Brown vaginal discharge according to Chinese Medicine

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Brown vaginal discharge 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 brown vaginal discharge 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 brown vaginal discharge is often associated with scanty periods, pale menstrual blood and dizziness in the pattern “Phlegm”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause brown vaginal discharge.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of brown vaginal discharge we’ve identified four 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 brown vaginal discharge.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause brown vaginal discharge

In Chinese Medicine brown vaginal discharge is a symptom for 3 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) is the king ingredient for Er Chen Tang, a formula used for Phlegm

Phlegm

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

The concept of Phlegm is much wider and important in Chinese Medicine than in the West. Broadly speaking, Phlegm is a substance produced when the body fails to handle Body Fluids properly.

In addition to brown vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Phlegm include scanty periods, pale menstrual blood and dizziness.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Phlegm is associated with health issues such as Low Breast Milk Supply, Late Menstruation or Scanty Menstruation.

Phlegm is often treated with Er Chen Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Er Chen Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm".

Read more about Phlegm here

Peach Kernels (Tao Ren) is the king ingredient for Tao He Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for Blood Stagnation

Blood Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Wiry (Xian), Firm (Lao)

Tongue color: Reddish-Purple

Blood Stagnation, like the name indicates, is when Blood flow becomes Stagnant. It can happen in the whole body or in specific Organs.

It is one of the most important diagnostic conditions in Chinese Medicine because it is frequently the cause of intractable pain syndromes anywhere in the body.

In addition to brown vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Blood Stagnation include painful period, dark clots in menstrual blood and scanty periods.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Blood Stagnation is associated with health issues such as Scanty Menstruation, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding or Heavy Menstruation.

Blood Stagnation is often treated with Tao He Cheng Qi Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Peach Kernels - Tao Ren - as a key herb). Tao He Cheng Qi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dispels Heat and".

Read more about Blood Stagnation here

Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) is the king ingredient for Wen Jing Tang, a formula used for Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus

Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Bluish-Purple

In addition to brown vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus include painful period, dark clots in menstrual blood and irregular menstruation.

Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus is often treated with Wen Jing Tang, a herbal formula made of 12 herbs (including Cinnamon Twigs - Gui Zhi - as a key herb). Wen Jing Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Uterus and vessels".

Read more about Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus here

Four herbal formulas that might help with brown vaginal discharge

Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang

Source date: 1575 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Resolves Damp-Phlegm. Nourishes Blood.

Why might Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang help with brown vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm' of which brown vaginal discharge is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Phlegm can contribute to many health issues, including Scanty Menstruation.

Read more about Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang here

Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes Blood and lymphatic circulation, thus eleminates Blood Stagnation. Softens and resolves hard lumps such as cysts and fibroids.

Why might Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan help with brown vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood Stagnation' of which brown vaginal discharge is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Blood Stagnation can contribute to many health issues, including Scanty Menstruation.

Read more about Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan here

Wen Jing Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Uterus and vessels. Nourishes Blood. Dispels Cold. Dispels Blood Stagnation.

Why might Wen Jing Tang help with brown vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus' of which brown vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Dampness And Phlegm In The Uterus include painful period, dark clots in menstrual blood and irregular menstruation.

Read more about Wen Jing Tang here

Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan

Source date: 1817 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Resolves Dampness and Phlegm.

Why might Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan help with brown vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm' of which brown vaginal discharge is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Phlegm can contribute to many health issues, including Scanty Menstruation.

Read more about Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat brown vaginal discharge

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with brown vaginal discharge?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat brown vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang or Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

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.

Read more about Liquorice here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with brown vaginal discharge?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat brown vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan or Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan for instance.

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.

Read more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms here

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with brown vaginal discharge?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat brown vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang or Wen Jing Tang for instance.

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Drains Dampness and reduces Phlegm. Reverses the flow of Rebellious Qi. Reduces hardenings and relieves distention.

Read more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes here

Why might Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with brown vaginal discharge?

Because Mudan Peony Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat brown vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan or Wen Jing Tang for instance.

Mudan Peony Bark is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis.

Read more about Mudan Peony Bark here

Why might Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi) help with brown vaginal discharge?

Because Tangerine Peel is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat brown vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang or Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan for instance.

Tangerine Peel is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs.

Read more about Tangerine Peel here