Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 痰饮阻肺

Pinyin name: Tán Yǐn Zǔ Fèi

Associated TCM concepts: Phlegm

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Coughing Dizziness Feeling of cold Shortness of breath Feeling of heaviness and three other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Soggy (Ru), Wiry (Xian), Fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Pale tongue with thick sticky white coating

This  pattern is similar to Damp-Phlegm in the Lungs. Both has the typical symptoms of Phlegm such as coughing, breathlessness, chest oppression, sputum, feeling of heaviness of the head and dizziness. Coughing and breathlessness happen because the Lung Qi can not descend accordingly. Chest oppression, sputum and head heaviness are due to Phlegm obstructing the chest, the throat and the head orifices. 

As for the other aspects of the two pattern, Dampness is a type of Body Fluids that is like a mist. It can be causes by external Damp invasion for acute cases, while the chronic cases are mainly due to Spleen Qi or Kidney Yang Deficiency and the Dampness becomes internal. 

Fluids (饮 Yin) is a type of Body Fluids that is very watery, dilute and frothy. It is lighter than Phlegm and but heavier than water. It usually happens only in chronic cases among the elderly. It is a result of long term Spleen, Lungs and Kidney Yang Deficiency. Therefore there are the symptoms of cold feeling and pale tongue. 

Diagnosing Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs

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

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), soggy (Ru), wiry (Xian) or fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Pale tongue with thick sticky white coating

Possible symptoms: Coughing Dizziness Feeling of cold Shortness of breath Feeling of heaviness White and watery sputum Splashing sound in the chest Stifling sensation in 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-Fluids in the Lungs will tend to exhibit slippery (Hua), soggy (Ru), wiry (Xian) or fine (Xi) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs might experience symptoms like coughing, white and watery sputum, shortness of breath and splashing sound in the chest (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Phlegm-Fluids in the Lungs

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 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.

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

Read more about Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang

Diet recommendations

Avoid greasy and dairy foods. 

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