Heart Fire blazing

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 心火亢盛

Pinyin name: Xīn Huǒ Kàng Shèng

Associated TCM concepts: Heart Heat pattern

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Thirst Anxiety Insomnia Red face Dark Urine and eight other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong), Rapid (Shu), Full (Shi), Hasty (Cu)

Tongue description: Red tongue with redder tip and swollen red points, yellow coasting and tongue ulcers. There may be a midline crack reaching to the tip.

Different from Heart Yin Deficiency which is an Empty-Heat pattern, the Heart Fire blazing here is a Full-Heat one. The typical manifestation of Full-Heat are thirst, red face, feeling of heat, red tongue and Rapid Overflowing or Hasty Pulse. 

The Heart opens to the tongue, therefore Heart Fire give rise to mouth and tongue ulcers, which usually causes a lot of pain. These ulcers normally have a red raised rim. The rim color will be rather white if they are caused by Empty-Heat of Heart Yin Deficiency. 

Full Heat in the Heart can also cause bitter taste in the mouth as the Heart governs taste. The symptom happens only when the patients have had a bad sleep the night before. It is different from the bad taste caused by Liver Fire, which occurs every day. 

The entire face appears to be red, as apposed to only the cheekbones are red (malar flush) in the case of Empty-Heat of Heart Yin Deficiency. It is because the Full Heat goes upwards and manifests itself on the whole face. 

The Heart houses the Mind, which lose its residence in case of Heart Fire. Thus severe mental restlessness occurs. There are also insomnia as the Heart Fire disturbing the Mind at night. The patients may also wake up several times during the night with disturbed dreams. 

Diagnosing Heart Fire blazing

The Heart is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Heart in Chinese Medicine

Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong), rapid (Shu), full (Shi) or hasty (Cu)

Tongue description: Red tongue with redder tip and swollen red points, yellow coasting and tongue ulcers. There may be a midline crack reaching to the tip.

Possible symptoms: Thirst Anxiety Insomnia Red face Dark Urine Palpitations Mouth ulcers Bloody urine Tongue ulcers Restlnessness Feeling of heat Dream disturbed sleep Bitter taste in the mouth

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 Heart Fire blazing will tend to exhibit overflowing (Hong), rapid (Shu), full (Shi) or hasty (Cu) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Heart Fire blazing might experience symptoms like dream disturbed sleep, palpitations, thirst and mouth ulcers (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Heart Fire blazing

Xie Xin Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Drains Fire. Resolves Toxicity. Dries Dampness.

Formula summary

Xie Xin Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Rhubarb (Da Huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and resolve toxicity.

Besides Heart Fire blazing, Xie Xin Tang is also used to treat Pericardium Fire.

Read more about Xie Xin Tang

Diet recommendations

As for recommendation on food: No fruit or vegetable juices. No meat (especially red meat) or maximum 24 oz of meat per day for a couple of weeks. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nuts, avocados,  cheese, hot and greasy foods or any iced or cold drinks directly from the fridge. 

It is recommended to take some sort of martial arts as they helps consume excessive energy. 

Other therapies such as meditation or cupping cover the upper back is also recommended. 

Most important herbs used to treat Heart Fire blazing