Dark clots in menstrual blood according to Chinese Medicine

Dark clots in menstrual blood 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 dark clots in menstrual blood 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 dark clots in menstrual blood is often associated with dizziness, scanty periods and painful period in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-stagnation”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause dark clots in menstrual blood.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of dark clots in menstrual blood 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 dark clots in menstrual blood.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause dark clots in menstrual blood

In Chinese Medicine dark clots in menstrual blood 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.

Peach Kernels (Tao Ren) is the king ingredient for Tao He Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-stagnation

Blood Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Firm (Lao), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Reddish-Purple

Blood Stagnation, like the name indicates, is when Blood flow becomes Stagnant. It can happen in the whole body or in specific Organs. It is one of the most important diagnostic conditions in Chinese Medicine because it is frequently the cause of intractable pain syndromes anywhere in the body.

In addition to dark clots in menstrual blood, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-stagnation include dizziness, scanty periods and painful period.

From a Western Medicine standpoint /tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-stagnation is associated with health issues such as Scanty Menstruation, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding or Heavy Menstruation.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-stagnation is often treated with Tao He Cheng Qi Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Peach Kernels - Tao Ren - as a key herb). Tao He Cheng Qi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dispels Heat and".

Read more about Blood Stagnation 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 dark clots in menstrual blood, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood include dizziness, scanty periods and abdominal pain.

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 Blood Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Bluish-Purple sides

Liver Blood Stagnation usually develops from Qi Stagnation, Cold and Heat. It has great influence over the Directing and Penetrating Vessels and thus the menstruation functions.

In addition to dark clots in menstrual blood, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-stagnation include painful period, abdominal pain and irregular menstruation.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-stagnation is often treated with Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Yao San belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize liver-spleen", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen".

Read more about Liver Blood Stagnation here

Five herbal formulas that might help with dark clots in menstrual blood

Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang

Source date: 1830 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Expels Cold and warm the menstruation Blood. Stops pain. Invigorates Blood. Dispels Blood stagnation.

Why might Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang help with dark clots in menstrual blood?

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

Read more about Shao Fu Zhu Yu 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 dark clots in menstrual blood?

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

Read more about Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang here

Chai Hu Shu Gan San

Source date: 1602

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Disperses Stagnant Liver Qi and Blood. Alleviates pain. Harmonizes Blood.

Why might Chai Hu Shu Gan San help with dark clots in menstrual blood?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-stagnation' of which dark clots in menstrual blood is a symptom.

Read more about Chai Hu Shu Gan San here

Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang

Source date: 1830 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Invigorates Blood. Eliminates Blood Stagnation below the diaphragm. Stops pain. Promotes Qi movement.

Why might Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang help with dark clots in menstrual blood?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-stagnation' of which dark clots in menstrual blood is a symptom.

Read more about Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang here

Shi Xiao San

Source date: 1108 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Invigorates Blood. Dispels Blood Stagnation. Eases pain.

Why might Shi Xiao San help with dark clots in menstrual blood?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-stagnation' of which dark clots in menstrual blood is a symptom.

Read more about Shi Xiao San here

Acupuncture points used for dark clots in menstrual blood

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat dark clots in menstrual blood

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with dark clots in menstrual blood?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat dark clots in menstrual blood as a symptom, like Zhu Yu Zhi Xue Tang or Xiao Yao San 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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with dark clots in menstrual blood?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat dark clots in menstrual blood as a symptom, like Da Ying Jian or Tao He Cheng Qi 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 Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with dark clots in menstrual blood?

Because Mudan Peony Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat dark clots in menstrual blood as a symptom, like Qing Jing San or Di Gu Pi Yin for instance.

Mudan Peony Bark is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis.

Read more about Mudan Peony Bark here

Why might White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with dark clots in menstrual blood?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat dark clots in menstrual blood as a symptom, like Si Wu Tang or Xiao Yao San 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 Szechuan Lovage Root (Chuan Xiong) help with dark clots in menstrual blood?

Because Szechuan Lovage Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat dark clots in menstrual blood as a symptom, like Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang or Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang for instance.

Szechuan Lovage Roots is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Gallbladder, the Liver and the Pericardium.

Its main actions are: Regulates and moves the Blood. Relieves Wind-Cold and pain. Circulates the Qi in the Upper Burner, relieving headaches.

Read more about Szechuan Lovage Roots here

Other symptoms often associated with dark clots in menstrual blood

Dizziness Scanty periods Painful period Abdominal pain Tinnitus Restlessness Palpitations Late period Sore back Night sweats