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 wheezing, dry throat and hot palms and soles in the pattern “Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of coughing with blood-streaked sputum we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Bai He Gu Jin Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause coughing with blood-streaked sputum

In Chinese Medicine coughing with blood-streaked sputum is a symptom for the pattern "Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

A herbal formula 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

The three 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 it is a key herb in Bai He Gu Jin Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire' (a pattern with coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom)

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 Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because it is a key herb in Bai He Gu Jin Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire' (a pattern with coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom)

Prepared Rehmannia is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Tonifies the Yin of the Kidneys.

Read more about Prepared Rehmannia here

Why might Lily Bulb (Bai He) help with coughing with blood-streaked sputum?

Because it is a key herb in Bai He Gu Jin Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire' (a pattern with coughing with blood-streaked sputum as a symptom)

Lily Bulbs is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and stops cough due to either Lung Yin Deficiency or Lung-Heat. Clears Heat from the Heart and calms the Spirit (Shen).

Read more about Lily Bulbs here

Other symptoms often associated with coughing with blood-streaked sputum

Wheezing Dry throat Hot palms and soles Night sweats