Toxic-Heat

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 热毒      Pinyin name: Rè Dú

Pattern nature: Full

Causes

Common causes: 1. External Pernicious Influence, 2. Infectious disease, 3. Diet

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Pus Fever Boils Eczema Pustule and nine other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue description: Red tongue with yellow coating

Treatment

Treatment principle: The treatment principles are different according to the theory of four levels:   1. In Defensive Qi (Wei) level:  Clear Heat, resolve Toxin, moisten the throat. Use formulas such as Yin Qiao San or San Ju Yin.  2. In Qi level: Clear Heat, resolve Toxin, clear Phlegm, clear and descend the Lung and Stomach Qi, clear Upper Burner and Gallbladder Qi. Use formulas such as Bai Hu Tang, Huang Lian Jie Du Tang or Long Dan Xie Gan Tang.  3. In Nutritive Qi (Ying) level: Clear Heat, resolve Toxin, cool the Blood, clear the Liver, settle the rebellious Qi. Use formula such as Qing Ying Tang.  4. In Blood level: Clear Heat, resolve Toxin,  cool and invigorate Blood, stop bleeding.

Common formulas: Yin Qiao San Sang Ju Yin Bai Hu Tang and four other formulas

Pathology

There are two types of Toxic-Heat. One type is called Toxic-Heat Stagnation, which mainly happens in Channels or other surfaces like skins, throat, lymph or mouth. The symptoms include pain, redness and swollen in throat as well as skin pustule and rush. Acne during teenage time is mainly due to the Toxic-Heat Stagnation on the skin. It can also cause swelling and pain in perineum, prostate or testicle. In mouth, it leads to swollen ulcer. 

The other type is that the Toxin-Heat Evil attacks the Interior Organs and it moves around instead of being stagnated in a local place on surface. For example, when it invades the Lungs, it causes coughing or breathlessness. When it enters the Heart, it leads to dizziness or abnormal behavior. It can also trigger Internal Liver Wind and thus causes convulsion. 

This pattern can be chronic which are often caused by prolonged accumulation of internal Heat and Fire. It can also be acute, in which case, Wind-Heat often accompanies it. For example, during Wind-Heat attack, patients develops tonsillitis with symptoms like swollen tonsils and exudate.  

Causes

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.

Infectious disease: According to Western Medicine, bacteria or virous can be contagious and cause diseases if the body's immune system is not strong enough. The TCM version of external bacteria or virous are regarded as 'Toxin'. 

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

Diagnosing Toxic-Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue description: Red tongue with yellow coating

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

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the general swelling, redness, heat, pus and pain of some part of the body.

Treating Toxic-Heat

Treatment principle

The treatment principles are different according to the theory of four levels:  

1. In Defensive Qi (Wei) level:  Clear Heat, resolve Toxin, moisten the throat. Use formulas such as Yin Qiao San or San Ju Yin

2. In Qi level: Clear Heat, resolve Toxin, clear Phlegm, clear and descend the Lung and Stomach Qi, clear Upper Burner and Gallbladder Qi. Use formulas such as Bai Hu Tang, Huang Lian Jie Du Tang or Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

3. In Nutritive Qi (Ying) level: Clear Heat, resolve Toxin, cool the Blood, clear the Liver, settle the rebellious Qi. Use formula such as Qing Ying Tang

4. In Blood level: Clear Heat, resolve Toxin,  cool and invigorate Blood, stop bleeding. 

Herbal formulas used to treat Toxic-Heat

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.

Formula summary

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1682 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat from the Organs.

Besides Toxic-Heat, Long Dan Xie Gan Tang is also used to treat Damp-Heat in the Liver or Liver Fire Blazing.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system. Removes Blood Stagnation.

Formula summary

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 650 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear nutritive-level Heat.

Besides Toxic-Heat, Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang is also used to treat Heat victorious agitating Blood or Loss of Blood.

Read more about Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Yin Qiao San

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Disperses Wind Heat. Clears Heat. Resolves Toxicity.

Formula summary

Yin Qiao San is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of external formulas for External disorders.

Besides Toxic-Heat, Yin Qiao San is also used to treat Wind-Heat invading the Lungs or Wind-Heat.

Read more about Yin Qiao San

Qing Ying Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears the Nutritive level Heat. Relieves Fire Toxin. Removes Heat. Nourishes Yin.

Formula summary

Qing Ying Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear nutritive-level Heat.

Besides Toxic-Heat, Qing Ying Tang is also used to treat Heat in Pericardium or Heat in Nutritive Qi level.

Read more about Qing Ying Tang

Sang Ju Yin

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Disperses Wind. Stops coughing by invigorating Lung Qi. Clears Heat.

Formula summary

Sang Ju Yin is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Wind-Heat.

Besides Toxic-Heat, Sang Ju Yin is also used to treat Wind-Heat.

Read more about Sang Ju Yin

Bai Hu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Clears Qi-level Heat. Drains Stomach Fire. Generates fluids. Alleviates thirst.

Formula summary

Bai Hu Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Qi-level Heat.

Besides Toxic-Heat, Bai Hu Tang is also used to treat Bright Yang Stomach Heat.

Read more about Bai Hu Tang

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

Read more about Huang Lian Jie Du Tang

Diet recommendations

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