Coughing with blood-streaked sputum

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Coughing with blood-streaked sputum 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 coughing with blood-streaked sputum 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 coughing with blood-streaked sputum is often associated with irritability, outbursts of anger and tinnitus in the pattern “Liver Fire Blazing”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause coughing with blood-streaked sputum.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of coughing with blood-streaked sputum 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 coughing with blood-streaked sputum.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause coughing with blood-streaked sputum

In Chinese Medicine coughing with blood-streaked sputum 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.

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

Liver Fire Blazing

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian), Full (Shi)

In addition to coughing with blood-streaked sputum, other symptoms associated with Liver Fire Blazing include irritability, outbursts of anger and tinnitus.

Liver Fire Blazing is often treated with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Chinese Gentian - Long Dan Cao - as a key herb). Long Dan Xie Gan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder".

Read more about Liver Fire Blazing here

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

Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)

In addition to coughing with blood-streaked sputum, other symptoms associated with Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire include irritability, outbursts of anger and tinnitus.

Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire is often treated with Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Saiga Antelope's Horns - Ling Yang Jiao - as a key herb). Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that pacify and extinguish internal wind", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Cools the Liver".

Read more about Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire here

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

Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to coughing with blood-streaked sputum, other symptoms associated with Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire include wheezing, dry throat and hot palms and soles.

Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire is often treated with Bai He Gu Jin Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Lily Bulbs - Bai He - as a key herb). Bai He Gu Jin Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nourishes Lung and Kidney Yin".

Read more about Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire here

Four herbal formulas that might help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum

Bai He Gu Jin Tang

Source date: 1573 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Lung and Kidney Yin. Lubricates the Lung and clears phlegm.

Why might Bai He Gu Jin Tang help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire' of which coughing with blood-streaked sputum is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Lung And Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty Fire include wheezing, dry throat and hot palms and soles.

Read more about Bai He Gu Jin 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 coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Fire Blazing' of which coughing with blood-streaked sputum is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Fire Blazing include irritability, outbursts of anger and tinnitus.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang

Source date: Qing dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Cools the Liver. Extinguishes Wind. Increases Fluids. Relaxes the sinews.

Why might Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire' of which coughing with blood-streaked sputum is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Wind Agitating Internally Due To Liver Fire include irritability, outbursts of anger and tinnitus.

Read more about Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang here

Dang Gui Long Hui Wan

Source date: 1172 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Key actions: Drains Liver and Gallbladder Fire Excess.

Why might Dang Gui Long Hui Wan help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Fire Blazing' of which coughing with blood-streaked sputum is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Fire Blazing include irritability, outbursts of anger and tinnitus.

Read more about Dang Gui Long Hui Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat coughing with blood-streaked sputum

Why might Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because Unprepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Bai He Gu Jin Tang for instance.

Unprepared Rehmannia is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes.

Read more about Unprepared Rehmannia here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang 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 Cape Jasmine Fruit (Zhi Zi) help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because Cape Jasmine Fruit is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Dang Gui Long Hui Wan for instance.

Cape Jasmine Fruits is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Lung and the Sanjiao.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and calms spirit. Drains Damp-Heat affecting the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears Heat in the Blood and stops bleeding. Anti-inflammatory.

Read more about Cape Jasmine Fruits here

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Dang Gui Long Hui Wan for instance.

Dong Quai is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation.

Read more about Dong Quai here

Why might Baikal Skullcap Root (Huang Qin) help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because Baikal Skullcap Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Dang Gui Long Hui Wan for instance.

Baikal Skullcap Roots is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and Dampness. Clears Upper Burner Heat, especially of the Lung. Clears Heat and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears pathogenic Heat which is upsetting the fetus. Cools the Liver, reducing Liver Yang rising syndrome.

Read more about Baikal Skullcap Roots here