Heat in Pericardium

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 热入心包

Pinyin name: Rè Rù Xīn Bāo

Associated TCM concepts: Heat/Fire evil Pericardium Exterior


Common symptoms: Coma Aphasia Macules Hot body Delirium and five other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Dry and red tongue without coating

Exterior Heat can penetrate four levels of depth in the human body: Wei (卫,the defensive Qi level), Qi (气), Ying (营,Nutritive Qi) and the deepest level Blood. The deeper Heat penetrates within the levels, the more severe the condition.

As for the pattern of Heat in Pericardium, its the Heat entering the third severe level of Ying. It can also be called Heat at the Upper Burner stage. 

At this level, the pathologic Heat starts to harm Yin and dry up the Body Fluids. Therefore, the tongue is dry without coating. The Heat mists the Mind which then lose its residence at the Heart and it cause delirium, mental confusion and incoherent speech. One other key characteristic symptom is the severe night fever. 

Despite of the intense Heat invading the body, the hands and feet are cold. It is because the Qi circulation to the limbs are damaged due to the true Heat itself. Therefore, the cold of hands and fees are false. 

Diagnosing Heat in Pericardium

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

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Dry and red tongue without coating

Possible symptoms: Coma Aphasia Macules Hot body Delirium Convulsions Fever at night Mental confusion Incoherent speech Cold hands and feet

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 Heat in Pericardium will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Heat in Pericardium might experience symptoms like aphasia, hot body, cold hands and feet and macules (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Heat in Pericardium

Qing Ying Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears the Nutritive level Heat. Relieves Fire Toxin. Removes Heat. Nourishes Yin.

Formula summary

Qing Ying Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear nutritive-level Heat.

Read more about Qing Ying Tang

Most important herbs used to treat Heat in Pericardium