Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 溢饮

Pinyin name: Yì Yǐn

Associated TCM concepts: Phlegm Body Fluids

Related conditions: Influenza Sinusitis Psoriasis and twelve other conditions


Common symptoms: Thirst No thirst Irritability Restlnessness Pain in the muscles and six other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick white coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

Essential Prescriptions from the Golden Cabinet, a classic Chinese Medicine book written almost 2,000 years ago by Zhang Zhongjing (150-219), defines Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs (Yi Yin) as follows: "The Fluids flow [throughout the entire body] and come together in the four limbs. They should issue as sweat, and when they do not, the entire body aches and [feels] heavy."

This is a description of superficial edema with the Fluids constraining Yang Qi in the Interior leading to a sensation of heaviness and aching that is accompanied by generalized irritability and restlessness.

The typical cure for Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs involves the promotion of physiological sweating as it provides a way to get rid of the Fluids.

Related conditions

Conjunctivitis Erysipelas Scarlet fever Septicemia Upper respiratory tract infections Influenza Lobar pneumonia Bronchial asthma Suppurative keratitis Sinusitis Viral pneumonia Pulmonary gangrene Dermatitis Sebaceous cysts Psoriasis

Diagnosing Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs

Body Fluids (Jin Ye) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Body Fluids in Chinese Medicine

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 in the limbs will tend to exhibit tight (Jin) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with sticky coating, thick white coating.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs might experience symptoms like feeling of heaviness, pain in the muscles, absence of sweating and no thirst (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs

Da Qing Long Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Promotes sweating. Releases the Exterior. Clears Interior Heat.

Formula summary

Da Qing Long Tang is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ephedra (Ma Huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Wind-Cold.

Besides Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs, Da Qing Long Tang is also used to treat Exterior Cold invading with Interior Heat from Stagnation.

Read more about Da Qing Long Tang

Most important herbs used to treat Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs