Hot sensation in the palms according to Chinese Medicine

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Hot sensation in the palms 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 hot sensation in the palms 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 hot sensation in the palms is often associated with insomnia, malar flush and dry throat in the pattern “Liver Yin Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause hot sensation in the palms.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of hot sensation in the palms we’ve identified three herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the three medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat hot sensation in the palms.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause hot sensation in the palms

In Chinese Medicine hot sensation in the palms 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 Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine

Liver Yin Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red points on the sides

This is a type of empty Fire pattern arising out of Liver Blood Deficiency or Kidney Yin Deficiency. It shares similar symptoms as Liver Blood Deficiency, but with extra signs of Dryness and Yin-Deficient Heat. It can be caused by excessive activity, overwork, 'burning the candle at both ends' without sufficient rest, and poor and irregular diet.

In addition to hot sensation in the palms, other symptoms associated with Liver Yin Deficiency include insomnia, malar flush and dry throat.

Liver Yin Deficiency is often treated with Qi Ju Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Qi Ju 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: "Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin".

Read more about Liver Yin Deficiency here

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

Heart Yin Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

This pattern developed from Heart Blood Deficiency. It shares similar symptoms as the latter one, such as insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, easily to be scared, poor memory and anxiety, but it also has additional empty Heat symptoms. It can be caused by Kidney Yin Deficiency or other factors such as bad diet, overwork or long term exposure to stress or hot environment.

In addition to hot sensation in the palms, other symptoms associated with Heart Yin Deficiency include insomnia, malar flush and dry throat.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Heart Yin Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Absence Of Menstruation or Postpartum Depression.

Heart Yin Deficiency is often treated with Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, a herbal formula made of 14 herbs (including Unprepared Rehmannia - Di Huang - as a key herb). Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish the heart and calm the mind", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nutritive tonic: Nourishes Yin, Blood and Vital Essence of the Heart and Kidney".

Read more about Heart Yin Deficiency here

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 hot sensation in the palms, other symptoms associated with Yin Deficiency include insomnia, malar flush and dry throat.

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

Three herbal formulas that might help with hot sensation in the palms

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1350 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin. Improves vision.

Why might Qi Ju Di Huang Wan help with hot sensation in the palms?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Yin Deficiency' of which hot sensation in the palms is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Yin Deficiency include insomnia, malar flush and dry throat.

Read more about Qi Ju Di Huang Wan here

Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan

Source date: 16th century

Number of ingredients: 14 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic: Nourishes Yin, Blood and Vital Essence of the Heart and Kidney. Clears away pathogenic Heat, clears Deficient Heat. Sedative.

Why might Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan help with hot sensation in the palms?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heart Yin Deficiency' of which hot sensation in the palms is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heart Yin Deficiency include insomnia, malar flush and dry throat.

Read more about Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan here

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 hot sensation in the palms?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Yin Deficiency' of which hot sensation in the palms is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yin Deficiency include insomnia, malar flush and dry throat.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan here

The three Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat hot sensation in the palms

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with hot sensation in the palms?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat hot sensation in the palms as a symptom, like Qi Ju Di Huang Wan or Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan 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 Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with hot sensation in the palms?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat hot sensation in the palms as a symptom, like Qi Ju Di Huang Wan or Liu Wei Di Huang 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 Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) help with hot sensation in the palms?

Because it is a key herb in Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heart Yin Deficiency' (a pattern with hot sensation in the palms as a symptom)

Unprepared Rehmannia is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes.

Read more about Unprepared Rehmannia here