Boils according to Chinese Medicine

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Boils 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 boils 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 boils is often associated with carbuncles, sores and swellings in the pattern “Toxic Heat”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of boils we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Toxic Heat, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause boils

In Chinese Medicine boils is a symptom for the pattern "Toxic Heat". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Honeysuckle Flowers (Jin Yin Hua) is the king ingredient for Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin, a formula used for Toxic Heat

Toxic Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to boils, other symptoms associated with Toxic Heat include carbuncles, sores and swellings.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Toxic Heat is associated with health issues such as Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Toxic Heat is often treated with Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Honeysuckle Flowers - Jin Yin Hua - as a key herb). Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin belongs to the category of "formulas that clear external abscesses and sores", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat".

Read more about Toxic Heat here

A herbal formula that might help with boils

Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin

Source date: 1742 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Resolves Toxicity. Cools the Blood. Reduces swelling.

Why might Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin help with boils?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Toxic Heat' of which boils is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Toxic Heat include carbuncles, sores and swellings.

Read more about Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat boils

Why might Honeysuckle Flower (Jin Yin Hua) help with boils?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat boils and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat boils as a symptom (such as Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin for instance).

Honeysuckle Flowers is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Dispels Wind-Heat derived from an External pathogen. Expels Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner. Relieves Carbuncles.

Read more about Honeysuckle Flowers here

Why might Dandelion (Pu Gong Ying) help with boils?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat boils and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat boils as a symptom (such as Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin for instance).

Dandelions is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Stomach and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and Fire toxicity. Dispels Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. Increases lactation. Treats all kinds of inflammations.

Read more about Dandelions here

Why might Semiaquilegia Root Tuber (Tian Kui Zi) help with boils?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat boils and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat boils as a symptom (such as Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin for instance).

Semiaquilegia Root Tubers is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat, resolves toxicity, reduces swelling and disperses Stagnation

Read more about Semiaquilegia Root Tubers here

Why might Tokyo Violet (Zi Hua Di Ding) help with boils?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat boils and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat boils as a symptom (such as Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin for instance).

Tokyo Violets is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and toxicity and reduces swellings. Cools and reduces Hot swellings if applied topically.

Read more about Tokyo Violets here

Why might Castor Bean (Bi Ma Zi) help with boils?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat boils as can be seen on Castor Bean's page.

Castor Beans is a Neutral herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Large intestine and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Induces subsidence of swelling and removes toxins. Facilitates urination and eases constipation. Clears the Meridians.

Read more about Castor Beans here