Greater Yang Accumulation of Water

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 太阳 蓄水证

Pinyin name: Tài Yáng Xù Shuǐ Zhèng

Associated TCM concepts: The six stages theory

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Fever Slight thirst Aversion to cold Urinary retention Vomiting of fluids soon after drinking

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

This is one of the four patterns of the Greater Yang stage, the first stage of the Six Stages theory.

In this pattern, on top of being in the Exterior, the External Pathogen has invaded the Bladder.

Symptoms of the Exterior attack include the aversion to cold due to the obstruction of the space between the skin and muscles by Wind: this impairs the circulation of Defensive Qi which cannot fulfill its function of warming the muscles.

The fever is also characteristic of the presence of a Pathogen in the Exterior. Please note that it is not necessarily an actual fever but more the hot feeling of the patient’s skin on palpation, what the Chinese call "heat emission" of the skin. 

As for the Bladder invasion, it results in Water not being transformed. This causes retention of urine, thirst and vomiting after drinking.

Concretely when Water isn't transformed in the Bladder, the fluids aren't ascending, which causes thirst. But because the thirst isn't due to a deficiency of fluids, it isn't relieved by drinking.

As for the vomiting, it is caused by the accumulation of Water in the Stomach since the Bladder doesn't process it correctly anymore.

Diagnosing Greater Yang Accumulation of Water

'Yang' as a body pattern in Chinese Medicine is one of the so-called "Eight Principles". Learn more about Yang in Chinese Medicine

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

Possible symptoms: Fever Slight thirst Aversion to cold Urinary retention Vomiting of fluids soon after drinking

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 Greater Yang Accumulation of Water will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu) or floating (Fu) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Greater Yang Accumulation of Water might experience symptoms like aversion to cold, fever, urinary retention and slight thirst (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Greater Yang Accumulation of Water

Wu Ling San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes urination,. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Promotes Qi transformation function. Drains Dampness. Clears edema.

Formula summary

Wu Ling San is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Water Plantain (Ze Xie) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote urination and leach out Dampness.

Besides Greater Yang Accumulation of Water, Wu Ling San is also used to treat Yin Excess or Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing.

Read more about Wu Ling San

Most important herbs used to treat Greater Yang Accumulation of Water