Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 痰火忧心包

Pinyin name: Tán Huǒ Yōu Xīn Bāo

Associated TCM concepts: Pericardium Phlegm Heat pattern

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Coma Mucus Thirst Aphasia Anxiety and nineteen other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong), Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian), Full (Shi)

Tongue description: Red and swollen tongue with yellow, dry and sticky coating. The tip may be redder with swollen red points. There may be also keep crack.

The Pericardium is the guard and the first defense line of the Heart. Therefore when the Heart was invaded by Phlegm and Fire, the Pericardium suffers as well. Actually the related mental symptoms of these two Organs by Phlegm and Fire are quick similar with just different severe levels. 

Fire harasses the Mind in both the Heart and the Pericardium, it causes mental restlessness, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep and agitation. When Phlegm obstructs the Mind which resides in both Organs, it leads to mental confusion, rash and manic behavior, violent behavior such as hitting or scolding people, uncontrolled laughter or crying, shouting, muttering to oneself, mental depression and dullness. 

All the mental symptoms mentioned above are very similar to the ones with bipolar disease in the Western medicine. However, these two patterns can happen without being diagnosed with bipolar disease. 

Different from above, the chest pain and feeling of oppression is unique to Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, because the Pericardium channel goes though the chest. The same channel connects to the Lung channel, which leads to slightly rapid breathing. 

Diagnosing Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium

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

Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong), rapid (Shu), slippery (Hua), wiry (Xian) or full (Shi)

Tongue description: Red and swollen tongue with yellow, dry and sticky coating. The tip may be redder with swollen red points. There may be also keep crack.

Possible symptoms: Coma Mucus Thirst Aphasia Anxiety Red face Insomnia Shouting Dull face Chest pain Palpitations Rapid breath Restlnessness Rash behaviour Mental confusion Incoherent speech Mental depression Violent behaviour Muttering to oneself Dream disturbed sleep Bitter taste in the mouth Rattling sound in the throat Uncontrolled laughing or crying 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 Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium will tend to exhibit overflowing (Hong), rapid (Shu), slippery (Hua), wiry (Xian) or full (Shi) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium might experience symptoms like aphasia, coma, thirst and red face (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium

Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Hot-Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder heat. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Formula summary

Wen Dan Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1174 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dry Dampness and transform Phlegm.

Besides Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Wen Dan Tang is also used to treat Phlegm Misting the Heart or Gallbladder Deficiency.

Read more about Wen Dan Tang

Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1852 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Clears Hot Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder Heat. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Formula summary

Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1852 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dry Dampness and transform Phlegm.

Besides Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang is also used to treat Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart.

Read more about Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang

Diet recommendations

As for food, better avoid alcohol, tobacco, meat, coffee, sodas, juices, any caffeinated foods and drinks, any hot, spicy, greasy and fried foods or any processed foods especially with additives. Eat lots of vegetables, tofu, black beans, greens, rice, barley, legumes.

Try psychotherapy such as cupping, meditation or any relaxation therapies.