Phlegm Misting the Heart

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 痰迷心窍

Pinyin name: Tán Mí Xīn Qiào

Associated TCM concepts: Phlegm Heart

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Coma Aphasia Vomiting Dull eyes Paralysis and eleven other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)

Tongue description: Thick sticky slippery white coating, swollen tongue, midline crack until the tip of the tongue

This pattern is also called 'Cold Phlegm or Mucus Obstructing the Heart Orifices'. It is similar to the pattern of 'Phlegm Fire harassing the Heart' (also called 'Hot Phlegm or Mucus Obstructing the Heart orifices'), but it is a Cold Pattern here. 

Children can have this pattern and it is often constitutional. It can be the fundamental cause for symptoms like retardation or speech difficulties. 

As for adult, Phlegm together with the Wind can lead to coma, paralysis and aphasia, which happens often after a Wind-stroke attack. 

The Mind has no residence at the Heart if it is obstructed by the Phlegm, hence the symptoms of mental confusion, lethargic stupor or unconsciousness. 

The Phlegm also prevents the tongue from moving and thus aphasia happens. It is because the Heart opens to the tongue. 

Due to the Phlegm obstructing the chest, vomiting and the rattling sound in the throat are also the typical symptoms. 

Finally, the swollen tongue with sticky coating and Slippery pulse also shows the existing of Phlegm. 

Diagnosing Phlegm Misting the Heart

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

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)

Tongue description: Thick sticky slippery white coating, swollen tongue, midline crack until the tip of the tongue

Possible symptoms: Coma Aphasia Vomiting Dull eyes Paralysis Slurred speech Unconsciousness Staring at walls Sudden blackouts Mental confusion Mental depression Incoherent speech Muttering to oneself Rattling sound in the throat Abnormal and foolish behavior Lethargic and withdrawn state

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 Misting the Heart will tend to exhibit slippery (Hua) 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 Misting the Heart might experience symptoms like staring at walls, muttering to oneself, abnormal and foolish behavior and dull eyes (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Phlegm Misting the Heart

Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Hot-Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder heat. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Formula summary

Wen Dan Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1174 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dry Dampness and transform Phlegm.

Besides Phlegm Misting the Heart, Wen Dan Tang is also used to treat Gallbladder Deficiency or Phlegm Fire harassing the Heart.

Read more about Wen Dan Tang

Di Tan Tang

Source date: 1470 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Removes Phlegm. Opens the sensory orifices. Tonifies Qi.

Formula summary

Di Tan Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Arisaema (Tian Nan Xing) and Red Tangerine Peel (Ju Hong) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1470 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Phlegm.

Besides Phlegm Misting the Heart, Di Tan Tang is also used to treat Heart Vessel obstructed.

Read more about Di Tan Tang

Diet recommendations

As for food recommendation, it is better to avoid any dairy, chocolate, alcohol, sodas, wheat, flour products, desserts, greasy and fried foods, caffeinated foods and drinks,  cold and iced drinks and foods, raw foods, fruit and vegetable juices, salads. Avoid any processed foods, especially those with additives. Better eat rice, millet and barley, black bean soup with onions and garlic, protein and vegetables.

Take some safe and mild exercise such as walking. 

Finally try some professional psychotherapy such as cupping or moxibustion.