Wind-Cold invading the Lungs

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 风寒犯肺      Pinyin name: Fēng Hán Fàn Fèi

Pattern nature: Full

Causes

Precursor patterns: Wind-Cold Exterior-Cold

Common causes: External Wind and Cold

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Fever Sneezing Headaches Runny nose Body aches and five other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Floating (Fu)

Tongue description: Thin and white coating

Treatment

Treatment principle: Expel Cold, release the Exterior, stimulate the descending and diffusing of Lung Qi.

Common formulas: Ma Huang Tang Ge Gen Tang

Pathology

The Defensive Qi layer of the Lungs is invaded by the external Wind-Cold. The battel between these two takes place and gives rise to fever. This is similar to how the immune system reacts to the external bacterial or virus according to the Western Medicine. Please be aware that there aren't always fever every time, especially if the Wind-Cold is comparatively weak or the Defensive Qi doesn't response to it. According to TCM, 'fever' doesn't necessarily means actual temperature increasing, it can also mean Heat related symptoms of the body. 

The descending and dispersing of Lung Qi can be greatly disturbed if the Lung's Defensive Qi is obstructed by the external Wind. It can lead to symptoms like blocked or runny nose, coughing and sneezing. 

The circulation of Defensive Qi in the space between skin and muscles is also impaired so that  symptoms like headache, body aches or aversion to cold happen. 

Causes

Precursor patterns: Wind-Cold invading the Lungs can derive from Wind-Cold Exterior-Cold

External Wind and Cold : Patients can get this pattern by exposing to external Wind and Cold. It can be actual cold and windy environment or artificial ones like air conditioned rooms or refrigerated storage spaces.  Please be aware that the strength of a person's Defensive Qi has a great impact on if a person catch this pattern or not. It is like the immune system according to the Western Medicine. Therefore, someone can still get a bad cold in hot summer.

Diagnosing Wind-Cold invading the Lungs

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin) or floating (Fu)

Tongue description: Thin and white coating

Main symptoms: Fever Sneezing Headaches Runny nose Body aches Itchy throat Blocked nose Aversion to cold Shortness of breath White and watery sputum

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the aversion to cold, sneezing and Floating pulse.

Treating Wind-Cold invading the Lungs

Treatment principle

Expel Cold, release the Exterior, stimulate the descending and diffusing of Lung Qi.

Herbal formulas used to treat Wind-Cold invading the Lungs

Ma Huang Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Releases exterior cold. Treats wheezing.

Formula summary

Ma Huang Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Wind-Cold.

Besides Wind-Cold invading the Lungs, Ma Huang Tang is also used to treat Greater Yang Attack of Cold or Exterior-Cold.

Read more about Ma Huang Tang

Ge Gen Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior and muscle layer. Forms Body Fluids.

Formula summary

Ge Gen Tang is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Wind-Cold.

Read more about Ge Gen Tang

Consequence patterns

Lung Heat

If left untreated Wind-Cold invading the Lungs can lead to Lung Heat

Phlegm Heat in the Lungs

If left untreated Wind-Cold invading the Lungs can lead to Phlegm Heat in the Lungs

Oedema

External Wind-Cold impairs the diffusing and descending function of the Lungs, causing Body Fluids overflowing out of their normal vessels. Eventually it becomes Oedema, which settles between skin and muscles on the upper part of the body such as face and hands.