Erratic behavior according to Chinese Medicine

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Erratic behavior 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 erratic behavior 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 erratic behavior is often associated with muttering to oneself, coma and mental confusion in the pattern “Phlegm Misting the Heart”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause erratic behavior.

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

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause erratic behavior

In Chinese Medicine erratic behavior 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.

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

Phlegm Misting the Heart

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

This is a condition where Phlegm enters the Heart and disturbs the Mind (Shen).

In addition to erratic behavior, other symptoms associated with Phlegm Misting the Heart include muttering to oneself, coma and mental confusion.

Phlegm Misting the Heart is often treated with Wen Dan Tang, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Wen Dan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Hot-Phlegm".

Read more about Phlegm Misting the Heart here

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

Phlegm Fire harassing the Heart

Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong), Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian), Full (Shi)

In addition to erratic behavior, other symptoms associated with Phlegm Fire harassing the Heart include red face, muttering to oneself and coma.

Phlegm Fire harassing the Heart is often treated with Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Hot Phlegm".

Read more about Phlegm Fire harassing the Heart here

Three herbal formulas that might help with erratic behavior

Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Hot-Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder heat. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Wen Dan Tang help with erratic behavior?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm Misting the Heart' of which erratic behavior is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm Misting The Heart include muttering to oneself, coma and mental confusion.

Read more about Wen Dan Tang here

Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1852 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Clears Hot Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder Heat. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang help with erratic behavior?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm Fire harassing the Heart' of which erratic behavior is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm Fire Harassing The Heart include red face, muttering to oneself and coma.

Read more about Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang here

Di Tan Tang

Source date: 1470 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Removes Phlegm. Opens the sensory orifices. Tonifies Qi.

Why might Di Tan Tang help with erratic behavior?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm Misting the Heart' of which erratic behavior is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm Misting The Heart include muttering to oneself, coma and mental confusion.

Read more about Di Tan Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat erratic behavior

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with erratic behavior?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat erratic behavior as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang for instance.

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Drains Dampness and reduces Phlegm. Reverses the flow of Rebellious Qi. Reduces hardenings and relieves distention.

Read more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with erratic behavior?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat erratic behavior as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Di Tan 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 Immature Bitter Orange (Zhi Shi) help with erratic behavior?

Because Immature Bitter Orange is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat erratic behavior as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang for instance.

Immature Bitter Oranges is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter, Pungent and Sour. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Large intestine.

Its main actions are: Regulates the flow of Qi in the Middle Burner and reduces Food Stagnation. Moves Qi downward and helps constipation. Reduces Stagnant Phlegm and lessens distention and pain. For prolapse of organs when used with the appropriate herbs.

Read more about Immature Bitter Oranges here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with erratic behavior?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat erratic behavior as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Di Tan 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 Bamboo Shaving (Zhu Ru) help with erratic behavior?

Because Bamboo Shaving is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat erratic behavior as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang for instance.

Bamboo Shavings is a Cool herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Gallbladder, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs. Clears Heat in the Stomach and stops vomiting. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding.

Read more about Bamboo Shavings here