Coughing with blood-streaked sputum according to Chinese Medicine

bloody coughing, coughing blood and haemoptysis redirect here

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 epistaxis, dizziness and tinnitus in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/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 five 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 /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-fire-blazing include epistaxis, dizziness and tinnitus.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/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

Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao) is the king ingredient for Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood

Heat in the Blood

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue color: Red

Heat in the Blood (or Blood-Heat) refers to a condition whereby Heat, as a so-called "Pernicious Influence", entered the Blood. This invasion tends to accelerate Blood flow (leading to a faster pulse) and to manifest itself in various types of bleeding as well as other symptoms.

In addition to coughing with blood-streaked sputum, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood include bloody sputum, dizziness and tinnitus.

From a Western Medicine standpoint /tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood is associated with health issues such as Early Menstruation or Abnormal Uterine Bleeding.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood is often treated with Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Water Buffalo Horns - Shui Niu Jiao - as a key herb). Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear nutritive-level heat", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system".

Read more about Heat in the Blood 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 /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-fire include epistaxis, dizziness and tinnitus.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/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

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

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 '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-fire-blazing' of which haemoptysis is a symptom.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system. Removes Blood Stagnation.

Why might Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood' of which cough of blood is a symptom.

Read more about Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang here

Gu Jing Wan

Source date: 1481 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Yin . Clears Heat. Stops bleeding. Stabilizes the menses.

Why might Gu Jing Wan help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood' of which cough of blood is a symptom.

Read more about Gu Jing Wan 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 '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-fire-blazing' of which haemoptysis is a symptom.

Read more about Dang Gui Long Hui Wan 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 '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-fire' of which haemoptysis is a symptom.

Read more about Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang here

Acupuncture points used for coughing with blood-streaked sputum

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 Qing Hao Bie Jia 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 White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom, like Gu Jing Wan or Huang Lian E Jiao Tang for instance.

White Peony Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain.

Read more about White Peony Roots 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 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 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 Dang Gui Long Hui Wan or Long Dan Xie Gan Tang for instance.

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

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 Saiga Antelope's Horn (Ling Yang Jiao) help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because Saiga Antelope's Horn is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom, like Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang or Zi Xue Dan for instance.

Saiga Antelope's Horns is a Cold herb that tastes Salty. It targets the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Clears Internal Liver Wind, subdues Yang. Clears Liver Fire and brightens the eyes. Eliminates toxins and reduces fever.

Read more about Saiga Antelope's Horns here