Clumping in the chest according to Chinese Medicine

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Clumping in the chest 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 clumping in the chest 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 clumping in the chest is often associated with constipation, bitter taste in the mouth and chest pain in the pattern “Phlegm Heat in the Lungs”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of clumping in the chest we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Xiao Xian Xiong Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Phlegm Heat in the Lungs, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause clumping in the chest

In Chinese Medicine clumping in the chest is a symptom for the pattern "Phlegm Heat in the Lungs". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Phlegm Heat in the Lungs

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

In addition to clumping in the chest, other symptoms associated with Phlegm Heat in the Lungs include constipation, bitter taste in the mouth and chest pain.

Phlegm Heat in the Lungs is often treated with Xiao Xian Xiong Tang, a herbal formula made of 3 herbs (including Snake Gourds - Gua Lou - as a key herb). Xiao Xian Xiong Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat".

Read more about Phlegm Heat in the Lungs here

A herbal formula that might help with clumping in the chest

Xiao Xian Xiong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Transforms Phlegm. Expands the chest. Dissipates clumps.

Why might Xiao Xian Xiong Tang help with clumping in the chest?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm Heat in the Lungs' of which clumping in the chest is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm Heat In The Lungs include constipation, bitter taste in the mouth and chest pain.

Read more about Xiao Xian Xiong Tang here

Snake gourd might help with clumping in the chest

Why might Snake Gourd (Gua Lou) help with clumping in the chest?

Because it is a key herb in Xiao Xian Xiong Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm Heat in the Lungs' (a pattern with clumping in the chest 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

Other symptoms often associated with clumping in the chest

Constipation Bitter taste in the mouth Chest pain Epigastric pain Phlegm Clump