Daytime sweating according to Chinese Medicine

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Daytime sweating 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 daytime sweating 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 daytime sweating is often associated with loose stools, frequent colds or flu and listlessness in the pattern “Qi Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause daytime sweating.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of daytime sweating we’ve identified three 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 daytime sweating.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause daytime sweating

In Chinese Medicine daytime sweating is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Ginseng (Ren Shen) is the king ingredient for Si Jun Zi Tang, a formula used for Qi Deficiency

Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Qi Deficiency simply means lack of Qi. It includes the lack of Original Qi, Nutritive Qi, Defensive Qi or the Qi that resides in Organs or Channels. It mainly manifests itself in a weakened function of Organs and a declining ability of the body to resist diseases.

In addition to daytime sweating, other symptoms associated with Qi Deficiency include loose stools, frequent colds or flu and listlessness.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Qi Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Abnormal Uterine Bleeding or Heavy Menstruation.

Qi Deficiency is often treated with Si Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Si Jun Zi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Qi".

Read more about Qi Deficiency here

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

Lung Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue color: Pale

The Lungs govern Qi and respiration. In case of Lung Qi Deficiency, Qi's protecting, dispersing and descending function can not be performed properly.

In addition to daytime sweating, other symptoms associated with Lung Qi Deficiency include coughing, weak voice and aversion to speak.

Lung Qi Deficiency is often treated with Si Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Si Jun Zi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Qi".

Read more about Lung Qi Deficiency here

Three herbal formulas that might help with daytime sweating

Si Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach.

Why might Si Jun Zi Tang help with daytime sweating?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Qi Deficiency' of which daytime sweating is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Qi Deficiency include loose stools, frequent colds or flu and listlessness.

Read more about Si Jun Zi Tang here

Ba Zhen Tang

Source date: 1326 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and augments Qi. Tonifies and augments Blood.

Why might Ba Zhen Tang help with daytime sweating?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Lung Qi Deficiency' of which daytime sweating is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Lung Qi Deficiency include coughing, weak voice and aversion to speak.

Read more about Ba Zhen Tang here

Liu Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1107

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach. Clears Phlegm and mucus. Promotes appetite.

Why might Liu Jun Zi Tang help with daytime sweating?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Qi Deficiency' of which daytime sweating is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Qi Deficiency include loose stools, frequent colds or flu and listlessness.

Read more about Liu Jun Zi Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat daytime sweating

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with daytime sweating?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat daytime sweating as a symptom, like Si Jun Zi Tang or Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.

Read more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms here

Why might Atractylodes Rhizome (Bai Zhu) help with daytime sweating?

Because Atractylodes Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat daytime sweating as a symptom, like Si Jun Zi Tang or Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

Atractylodes Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Fortifies the Spleen Yang and dispels Damp through urination. Tonifies Qi and stops sweating. Calms restless fetus when due to Deficiency of Spleen Qi.

Read more about Atractylodes Rhizomes here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with daytime sweating?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat daytime sweating as a symptom, like Si Jun Zi Tang or Liu Jun Zi 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 Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with daytime sweating?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat daytime sweating as a symptom, like Si Jun Zi Tang or Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

Ginseng is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit).

Read more about Ginseng here

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with daytime sweating?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Zhen Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Lung Qi Deficiency' (a pattern with daytime sweating 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