Boils according to Chinese Medicine

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, sore throat and constipation in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/toxic-heat”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of boils we’ve identified five 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 boils.

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 Yin Qiao San, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/toxic-heat

Toxic-Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

In addition to boils, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/toxic-heat include carbuncles, sore throat and constipation.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/toxic-heat is often treated with Yin Qiao San, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Honeysuckle Flowers - Jin Yin Hua - as a key herb). Yin Qiao San belongs to the category of "external formulas for external disorders", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Disperses Wind Heat".

Read more about Toxic-Heat here

Five herbal formulas that might help with boils

Yin Qiao San

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

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

Why might Yin Qiao San help with boils?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/toxic-heat' of which boils is a symptom.

Read more about Yin Qiao San here

Sang Ju Yin

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

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

Why might Sang Ju Yin help with boils?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/toxic-heat' of which boils is a symptom.

Read more about Sang Ju Yin here

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.

Why might Bai Hu Tang help with boils?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/toxic-heat' of which boils is a symptom.

Read more about Bai Hu Tang here

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.

Why might Long Dan Xie Gan Tang help with boils?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/toxic-heat' of which boils is a symptom.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

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.

Why might Qing Ying Tang help with boils?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/toxic-heat' of which boils is a symptom.

Read more about Qing Ying Tang 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 a key herb in Yin Qiao San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' (a pattern with boils as a symptom)

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

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 Forsythia Fruit (Lian Qiao) help with boils?

Because it is a key herb in Yin Qiao San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' (a pattern with boils as a symptom)

Forsythia Fruits is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Heart, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and toxicity from the Blood. Dispels External Wind-Heat. Reduces lumps, swollen lymph nodes and sores of a Heated nature.

Read more about Forsythia Fruits here

Why might Platycodon Root (Jie Geng) help with boils?

Because it is a key herb in Yin Qiao San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' (a pattern with boils as a symptom)

Platycodon Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Lung.

Its main actions are: Opens the Lungs and smoothes the flow of Lung Qi. Expels Phlegm and pus from the Lungs and throat, can be used for either Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat according to the other herbs in the formula. Directs the actions of other herbs to the Upper Warmer.

Read more about Platycodon Roots here

Why might Greater Burdock Fruit (Niu Bang Zi) help with boils?

Because it is a key herb in Yin Qiao San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' (a pattern with boils as a symptom)

Greater Burdock Fruits is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Lung and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Heat. Allows the release of toxicity from the surface and clears Heat. Reduces swelling and clears pathogenic Heat. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieves sore throat.

Read more about Greater Burdock Fruits here

Why might Wild Mint (Bo He) help with boils?

Because it is a key herb in Yin Qiao San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' (a pattern with boils as a symptom)

Wild Mint is a Cool herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Wind-Heat. Clears Wind-Heat from the head, eyes and throat. Allows the release of toxins from the skin. Moves Stagnant Liver Qi

Read more about Wild Mint here