Heavy limbs according to Chinese Medicine

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Heavy limbs 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 heavy limbs 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 heavy limbs is often associated with late period, scanty periods and dizziness in the pattern “Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of heavy limbs we’ve identified two 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 heavy limbs.

Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause heavy limbs

In Chinese Medicine heavy limbs is a symptom for the pattern "Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Coco-Grass Rhizomes (Xiang Fu) is the king ingredient for Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan, a formula used for Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus

Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)

In addition to heavy limbs, other symptoms associated with Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus include late period, scanty periods and dizziness.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus is associated with health issues such as Late Menstruation, Scanty Menstruation or Absence Of Menstruation.

Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus is often treated with Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Coco-Grass Rhizomes - Xiang Fu - as a key herb). Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan 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: "Resolves Dampness and Phlegm".

Read more about Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus here

Two herbal formulas that might help with heavy limbs

Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang

Source date: 1575 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Resolves Damp-Phlegm. Nourishes Blood.

Why might Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang help with heavy limbs?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus' of which heavy limbs is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus can contribute to many health issues, including Late Menstruation.

Read more about Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang here

Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1675 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Spleen and Stomach Qi. Removes Dampness. Moves Qi. Alleviates pain.

Why might Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang help with heavy limbs?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus' of which heavy limbs is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Damp-Phlegm in the Uterus can contribute to many health issues, including Late Menstruation.

Read more about Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang here

Acupuncture points used for heavy limbs

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat heavy limbs

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with heavy limbs?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat heavy limbs as a symptom, like Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang or Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

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

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 Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang) help with heavy limbs?

Because Fresh Ginger is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat heavy limbs as a symptom, like Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang or Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

Fresh Ginger is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Lung, the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Warms and circulates Qi in the Middle Burner. Calms a restless fetus and treats morning sickness. Treats seafood poisoning.

Read more about Fresh Ginger here

Why might Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi) help with heavy limbs?

Because Tangerine Peel is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat heavy limbs as a symptom, like Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang or Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

Tangerine Peel is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Lung and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs.

Read more about Tangerine Peel here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with heavy limbs?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat heavy limbs as a symptom, like Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang or Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Lung, the Spleen and the Stomach.

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 Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with heavy limbs?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat heavy limbs as a symptom, like Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang or Xiong Gui Er Chen Tang for instance.

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney, the Lung and the Spleen.

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

Conditions associated with heavy limbs

Late menstruation