At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 表热      Pinyin name: Biǎo Rè

Pattern nature: Full

Pattern hierarchy: General pattern


Common causes: External Heat


Common symptoms: Fever Thirst Sweating Body aches Stiff neck and one other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Floating (Fu)

Tongue description: Redness on tip or sides of the tongue with thin white coating


Treatment principle: Release Heat from the Exterior

Common formulas: Yin Qiao San


This pattern is classified as ‘Exterior’ not because it derived from an external pathogenic factor but because its manifestations are located in the ‘Exterior’ of the body such as the skin, muscles and Channels. 

The Defensive Qi reacts to the external Heat Evil and the battle between the two gives rise to 'fever'. The fever here does not necessarily indicate an actual fever, but rather the patients' objective feeling of the heat. The Aversion to cold is the consequence of this fever. 

This pattern is quite similar to Exterior-Cold, but with Heat related manifestations. The main difference is the feeling of thirst and slightly sweating. Dryness often accompanies Heat, hence the symptoms of feeling thirst. There is no Cold Evil constraining the skin pores, therefore the patients sweat slightly.

The Heat also goes up to the Head and causes headache and red tongue. However, the redness is on the tip or on the sides, which indicates the Exterior feature of the pattern. 


External Heat: Exposure to a hot place can cause this pattern.

Diagnosing Exterior-Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu) or floating (Fu)

Tongue description: Redness on tip or sides of the tongue with thin white coating

Main symptoms: Fever Thirst Sweating Body aches Stiff neck Aversion to cold

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the aversion to cold, fever, and slight sweating and thirst.

Treating Exterior-Heat

Treatment principle

Release Heat from the Exterior

Herbal formulas used to treat Exterior-Heat

Yin Qiao San

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Disperses Wind Heat. Clears Heat. Resolves Toxicity.

Formula summary

Yin Qiao San is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of external formulas for External disorders.

Besides Exterior-Heat, Yin Qiao San is also used to treat Wind-Heat invading the Lungs or Wind-Heat.

Read more about Yin Qiao San