Liver Fire insulting the Lungs

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 肝火犯肺      Pinyin name: Gān Huǒ Fàn Fèi

Pattern nature: Full combined pattern

Pattern(s) it combines from: Liver Fire

Causes

Precursor patterns: Liver Fire Blazing

Common causes: 1. Excessive consumption of hot-natured and greasy foods, 2. Anger, frustration and resentment

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Asthma Thirst Red face Headaches Dizziness and seven other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: Red with redder sides and dry yellow coating.

Treatment

Treatment principle: Clear the Liver, drain Fire, subdue Liver Qi, stimulate the descending of Lung Qi.

Common formulas: Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Pathology

The Liver ensures the smooth flow of Qi, which includes the normal descending of Lung Qi.

Liver-Qi Stagnation, which is necessary for this pattern to develop, causes the feeling of distension of the chest and hypochondrium. If it persists over a long period of time, it can turn into Liver Fire.

Fire, like a real fire, rises and therefore prevents Lung Qi from descending, resulting in the symptoms of breathlessness and asthma.

The rising of Liver Fire also causes headache, dizziness, red face, bloodshot eyes, thirst and a bitter taste in the mouth. If Fire enters the Blood, it creates Heat in the Blood and leads to characteristic bleeding symptoms such as the blood-tinged sputum.

The symptoms of scanty dark urine and constipation are because of Fire's hot nature which condenses the Body Fluids.

Within the Five Phases theory this pattern is described as Wood insulting Metal.

Causes

Precursor patterns: Liver Fire insulting the Lungs can derive from Liver Fire Blazing

Excessive consumption of hot-natured and greasy foods: An excessive consumption of hot-natured and greasy foods tends to create Heat in the Liver.

Anger, frustration and resentment: The emotions of anger, frustration and resentment affect the Liver in that they make Liver Qi stagnate which, after a long time, leads to Liver Fire.

Diagnosing Liver Fire insulting the Lungs

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: Red with redder sides and dry yellow coating.

Main symptoms: Asthma Thirst Red face Headaches Dizziness Constipation Breathlessness Bloodshot eyes Scanty and dark urine Bitter taste in the mouth Cough with yellow or blood-tinged sputum Distention and pain in the chest and hypochondria

Diagnosis commentary: The main characteristics symptoms for this pattern are the breathlessness, the asthma, the feeling of fullness of the hypochondrium, the headache and the Wiry pulse.

Treating Liver Fire insulting the Lungs

Treatment principle

Clear the Liver, drain Fire, subdue Liver Qi, stimulate the descending of Lung Qi.

Herbal formulas used to treat Liver Fire insulting the Lungs

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.

Formula summary

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1682 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat from the Organs.

Besides Liver Fire insulting the Lungs, Long Dan Xie Gan Tang is also used to treat Damp-Heat in the Liver or Liver Fire Blazing.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Diet recommendations

Avoid excessive intake of alcohol, drugs and caffeinated foods and drinks. Stay clear from hot-natured and greasy foods such as lamb and beef, chips of all kinds, nuts and nut butters, avocados and dairy foods.

It is extremely important in this pattern to find constructive and beneficial ways to express and release the pent up anger, frustration, irritability and resentment. Find work which is satisfying and enjoyable. Discover creative outlets and actively pursue them.

Consequence patterns

Yin Deficiency

Liver Fire may dry up Body Fluids and lead to Yin Deficiency.

Phlegm

By condensing Body Fluids Fire may lead to the formation of Phlegm, a process facilitated by the impairment of the descending of Lung Qi.