Incoherent speech according to Chinese Medicine

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Incoherent speech 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 incoherent speech 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 incoherent speech is often associated with aphasia, coma and mental confusion in the pattern “Phlegm Misting the Heart”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause incoherent speech.

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

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause incoherent speech

In Chinese Medicine incoherent speech 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 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 incoherent speech, other symptoms associated with Phlegm Misting the Heart include aphasia, 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 incoherent speech, other symptoms associated with Phlegm Fire harassing the Heart include aphasia, coma and mental confusion.

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

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

Heat in Pericardium

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

In addition to incoherent speech, other symptoms associated with Heat in Pericardium include aphasia, coma and mental confusion.

Heat in Pericardium is often treated with Qing Ying Tang, a herbal formula made of 9 herbs (including Water Buffalo Horns - Shui Niu Jiao - as a key herb). Qing Ying Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear nutritive-level heat", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears the Nutritive level Heat".

Read more about Heat in Pericardium here

Four herbal formulas that might help with incoherent speech

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 incoherent speech?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm Misting The Heart include aphasia, 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 incoherent speech?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm Fire Harassing The Heart include aphasia, coma and mental confusion.

Read more about Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang here

Qing Ying Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears the Nutritive level Heat. Relieves Fire Toxin. Removes Heat. Nourishes Yin.

Why might Qing Ying Tang help with incoherent speech?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heat in Pericardium' of which incoherent speech is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heat In Pericardium include aphasia, coma and mental confusion.

Read more about Qing Ying 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 incoherent speech?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm Misting The Heart include aphasia, coma and mental confusion.

Read more about Di Tan Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat incoherent speech

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with incoherent speech?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat incoherent speech 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 Goldthread Rhizome (Huang Lian) help with incoherent speech?

Because Goldthread Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat incoherent speech as a symptom, like Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang or Qing Ying Tang for instance.

Goldthread Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart, the Large intestine and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Lower Burner. Eliminates Fire toxicity especially when there is associated Dampness. Acts as a sedative by eliminating Heart Fire. Eliminates Stomach Fire. Expel parasites

Read more about Goldthread Rhizomes here

Why might Immature Bitter Orange (Zhi Shi) help with incoherent speech?

Because Immature Bitter Orange is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat incoherent speech 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 Bamboo Shaving (Zhu Ru) help with incoherent speech?

Because Bamboo Shaving is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat incoherent speech 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

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with incoherent speech?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat incoherent speech 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