Desire for hot drinks according to Chinese Medicine

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Desire for hot drinks 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 desire for hot drinks 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 desire for hot drinks is often associated with borborygmi, diarrhea and pale and abudant urination in the pattern “Small Intestine Deficient and Cold”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of desire for hot drinks we’ve identified two 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 desire for hot drinks.

Small Intestine Deficient and Cold, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause desire for hot drinks

In Chinese Medicine desire for hot drinks is a symptom for the pattern "Small Intestine Deficient and Cold". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

The Small Intestine is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Small Intestine in Chinese Medicine

Small Intestine Deficient and Cold

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi), Weak (Ruo)

In addition to desire for hot drinks, other symptoms associated with Small Intestine Deficient and Cold include borborygmi, diarrhea and pale and abudant urination.

Small Intestine Deficient and Cold is often treated with Xiao Jian Zhong Tang, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Maltose - Yi Tang - as a key herb). Xiao Jian Zhong Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms and tonifies the Middle Burner (Spleen and Stomach)".

Read more about Small Intestine Deficient and Cold here

Two herbal formulas that might help with desire for hot drinks

Shen Ling Bai Zhu San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Augments the Qi. Strengthens the Spleen. Leaches out Dampness. Stops diarrhea.

Why might Shen Ling Bai Zhu San help with desire for hot drinks?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Small Intestine Deficient and Cold' of which desire for hot drinks is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Small Intestine Deficient And Cold include borborygmi, diarrhea and pale and abudant urination.

Read more about Shen Ling Bai Zhu San here

Xiao Jian Zhong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies the Middle Burner (Spleen and Stomach). Tonifies Qi. Relieves spasmodic pain.

Why might Xiao Jian Zhong Tang help with desire for hot drinks?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Small Intestine Deficient and Cold' of which desire for hot drinks is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Small Intestine Deficient And Cold include borborygmi, diarrhea and pale and abudant urination.

Read more about Xiao Jian Zhong Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat desire for hot drinks

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with desire for hot drinks?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat desire for hot drinks as a symptom, like Shen Ling Bai Zhu San or Xiao Jian Zhong 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 Maltose (Yi Tang) help with desire for hot drinks?

Because it is a key herb in Xiao Jian Zhong Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Small Intestine Deficient and Cold' (a pattern with desire for hot drinks as a symptom)

Maltose is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Fortifies Qi and tonifies the Spleen. Soothes and tonifies the Middle Warmer. Lubricates the Lungs.

Read more about Maltose here

Why might Atractylodes Rhizome (Bai Zhu) help with desire for hot drinks?

Because it is a key herb in Shen Ling Bai Zhu San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Small Intestine Deficient and Cold' (a pattern with desire for hot drinks as a symptom)

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 Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with desire for hot drinks?

Because it is a key herb in Shen Ling Bai Zhu San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Small Intestine Deficient and Cold' (a pattern with desire for hot drinks as a symptom)

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 Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with desire for hot drinks?

Because it is a key herb in Shen Ling Bai Zhu San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Small Intestine Deficient and Cold' (a pattern with desire for hot drinks as a symptom)

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

Other symptoms often associated with desire for hot drinks

Borborygmi Diarrhea Pale and abudant urination Cold limbs