The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Chinese name: 心脉痹阻
Pinyin name: Xīn Mài Bì Zǔ
If Phlegm is the dominant one out of the above four patterns, the pulse is rather Slippery instead of Wiry, Choppy or Knotted. Regardless the Phlegm in the Heart is of Hot or Cold nature, it can cause a swollen tongue, a feeling of chest oppression, feeling of heaviness, shortness of breath with inability to lie down, and spitting of phlegm. Di Tan Tang, together with Long-stamen onion builbs, Snake gourds and Crow-dipper rhizome, is more suitable for treatment if Phlegm is the main feature.
Heart Blood Stagnation causes stabbing or pricking pain which comes and goes. This pain often occurs around the Heart or chest area but may also spread to the upper back or shoulder. In additional to that, the patients' lips, face, nail and tongue can turn to purple color due to the Stagnation of Heart Blood. Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is more recommended if these features are more obvious.
Emotional symptoms such as mental restlessness or depression are caused by both Heart Qi and Blood Stagnation. Chai Hu Shu Gan San is recommended if Heart Qi Stagnation is more dominant.
Finally, there are also Cold pattern features such as cold hands or feeling of cold. This Coldness can congeal muscle and worsen chest pain discussed above. In this case, it is suggested to use Dang Gui Si Ni Tang together with Immature bitter orange, Long-stamen onion bulbs and Cinnamon twigs.
The Heart is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Heart in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), knotted (Jie), slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian)
Tongue description: Swollen tongue with a sticky coating.
Possible symptoms: Phlegm Depression Heart pain Chest pain Purple lips Purple face Palpitations Purple nails Restlnessness Frequent sighing Aversion to speak Shortness of breath Cold hands and feet Feeling of heaviness Feeling of oppression of the chest
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 Vessel obstructed will tend to exhibit choppy (Se), knotted (Jie), slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian) pulses.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Heart Vessel obstructed might experience symptoms like palpitations, shortness of breath, depression and restlnessness (full list here above).
Source date: 1602
Number of ingredients: 7 herbs
Key actions: Disperses Stagnant Liver Qi and Blood. Alleviates pain. Harmonizes Blood.
Chai Hu Shu Gan San is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1602, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement.
Source date: 1830 AD
Number of ingredients: 11 herbs
Key actions: Invigorates the Blood. Dispels blood Stagnation. Spreads the Liver Qi. Unblocks the channels.
Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is a 11-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Peach Kernels (Tao Ren), Safflowers (Hong Hua) and Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1830 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation.
Source date: 1470 AD
Number of ingredients: 9 herbs
Key actions: Removes Phlegm. Opens the sensory orifices. Tonifies Qi.
Di Tan Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Arisaema (Tian Nan Xing) and Red Tangerine Peel (Ju Hong) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1470 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Phlegm.
Besides Heart Vessel obstructed, Di Tan Tang is also used to treat Phlegm Misting the Heart.