Wind-Phlegm

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 风痰      Pinyin name: Fēng Tán

Pattern nature: Full

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Aphasia Dizziness Coughing of phlegm Numbness in the limbs Rattling sound in the throat and one other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: Swollen and deviated tongue with stick coating

Treatment

Treatment principle: Resolve Phlegm, expel Wind

Common formulas: Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang

Pathology

Also known as an "upward disturbance of Wind-Phlegm", Wind-Phlegm particularly affects those who overwork, overindulge in rich foods or otherwise lead an irregular lifestyle.

These activities injure the Spleen and Stomach, which in turn impairs their functions of transforming foods, and  thus leads to an accumulation of Dampness, the predecessor of Phlegm.

According to the five elements theory, when the Spleen earth is Deficient, the Liver wood becomes dominant. Its Qi ascends as Wind, carrying the Phlegm along the course of the Lesser Yang Gallbladder and Triple Burner Channels to the head. Veiling the clear Yang and disturbing the sensory orifices, it manifests as dizziness, vertigo, or headache. A distinctive feature of these head symptoms is that the head feels heavy and clouded.

The stifling sensation in the chest and the nausea or vomiting are manifestations of Phlegm obstructing the mechanisms of Qi in the chest and epigastrium. The copious sputum, white, greasy tongue coating, and wiry, slippery pulse all reflect the presence of Phlegm, Wind, and Stagnation.

Diagnosing Wind-Phlegm

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: Swollen and deviated tongue with stick coating

Main symptoms: Aphasia Dizziness Coughing of phlegm Numbness in the limbs Rattling sound in the throat Feeling of oppression of the chest

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the dizziness, chest oppression and coughing of Phlegm.

Treating Wind-Phlegm

Treatment principle

Resolve Phlegm, expel Wind 

Herbal formulas used to treat Wind-Phlegm

Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang

Source date: 1732 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Dries and dissolves Phlegm. Strengthens the Spleen. Smoothes the Liver and calms Liver Wind (antispasmodic).

Formula summary

Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1732 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that transform Phlegm and extinguish Wind.

Besides Wind-Phlegm, Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang is also used to treat Phlegm.

Read more about Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang

Diet recommendations

Since Wind-Phlegm is often due to an overindulgence in rich foods, it stands to reason that one should change their diet towards light foods.

Related conditions

Hypertension Menieres disease Tubercular meningitis Benign positional vertigo