Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

TCM Education Center > Patterns of disharmony > Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 胃火 or 胃热

Pinyin name: Wei Huo or Wei Re

Associated TCM concepts: Stomach Heat pattern

Related conditions: Mastitis Diabetes Glossitis and six other conditions

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Fever Thirst Blister Red eyes Red face and thirty 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. 

Related conditions

Morning sickness Breast engorgement Mastitis Trigeminal neuralgia Stomatitis Periodontitis Glossitis Diabetes Viral myocarditis

Diagnosing Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

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

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 or Stomach Heat 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 or Stomach Heat might experience symptoms like thirst, epigastric pain, dry mouth and restlnessness (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

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 Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat, Wen Dan Tang is also used to treat Phlegm or Phlegm-Heat.

Read more about Wen Dan Tang

Yu Nu Jian

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Drains Heat from the Stomach. Nourishes Yin.

Formula summary

Yu Nu Jian is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Gypsum (Shi Gao) and Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat from the Organs.

Besides Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat, Yu Nu Jian is also used to treat Kidney Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Yu Nu Jian

Gua Lou San

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Remove breast carbuncle (mastitis) after birth giving.

Formula summary

Gua Lou San is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Snake Gourds (Gua Lou) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1826 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and resolve toxicity.

Besides Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat, Gua Lou San is also used to treat Liver Qi Stagnation.

Read more about Gua Lou San

Qing Wei San

Source date: 1336 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Drains Stomach Fire. Cools the Blood. Nourishes the Yin.

Formula summary

Qing Wei San is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1336 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat from the Organs.

Read more about Qing Wei San

Diet recommendations

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

Special highlight: the link between mastitis and Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

Snake Gourds (Gua Lou) is the key herb for Gua Lou San, a formula used for mastitis caused by Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

If the nursing mother doesn't follow a suitable diet and consumes excessive amounts of hot and greasy food after birth giving, the heavy-to-digest food brews in the Stomach and it creates toxins and Heat.

The breast belongs to the Stomach channel (also called Bright Yang channel), so the toxic Heat will naturally flow from the Stomach to the breasts. It clogs milk ducts and creates heaviness, heat, hardness, boil, swelling, pain, redness and nodules or lumps in the breasts. When this situation...Read more about mastitis

Special highlight: the link between breast engorgement and Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

Snake Gourds (Gua Lou) is the key herb for Gua Lou San, a formula used for breast engorgement caused by Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat

Typical symptoms for breast engorgement caused by Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat: Thirst Red eyes Dry mouth Breast pain Breast heat Malar flush Breast lumps Breast eczema Breast nodules Breast hardness Breast distention Uneven milk supply

Recommended herbal formulas: Unblock Nursing Tea, Gua Lou San

If the nursing mother consumes excessive amount of Hot food (not the actual temperature but the Chinese Medicine nature of food) and greasy food after giving birth, the heavy-to-digest food brews in her Stomach and creates toxins and Heat.

The breast belongs to the Stomach Channel (also called Bright Yang channel), through which the Heat flows to the breasts. It clogs milk ducts and creates heaviness, hardness, boils, swellings, pain, redness and nodules or lumps in the breasts. When this...Read more about breast engorgement