Grey and cloudy urine according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Grey and cloudy urine

cloudy urine redirects here

Grey and cloudy urine 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 grey and cloudy urine 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 grey and cloudy urine is often associated with urinary dribbling in the pattern “Damp-Heat in the Bladder”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause grey and cloudy urine.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of grey and cloudy urine we’ve identified three 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 grey and cloudy urine.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause grey and cloudy urine

In Chinese Medicine grey and cloudy urine 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 Bladder is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Bladder in Chinese Medicine

Damp-Heat in the Bladder

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

In addition to grey and cloudy urine, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Bladder include urinary dribbling.

Damp-Heat in the Bladder is often treated with Liu Yi San, a herbal formula made of 2 herbs (including Talc - Hua Shi - as a key herb). Liu Yi San belongs to the category of "formulas that dispel summer-heat and facilitate resolution of dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Summer-Heat".

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Bladder here

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

Bladder Deficiency with Cold

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

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to grey and cloudy urine, other symptoms associated with Bladder Deficiency with Cold include lower back pain, disorientation and forgetfulness.

Bladder Deficiency with Cold is often treated with Sang Piao Xiao San, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Praying Mantis Egg-Cases - Sang Piao Shao - as a key herb). Sang Piao Xiao San belongs to the category of "formulas that secure essence and stop enuresis", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Regulates and tonifies the Heart and Kidneys".

Read more about Bladder Deficiency with Cold here

Three herbal formulas that might help with grey and cloudy urine

Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin

Source date: 1732 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Warms the Kidneys. Drains Dampness. Separates the clear from the turbid.

Why might Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin help with grey and cloudy urine?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' of which grey and cloudy urine is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Bladder include urinary dribbling.

Read more about Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin here

Sang Piao Xiao San

Source date: 1116 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Regulates and tonifies the Heart and Kidneys. Stabilizes the Essence. Stops leakage.

Why might Sang Piao Xiao San help with grey and cloudy urine?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Bladder Deficiency with Cold' of which grey and cloudy urine is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Bladder Deficiency With Cold include lower back pain, disorientation and forgetfulness.

Read more about Sang Piao Xiao San here

Liu Yi San

Source date: 1172 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Clears Summer-Heat. Drains Dampness. Supplements Qi.

Why might Liu Yi San help with grey and cloudy urine?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' of which grey and cloudy urine is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Bladder include urinary dribbling.

Read more about Liu Yi San here

The four Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat grey and cloudy urine

Why might Fish-Poison Yam (Bi Xie) help with grey and cloudy urine?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat grey and cloudy urine and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat grey and cloudy urine as a symptom (such as Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin for instance).

Fish-Poison Yam is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Bladder, the Stomach and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and eliminates cloudy urine. Eliminates Wind-Damp. Relieves Damp-Heat from the skin.

Read more about Fish-Poison Yam here

Why might Sweetflag Rhizome (Shi Chang Pu) help with grey and cloudy urine?

Because Sweetflag Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat grey and cloudy urine as a symptom, like Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin or Sang Piao Xiao San for instance.

Sweetflag Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Stomach, the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Opens the Orifices, awakens the Mind (Shen) and expels Wind-Damp Phlegm. Harmonizes the Earth element and dispels Damp. Applied internally or externally for Wind-Cold-Damp painful obstruction.

Read more about Sweetflag Rhizomes here

Why might Praying Mantis Egg-Case (Sang Piao Shao) help with grey and cloudy urine?

Because it is a key herb in Sang Piao Xiao San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Bladder Deficiency with Cold' (a pattern with grey and cloudy urine as a symptom)

Praying Mantis Egg-Cases is a Neutral herb that tastes Salty and Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies Kidneys and strengthens Yang. Restrains Essence and decreases urination.

Read more about Praying Mantis Egg-Cases here

Why might Talc (Hua Shi) help with grey and cloudy urine?

Because it is a key herb in Liu Yi San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' (a pattern with grey and cloudy urine as a symptom)

Talc is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Bladder and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination. Expels Damp-Heat from the Urinary Bladder. Dispels Summer Heat. Dries Dampness when applied topically.

Read more about Talc here