Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm

Home > Patterns of disharmony > Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 支饮      Pinyin name: Zhī Yǐn

Pattern nature: Full

Pattern hierarchy: Specific pattern under Phlegm-Fluids

Causes

Precursor patterns: Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs

Common causes: External Cold

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Asthma Oedema Coughing Dizziness Profuse white sputum and one other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: Swollen tongue with thick sticky white coating

Treatment

Treatment principle: Warm the Empty Cold of the Lungs, tonify the Spleen and Kidney Yang, remove Dampness, Phlegm and Fluids

Common formulas: Xiao Qing Long Tang Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang

Pathology

When Lung Qi is stagnant or Deficient (because, for instance, of Wind-Cold), Phlegm-Fluids (a type of Phlegm characterized by white, very watery and thin sputum) accumulates in the Lungs because they cannot fulfill their function of sending the Fluids down to the Kidneys or to the skin and muscles. See our chapter on the formation of Body Fluids for an explanation of this process.

This leads to symptoms such as coughing and wheezing (with copious, white, watery sputum), a stifling sensation in the chest, and, in very severe cases, difficulty in breathing while lying down. The symptoms of absence of thirst and the moist tongue coating indicate a overabundance of Fluids in the body. All the symptoms tend to be aggravated by exposure to Cold. 

Causes

Precursor patterns: Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm can derive from Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs

External Cold: Prolonged exposure to external cold environment can cause this pattern.

Diagnosing Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: Swollen tongue with thick sticky white coating

Main symptoms: Asthma Oedema Coughing Dizziness Profuse white sputum Feeling of oppression of the chest

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the chest fullness and coughing which get worse when lying down.

Treating Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm

Treatment principle

Warm the Empty Cold of the Lungs, tonify the Spleen and Kidney Yang, remove Dampness, Phlegm and Fluids 

Herbal formulas used to treat Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm

Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Lungs. Transforms congested Fluids.

Formula summary

Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform Phlegm-Cold.

Besides Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm, Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang is also used to treat Cold-Phlegm in the Lungs or Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs.

Read more about Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang

Xiao Qing Long Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Warms the Lungs. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Formula summary

Xiao Qing Long Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Wind-Cold.

Besides Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm, Xiao Qing Long Tang is also used to treat Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs or Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs.

Read more about Xiao Qing Long Tang

Related conditions

Peptic ulcers Cirrhosis Epilepsy Conjunctivitis Bacillary dysentery Bronchitis Emphysema Upper respiratory tract infections Rheumatic heart disease Periarthritis of the shoulder Cardiopulmonary disease Enuresis Bronchial asthma Allergic rhinitis Nephritis Hay fever Dacryosolenitis Enteritis Atrophic gastritis Pleuritis

Consequence patterns

Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing

Lung Qi Deficiency over a long period of time with an accumulation of Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs may lead to Kidney Yang Deficiency with Water overflowing.