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: 支饮
Pinyin name: Zhī Yǐn
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.
Please keep in mind that a Western Medicine condition can be caused by several Chinese Medicine patterns of disharmony and vice versa. As such a patient suffering from one of the conditions below will not necessarily be suffering from Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm, it is just one pattern that's commonly associated with the condition. Click on a condition to learn what other patterns it's associated with.
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
Body Fluids (Jin Ye) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Body Fluids in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Thick white coating
Tongue shape: Swollen
Possible symptoms: Asthma Oedema Coughing Wheezing No thirst Dizziness Pain in the muscles Absence of sweating Profuse white sputum Generalized body pain Alternating fever and chills General sensation of heaviness Stifling sensation in the chest Feeling of oppression of the chest Coughing of copious thin and white sputum
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-Fluids above the diaphragm will tend to exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with thick white coating.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm might experience symptoms like general sensation of heaviness, pain in the muscles, absence of sweating and no thirst (full list here above).
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Warms the Lungs. Transforms congested Fluids.
Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform Phlegm-Cold.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Warms the Lungs. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.
Xiao Qing Long Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ephedra (Ma Huang) and Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) as principal ingredients. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Wind-Cold.