The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Chinese name: 气痰
Pinyin name: Qì Tán
Also often called "plum-stone" or "plum-pit" (梅核, Méi Hé) syndrome or "globus hystericus" in modern medicine, the main characteristic of Qi-Phlegm is a feeling of something caught in the throat that can neither be swallowed nor ejected.
It is the result of a situation that affects the patient emotionally so much that they figuratively and physiologically cannot swallow it.
As a result the Lungs and Stomach lose their ability to move Qi downward. This, in turn, leads to problems with the transportation and transformation of Body Fluids, which leads to the formation of Phlegm. The Phlegm clashes with the Qi and ultimately lodges itself in the throat.
The obstruction of the Qi mechanism by Phlegm is also manifested in the stifling sensation in the chest. In severe cases, there will also be coughing or vomiting.
Please keep in mind that a Western Medicine condition can be caused by several Chinese Medicine patterns of disharmony and vice versa. As such a patient suffering from one of the conditions below will not necessarily be suffering from Qi-Phlegm, it is just one pattern that's commonly associated with the condition. Click on a condition to learn what other patterns it's associated with.
Qi is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Qi in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Thick white coating
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 Qi-Phlegm will tend to exhibit slippery (Hua) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a tongue with thick white coating.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Qi-Phlegm might experience symptoms like feeling of a lump in the throat which comes and goes, stuffiness of chest and diaphragm, difficulty swallowing and irritability (full list here above).
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Regulates the flow of Qi, treats esophageal spasm. Clears Phlegm.
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) and Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu) as principal ingredients. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement.