Five palm heat according to Chinese Medicine

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Five palm heat 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 five palm heat 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 five palm heat is often associated with night sweats, malar flush and insomnia in the pattern “Yin Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record four patterns that can cause five palm heat.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of five palm heat we’ve identified four 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 five palm heat.

The four "patterns of disharmony" that can cause five palm heat

In Chinese Medicine five palm heat is a symptom for 4 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) is the king ingredient for Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, a formula used for Yin Deficiency

Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Red

In the case of Yin Deficiency, the body is short in the cooling, moistening and nurturing aspects. This leads to Heat and Dryness accompanied by weakness and lack of strength and resistance. Yin becomes Deficient by over-working, lack of sleep, over-exercising, overindulgence in sex, long-term chronic diseases, internal injury due to the seven emotions, and the over-eating of dry and hot-natured foods.

In addition to five palm heat, other symptoms associated with Yin Deficiency include night sweats, malar flush and insomnia.

Yin Deficiency is often treated with Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Liu Wei Di Huang Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system)".

Read more about Yin Deficiency here

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

Kidney Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Tongue shape: Cracked

Kidney Yin Deficiency causes false Heat symptoms, such as night sweats, thirst and five palm heat. These signs are from a depletion of Body Fluids and Essence. It can be caused by prolonged overwork, excessive sexual activity, chronic long term illnesses, consumption of Body Fluids by Heat, prolonged blood loss, overdosage of Kidney Yang tonics herbs, smoking and Kidney depleting foods such as coffee, alcohol, sugar, and fruit juices.

In addition to five palm heat, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yin Deficiency include night sweats, malar flush and insomnia.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Kidney Yin Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Menopausal Syndrome, Prolonged Periods or Irregular Menstruation.

Kidney Yin Deficiency is often treated with Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Liu Wei Di Huang Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system)".

Read more about Kidney Yin Deficiency here

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

Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu), Floating (Fu)

In addition to five palm heat, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing include night sweats, malar flush and insomnia.

Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing is often treated with Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Liu Wei Di Huang Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system)".

Read more about Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing here

Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) is the king ingredient for Da Bu Yin Wan, a formula used for Collapse of Yin

Collapse of Yin

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Fine (Xi)

In addition to five palm heat, other symptoms associated with Collapse of Yin include night sweats, malar flush and constipation.

Collapse of Yin is often treated with Da Bu Yin Wan, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Da Bu Yin Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Enriches the Yin".

Read more about Collapse of Yin here

Four herbal formulas that might help with five palm heat

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1119 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).

Why might Liu Wei Di Huang Wan help with five palm heat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Yin Deficiency' of which five palm heat is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yin Deficiency include night sweats, malar flush and insomnia.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan here

Zuo Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Strengthens the Kidneys. Fills the Essence. Augments the marrow.

Why might Zuo Gui Wan help with five palm heat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yin Deficiency' of which five palm heat is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yin Deficiency include night sweats, malar flush and insomnia.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan here

Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1584 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yin. Drains Fire.

Why might Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan help with five palm heat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing' of which five palm heat is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing include night sweats, malar flush and insomnia.

Read more about Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan here

Da Bu Yin Wan

Source date: 1481 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Enriches the Yin. Directs fire downward.

Why might Da Bu Yin Wan help with five palm heat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Collapse of Yin' of which five palm heat is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Collapse Of Yin include night sweats, malar flush and constipation.

Read more about Da Bu Yin Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat five palm heat

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with five palm heat?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat five palm heat as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

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

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with five palm heat?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat five palm heat as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan 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 Yam (Shan Yao) help with five palm heat?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat five palm heat as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Yam is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach. Tonifies the Lung Qi and nourishes the Lung Yin. Nourishes the Kidneys and consolidates Jing.

Read more about Yam here

Why might Anemarrhena Rhizome (Zhi Mu) help with five palm heat?

Because Anemarrhena Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat five palm heat as a symptom, like Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan or Yu Nu Jian for instance.

Anemarrhena Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Stomach, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and Fire from the Qi level. Clears Heat and Fire from the Lung and Stomach. Clears Heat and tonifies the Yin.

Read more about Anemarrhena Rhizomes here

Why might Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo) help with five palm heat?

Because Phellodendron Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat five palm heat as a symptom, like Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan or Da Bu Yin Wan for instance.

Phellodendron Bark is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Bladder, the Kidney and the Large intestine.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. Clears Kidney Yin Deficient Heat. Applied externally or toxic Fire, especially associated with Dampness.

Read more about Phellodendron Bark here