Phlegm in the Joints

TCM Education Center > Patterns of disharmony > Phlegm in the Joints

Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 关节痰

Pinyin name: Guān Jié Tán

Associated TCM concepts: Phlegm

Diagnosis

According to Chinese medicine, chronic rheumatoid arthritis or arthritis in general is seen as a form of Phlegm. As a reminder Phlegm occurs when the Body Fluids accumulate and become Stagnant during a long period of time. If they do so in the joints, this Phlegm manifests itself in arthritis and can further condense to form bone growths.

Diagnosing Phlegm in the Joints

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.

Practitioners for instance learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Phlegm in the Joints might experience symptoms like bone deformities, heaviness of achiness in the joints of limbs, numbness in the limbs and numbness of the muscles.

Herbal formulas used to treat Phlegm in the Joints

Zhen Wu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies the Yang and Qi of the Spleen and Kidneys. Eliminates Dampness.

Formula summary

Zhen Wu Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform water and Dampness.

Besides Phlegm in the Joints, Zhen Wu Tang is also used to treat Spleen Yang Deficiency or Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency.

Read more about Zhen Wu Tang

Fu Zi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Meridians. Assists the Yang. Dispels Cold. Transforms Dampness.

Formula summary

Fu Zi Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform water and Dampness.

Besides Phlegm in the Joints, Fu Zi Tang is also used to treat Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp.

Read more about Fu Zi Tang

Juan Bi Tang

Source date: 1178 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and harmonizes the Protective and Nutritive Qi. Dispels Wind. Eliminates Dampness.

Formula summary

Juan Bi Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Notopterygium Roots (Qiang Huo) and Saposhnikovia Roots (Fang Feng) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1178 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Wind-Damp.

Besides Phlegm in the Joints, Juan Bi Tang is also used to treat Painful Obstruction with Qi and Blood Deficiency.

Read more about Juan Bi Tang

Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 15 herbs

Key actions: Anti-rheumatic, clears Wind, Cold and Damp Stagnation. Strengthens the function of the Liver and Kidney. Tonifies Qi and Blood.

Formula summary

Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang is a 15-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Pubescent Angelica Roots (Du Huo) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 650 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Wind-Damp.

Besides Phlegm in the Joints, Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang is also used to treat Painful Obstruction with Liver and Kidney Deficiency.

Read more about Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang

Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and inflammations. Unblocks the flow of Yang Qi and promotes movement (in areas with painful obstruction). Clears Wind and Damp. Relieves pain.

Formula summary

Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Wind-Damp.

Besides Phlegm in the Joints, Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang is also used to treat Painful Obstruction with Wind-Cold-Damp.

Read more about Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang

Xuan Bi Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears and resolves Damp-Heat. Unblocks the meridians. Disbands painful obstruction.

Formula summary

Xuan Bi Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Stephania Roots (Fang Ji) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Wind-Damp.

Besides Phlegm in the Joints, Xuan Bi Tang is also used to treat Painful Obstruction due to Damp Heat in Channels.

Read more about Xuan Bi Tang