summary

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 650 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear nutritive-level Heat.

Besides Excess-Heat, Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang is also used to treat Heat victorious agitating Blood or Loss of Blood.

Read more about Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Special highlight: the link between lupus and Excess-Heat

Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao) is the key herb for Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a formula used for lupus caused by Excess-Heat

The treatment principle for this pattern is to cool Blood, relieve toxicity, clear Heat, and generate Fluids.

Read more about lupus