Phlegm in the Lungs

Home > Patterns of disharmony > Phlegm in the Lungs

Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 肺痰

Pinyin name: Fèi Tán

Associated TCM concepts: Phlegm Lungs

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Asthma Sputum in the lungs and throat

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

Phlegm in the Lungs is synonymous with Substantial Phlegm. It is Phlegm that is located in the Lungs and that can be seen. The main symptoms, on top of general Phlegm symptoms, are the heavy sputum that develops in the Lungs and throat as well as, in some cases, asthma or difficulty to breath.

Diagnosing Phlegm in the Lungs

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

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

Possible symptoms: Asthma Sputum in the lungs and throat

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 in the Lungs will tend to exhibit slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with sticky coating, thick coating.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Phlegm in the Lungs might experience symptoms like asthma and sputum in the lungs and throat.

Herbal formulas used to treat Phlegm in the Lungs

Ding Chuan Tang

Source date: 1550 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears Lung Heat. Expectorant for asthma.

Formula summary

Ding Chuan Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ginkgo Nuts (Bai Guo) and Ephedra (Ma Huang) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1550 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi.

Besides Phlegm in the Lungs, Ding Chuan Tang is also used to treat Phlegm-Heat or Wind-Cold invading the Interior with Phelgm-Heat.

Read more about Ding Chuan Tang

Wei Jing Tang

Source date: 627 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Clears heat from the Lungs. Transforms Phlegm. Drives out Blood-Stagnation. Discharges pus.

Formula summary

Wei Jing Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Common Reed Rhizomes (Lu Gen) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 627 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear internal abscesses and sores.

Besides Phlegm in the Lungs, Wei Jing Tang is also used to treat Qi and Blood Stagnation or Wind-Heat entering the Lungs.

Read more about Wei Jing Tang

Xiao Xian Xiong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Transforms Phlegm. Expands the chest. Dissipates clumps.

Formula summary

Xiao Xian Xiong Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Snake Gourds (Gua Lou) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and transform Phlegm.

Besides Phlegm in the Lungs, Xiao Xian Xiong Tang is also used to treat Phlegm Heat in the Lungs.

Read more about Xiao Xian Xiong Tang