Stomach Heat or Fire

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 胃热 or 胃火       Pinyin name: Wèi Rè or Wèi Huǒ

Pattern nature: Full

Common combinations: Bright Yang Stomach Heat Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines

Causes

Precursor patterns: Stomach Qi Stagnation Heart Fire blazing Food Stagnation in the Stomach

Common causes: 1. Diet, 2. Emotional stress

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Nausea Dry mouth Dry stools Bad breath Mouth ulcers and eight other symptoms

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

Tongue description: Red in the center with a dry thick yellow or dark yellow coating

Treatment

Treatment principle: Clear Stomach Heat or Fire, direct Stomach Qi going downwards

Common formulas: Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang Qing Wei San

Pathology

Stomach Fire indicates a true Excess of Heat in the Stomach, creating symptoms such as mouth ulcers, bad breath, intense thirst as well as strong desire for cold drinks and foods. The Blood in the Stomach Channel get rebellious due to the extreme Heat or Fire, so that it leaks out of vessels and causes gums bleeding. The pain and swelling in the gums is also due to the Heat in the Stomach Channels. 

Body Fluids are burned off by the excessive Heat, which creates extreme thirst, dry mouth and tongue, dry stools as well as constipation.

Over time the Heat disturbs the normal descending of Stomach Qi, causing obstruction to Stomach Qi or rebellious Stomach Qi, hence the symptoms of regurgitation, vomiting, acid reflux and nausea. The Heat also ferments the Stomach fluids and make it 'sour'. Constant and ravenous hunger is also a result of the Full Heat. 

Stomach Fire and Stomach Heat are similar concept, except that the Fire is much more severe than Heat. For the prior pattern, there will be redder tongue, darker and drier coating, more intense thirst, darker urine, drier stools as well as more disturbed Mind. It is more common to have bleeding gums under the Fire pattern. 

Sometime the Heat or Fire can combine with Phlegm and causes Phlegm-Heat in the Stomach. It causes additional symptoms such as feeling of chest oppression, mucus in stools, mental derangement and spitting of stick phlegm. 

Causes

Precursor patterns: Stomach Heat or Fire can derive from Stomach Qi Stagnation Heart Fire blazing Food Stagnation in the Stomach

Diet: 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.

Emotional stress: Anger, frustration and resentment can cause such stagnation, which as a result leads to Stomach Fire or Heat.

Diagnosing Stomach Heat or Fire

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

Tongue description: Red in the center with a dry thick yellow or dark yellow coating

Main symptoms: Nausea Dry mouth Dry stools Bad breath Mouth ulcers Restlnessness Intense thirst Feeling of heat Excessive hunger Sour regurgitation Desire for cold drinks Burning epigastric pain Vomiting of fluids soon after drinking

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the burning sensation in the epigastrium, thirst with a desire to drink cold liquids as well as a red tongue with a thick yellow coating.

Treating Stomach Heat or Fire

Treatment principle

Clear Stomach Heat or Fire, direct Stomach Qi going downwards

Herbal formulas used to treat Stomach Heat or Fire

Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Removes Heat and Dryness in the Lower Burner. Removes constipation.

Formula summary

Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that purge Heat accumulation.

Besides Stomach Heat or Fire, Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang is also used to treat Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines.

Read more about Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang

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. Invented in 1336 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat from the Organs.

Besides Stomach Heat or Fire, Qing Wei San is also used to treat Stomach Fire or Stomach Heat.

Read more about Qing Wei San

Diet recommendations

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

Consequence patterns

Stomach Blood Stagnation

The Stomach Fire or Heat condenses the Blood and lead to its Stagnation. 

Damp-Heat in the Stomach

Stomach Heat often leads to Damp-Heat because Heat may combine with Dampness but also because Heat might itself create Dampness by condensing Fluids.

Heat in the Large Intestine

Stomach Fire can give rise to Heat in the Large Intestine. 

Stomach Yin Deficiency

Heat of Fire in the Stomach can dry up the Body Fluids and lead to Yin Deficiency.