The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Alternating fever and chills can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.
Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like alternating fever and chills here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.
A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here alternating fever and chills is often associated with irritability, dry throat and bitter taste in the mouth in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/lesser-yang-stage”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause alternating fever and chills.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of alternating fever and chills we’ve identified two herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.
We’ve also selected below the five medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat alternating fever and chills.
In Chinese Medicine alternating fever and chills is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.
Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian), Fine (Xi)
/tcm-education-center/patterns/lesser-yang-stage is often treated with Xiao Chai Hu Tang, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Chai Hu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize lesser yang-warp disorders", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Treats the Lesser Yang Channels (Gallbladder and Triple Warmer)".
Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick white coating
Tongue shape: Swollen
This is when Body Fluids stagnate in the four limbs instead of flowing in the body and getting released as sweat.
In addition to alternating fever and chills, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/phlegm-fluids-in-the-limbs include irritability, generalized body pain and absence of sweating.
/tcm-education-center/patterns/phlegm-fluids-in-the-limbs is often treated with Da Qing Long Tang, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Ephedra - Ma Huang - as a key herb). Da Qing Long Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear wind-cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Promotes sweating".
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 7 herbs
Key actions: Treats the Lesser Yang Channels (Gallbladder and Triple Warmer). Regulates the Liver and Spleen functions. Addresses combined Yin-Yang symptoms of External and Internal, Excess and Deficiency, and Hot and Cold.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/lesser-yang-stage' of which alternating fever and chills is a symptom.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Warms the Lungs. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/phlegm-fluids-in-the-limbs' of which alternating fever and chills is a symptom.
Its main actions are: Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs.
Its main actions are: Harmonizes exterior and interior. Smoothes the Liver and upraises the Yang.
Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain.
Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.
Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Fortifies the Spleen Yang and dispels Damp through urination. Tonifies Qi and stops sweating. Calms restless fetus when due to Deficiency of Spleen Qi.