Stomach Fire

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 胃火

Pinyin name: Wei Huo

Associated TCM concepts: Stomach Heat pattern


Common symptoms: Thirst Dry mouth Dry stools Constipation Mouth ulcers and five other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua), Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red centre

Stomach Fire indicates a true Excess of Heat in the Stomach, creating symptoms such as mouth ulcers, bad breath, intense thirst and bleeding of the gums. Body Fluids are burned off by the excessive Heat, which creates extreme thirst and constipation. Over time the Heat can cause obstruction to Stomach Qi, resulting in vomiting, acid reflux and nausea.

Stomach Fire can be the result of excessive intake of hot, spicy, greasy, sugary and deep fried foods. Other factors such as alcohol and tobacco use may also be the reason. Stomach Fire often derives from other patterns such as Stomach Qi Stagnation. Anger, frustration and resentment can cause such stagnation, which as a result leads to Stomach Fire. 

Diagnosing Stomach Fire

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

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), slippery (Hua) or full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red centre

Possible symptoms: Thirst Dry mouth Dry stools Constipation Mouth ulcers Irritability Restlnessness Bleeding gums Epigastric pain Sour regurgitation

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 Stomach Fire will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu), slippery (Hua) or full (Shi) pulses as well as a red centre tongue with yellow coating.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Stomach Fire might experience symptoms like thirst, epigastric pain, dry mouth and restlnessness (full list here above).

Diet recommendations

Eat less hot, sweet, spicy, greasy and deep fried foods.