Breast eczema according to Chinese Medicine

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Breast eczema 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 breast eczema 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 breast eczema is often associated with breast lumps, breast hardness and breast pain in the pattern “Liver Qi Stagnation”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of breast eczema we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Gua Lou San can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Liver Qi Stagnation, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause breast eczema

In Chinese Medicine breast eczema is a symptom for the pattern "Liver Qi Stagnation". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

The Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine

Liver Qi Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Normal (light red)

When Liver Qi does not flow smoothly or regularly, it becomes Stagnant and in Excess. This leads to Heat accumulating in the Liver. The feeling of ‘Distension’ (zhang 胀) is the main symptom of Liver Qi Stagnation.

In addition to breast eczema, other symptoms associated with Liver Qi Stagnation include breast lumps, breast hardness and breast pain.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Liver Qi Stagnation is associated with health issues such as Low Breast Milk Supply, Mastitis or Breast Engorgement.

Liver Qi Stagnation is often treated with Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Yao San belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize liver-spleen", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen".

Read more about Liver Qi Stagnation here

A herbal formula that might help with breast eczema

Gua Lou San

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Remove breast carbuncle (mastitis) after birth giving.

Why might Gua Lou San help with breast eczema?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Qi Stagnation' of which breast eczema is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Liver Qi Stagnation can contribute to many health issues, including Breast Engorgement.

Read more about Gua Lou San here

Snake gourd might help with breast eczema

Why might Snake Gourd (Gua Lou) help with breast eczema?

Because it is a key herb in Gua Lou San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with breast eczema as a symptom)

Snake Gourds is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Stomach, the Large intestine and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Phlegm-Heat conditions with thick difficult to expectorate sputum. Regulates the Qi of the chest and relieves constriction and swellings of the chest and Lungs. Lubricates the Intestines.

Read more about Snake Gourds here

Conditions associated with breast eczema

Breast engorgement