The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Dry heaves 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 dry heaves 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 dry heaves is often associated with cough with pain in the chest and hypochondria, shortness of breath and headaches in the pattern “Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause dry heaves.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of dry heaves we’ve identified two herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.
We’ve also selected below the four medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat dry heaves.
In Chinese Medicine dry heaves 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.
Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Thin white coating
Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium is often treated with Shi Zao Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Kansui Roots - Gan Sui - as a key herb). Shi Zao Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that drive out excess water", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Purges and drives out Phlegm-Fluids".
The Triple Burner is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Triple Burner in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Yellow coating
Tongue color: Red tip
Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner is often treated with Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Goldthread Rhizomes - Huang Lian - as a key herb). Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize stomach-intestines", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Reverses the flow of Rebellious Stomach Qi".
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Key actions: Purges and drives out Phlegm-Fluids.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids in the chest and hypochondrium' of which dry heaves is a symptom.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 7 herbs
Key actions: Reverses the flow of Rebellious Stomach Qi. Relieves both Heat and Cold Stagnation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner' of which dry heaves is a symptom.
Its main actions are: Drains water downward and drives out Phlegm-Fluids. Reduces swellings and dispels lumps.
Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Lower Burner. Eliminates Fire toxicity especially when there is associated Dampness. Acts as a sedative by eliminating Heart Fire. Eliminates Stomach Fire. Expel parasites
Its main actions are: Relieves water retention and congestion of Fluids. Cools swellings and reduces inflammation when applied topically. Strong purgative, driving water and Food Stagnation out though the stool.
Its main actions are: Relieves chronic congestion of Fluids in the chest and stops cough. Drains congested Fluids through the urine and the stool. Expels parasites.