Clear mucus according to Chinese Medicine

Clear mucus 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 clear mucus 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 clear mucus is often associated with fever, runny nose and sneezing in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-cold”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause clear mucus.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of clear mucus 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 clear mucus.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause clear mucus

In Chinese Medicine clear mucus 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.

Water Plantain (Ze Xie) is the king ingredient for Wei Ling Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-cold

Damp-Cold

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slippery (Hua), Slow (Chi), Soggy (Ru)

In addition to clear mucus, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-cold include fever, runny nose and sneezing.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-cold is often treated with Wei Ling Tang, a herbal formula made of 9 herbs (including Water Plantain - Ze Xie - as a key herb). Wei Ling Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that expel dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Promotes urination".

Read more about Damp-Cold here

Japanese Catnip (Jing Jie) is the king ingredient for Jing Fang Bai Du San, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/wind-cold

Wind-Cold

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Floating (Fu)

In addition to clear mucus, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/wind-cold include fever, runny nose and sneezing.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/wind-cold is often treated with Jing Fang Bai Du San, a herbal formula made of 13 herbs (including Japanese Catnip - Jing Jie - as a key herb). Jing Fang Bai Du 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: "Releases the Exterior".

Read more about Wind-Cold here

Two herbal formulas that might help with clear mucus

Wei Ling Tang

Source date: 1481 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Promotes urination. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Drains Dampness. Promotes the movement of Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Wei Ling Tang help with clear mucus?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-cold' of which white watery mucus is a symptom.

Read more about Wei Ling Tang here

Jing Fang Bai Du San

Source date: 1550 AD

Number of ingredients: 13 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Dispels Wind and Dampness. Augments Qi.

Why might Jing Fang Bai Du San help with clear mucus?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/wind-cold' of which white watery mucus is a symptom.

Read more about Jing Fang Bai Du San here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat clear mucus

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with clear mucus?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat clear mucus as a symptom, like Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang or Wei Ling Tang for instance.

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

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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with clear mucus?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat clear mucus as a symptom, like Wei Ling Tang or Jing Fang Bai Du San for instance.

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

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 Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with clear mucus?

Because it is a key herb in Xiao Ban Xia Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with clear mucus as a symptom)

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

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 Japanese Catnip (Jing Jie) help with clear mucus?

Because it is a key herb in Jing Fang Bai Du San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Wind-Cold' (a pattern with clear mucus as a symptom)

Japanese Catnip is a Neutral herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold or Heat depending on the other herbs used. Releases the Exterior for measles. Stops bleeding. Abates swellings.

Read more about Japanese Catnip here

Why might Water Plantain (Ze Xie) help with clear mucus?

Because it is a key herb in Wei Ling Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Cold' (a pattern with clear mucus as a symptom)

Water Plantain is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Bladder and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Causes urination and removes Damp-Heat

Read more about Water Plantain here