Epigastrium fullness according to Chinese Medicine

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Epigastrium fullness 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 epigastrium fullness 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 epigastrium fullness is often associated with nausea, poor appetite and loose stools in the pattern “Cold-Damp invading the Spleen”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause epigastrium fullness.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of epigastrium fullness 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 epigastrium fullness.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause epigastrium fullness

In Chinese Medicine epigastrium fullness 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.

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

Cold-Damp invading the Spleen

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Slow (Chi)

In addition to epigastrium fullness, other symptoms associated with Cold-Damp invading the Spleen include nausea, poor appetite and loose stools.

Cold-Damp invading the Spleen is often treated with Ping Wei San, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Black Atractylodes Rhizomes - Cang Zhu - as a key herb). Ping Wei San belongs to the category of "formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dries Dampness".

Read more about Cold-Damp invading the Spleen here

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

Damp-Heat invading the Spleen

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)

In addition to epigastrium fullness, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat invading the Spleen include bitter taste in the mouth, poor appetite and feeling of heaviness.

Damp-Heat invading the Spleen is often treated with Lian Po Yin, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Goldthread Rhizomes - Huang Lian - as a key herb). Lian Po Yin belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat and expel dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat".

Read more about Damp-Heat invading the Spleen here

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

Heat in Gall Bladder

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thick coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to epigastrium fullness, other symptoms associated with Heat in Gall Bladder include nausea, bitter taste in the mouth and mild chills alternating with pronounced fever.

Heat in Gall Bladder is often treated with Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Sweet Wormwood Herbs - Qing Hao - as a key herb). Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize lesser yang-warp disorders", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and relieves acute conditions of the Gallbladder".

Read more about Heat in Gall Bladder here

Three herbal formulas that might help with epigastrium fullness

Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang

Source date: Qing Dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and relieves acute conditions of the Gallbladder. Relieves acute Damp-Heat syndromes. Resolves Phlegm. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang help with epigastrium fullness?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heat in Gall Bladder' of which epigastrium fullness is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heat In Gall Bladder include nausea, bitter taste in the mouth and mild chills alternating with pronounced fever.

Read more about Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang here

Ping Wei San

Source date: 1051 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Dries Dampness. Improves the Spleen's transportive function. Promotes the movement of Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Ping Wei San help with epigastrium fullness?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Cold-Damp invading the Spleen' of which epigastrium fullness is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Cold-Damp Invading The Spleen include nausea, poor appetite and loose stools.

Read more about Ping Wei San here

Lian Po Yin

Source date: 1862 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Transforms Dampness. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Middle Burner.

Why might Lian Po Yin help with epigastrium fullness?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat invading the Spleen' of which epigastrium fullness is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat Invading The Spleen include bitter taste in the mouth, poor appetite and feeling of heaviness.

Read more about Lian Po Yin here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat epigastrium fullness

Why might Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu) help with epigastrium fullness?

Because Houpu Magnolia Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat epigastrium fullness as a symptom, like Ping Wei San or Lian Po Yin for instance.

Houpu Magnolia Bark is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Moves Rebellious Qi downward, dries Dampness and relieves Food Stagnation. Transforms Phlegm and redirects Rebellious Qi of the Lung.

Read more about Houpu Magnolia Bark here

Why might Goldthread Rhizome (Huang Lian) help with epigastrium fullness?

Because it is a key herb in Lian Po Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat invading the Spleen' (a pattern with epigastrium fullness as a symptom)

Goldthread Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart, the Large intestine and the Liver.

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

Read more about Goldthread Rhizomes here

Why might Black Atractylodes Rhizome (Cang Zhu) help with epigastrium fullness?

Because it is a key herb in Ping Wei San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Cold-Damp invading the Spleen' (a pattern with epigastrium fullness as a symptom)

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

Its main actions are: Dries Damp and tonifies the Spleen. Relieves the Exterior for invasion of Wind-Cold-Damp. Relieves Wind-Damp painful obstruction. Dries Damp for either Damp-Cold or Damp-Heat when combined with the correct herbs. Clears the eyes and improves sight.

Read more about Black Atractylodes Rhizomes here

Why might Baikal Skullcap Root (Huang Qin) help with epigastrium fullness?

Because it is a key herb in Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heat in Gall Bladder' (a pattern with epigastrium fullness as a symptom)

Baikal Skullcap Roots is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and Dampness. Clears Upper Burner Heat, especially of the Lung. Clears Heat and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears pathogenic Heat which is upsetting the fetus. Cools the Liver, reducing Liver Yang rising syndrome.

Read more about Baikal Skullcap Roots here

Why might Sweet Wormwood Herb (Qing Hao) help with epigastrium fullness?

Because it is a key herb in Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heat in Gall Bladder' (a pattern with epigastrium fullness as a symptom)

Sweet Wormwood Herbs is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Treats malaria. Treats summer Heat and clears symptoms of deficient Heat. Clears Blood Heat and stops bleeding.

Read more about Sweet Wormwood Herbs here