Toxic-Heat Stagnation

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 热毒蕴结      Pinyin name: Rè Dú Yùn Jié

Pattern nature: Full


Common causes: 1. External Pernicious Influence, 2. Diet


Common symptoms: Fever Eczema Pustule Carbuncles Sore throat and seven other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue description: Red tongue with yellow coating


Treatment principle: Clear Heat, resolve Toxin

Common formulas: Huang Lian Jie Du Tang


This pattern can be chronic and causes by accumulated Heat or Fire in the body, which become Toxin eventually. It can also be caused by external Pernicious Influences which combat with the Defensive Qi and it gives rise to symptoms like fever and redness. This Toxic-Heat also consumes Body Fluids and injures Yin, hence the symptoms of thirst and constipation. 

If it settles on the skin, the harmony between the Nutritious Qi and Defensive Qi is greatly disturbed, which then impairs Qi and Blood circulation in the Channels. Qi Stagnation causes swelling, while Blood Stagnation causes pain, hence the red skin eruptions and pustules. For instance, acne during teenage time is mainly due to the Toxic-Heat Stagnation on the skin.

If it is on throat, symptoms like sore, swollen and painful throat occurs. It can be tonsillitis with swollen tonsils and exudate. It can also causes swelling and pain in perineum, prostate or testicle. 


External Pernicious Influence : Any of the Six Pernicious Influence: Wind, Heat, Damp, Dryness, Fire, Cold can cause Toxin Heat if they manage to penetrate Defensive Qi and settle down in the body.

Diet: Overconsumption of hot and spicy foods can accumulate Heat and Fire in the body and develop to Toxin Heat.

Diagnosing Toxic-Heat Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue description: Red tongue with yellow coating

Main symptoms: Fever Eczema Pustule Carbuncles Sore throat Throat pain Mouth ulcers Swollen tonsils Perineum swollen Prostate swollen Testicle swollen Red skin eruptions

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are pustule, red skin eruptions, sore and painful throat, red tongue and Rapid pulse.

Treating Toxic-Heat Stagnation

Treatment principle

Clear Heat, resolve Toxin

Herbal formulas used to treat Toxic-Heat Stagnation

Huang Lian Jie Du Tang

Source date: 752 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Drains Fire. Resolves Toxin.

Formula summary

Huang Lian Jie Du Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 752 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat and resolve toxicity.

Besides Toxic-Heat Stagnation, Huang Lian Jie Du Tang is also used to treat Toxic-Heat.

Read more about Huang Lian Jie Du Tang

Diet recommendations

Avoid hot and spicy foods and drinks. Avoid smoking and alcohols.