Leukorrhea according to Chinese Medicine

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Leukorrhea 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 leukorrhea 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 leukorrhea is often associated with spermatorrhea, vaginal discharge and dizziness in the pattern “Kidney Yang Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause leukorrhea.

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

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause leukorrhea

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

Kidney Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Kidney Yang Deficiency causes Internal Cold and weakness.

In addition to leukorrhea, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency include spermatorrhea, vaginal discharge and dizziness.

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

Kidney Yang Deficiency is often treated with Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Ba 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: "Tonifies Yang".

Read more about Kidney Yang Deficiency here

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

Blood Deficiency with disharmony of Liver and Spleen

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to leukorrhea, other symptoms associated with Blood Deficiency with disharmony of Liver and Spleen include dizziness, anemia and poor appetite.

Blood Deficiency with disharmony of Liver and Spleen is often treated with Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Yao San belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize liver-spleen", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen".

Read more about Blood Deficiency with disharmony of Liver and Spleen here

Three herbal formulas that might help with leukorrhea

Ba Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yang. Warms the Kidneys and lower extremities.

Why might Ba Wei Di Huang Wan help with leukorrhea?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' of which leukorrhea is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yang Deficiency include spermatorrhea, vaginal discharge and dizziness.

Read more about Ba Wei Di Huang Wan here

Xiao Yao San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen. Relieves Liver Qi stagnation. Nourishes the Blood.

Why might Xiao Yao San help with leukorrhea?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood Deficiency with disharmony of Liver and Spleen' of which leukorrhea is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Blood Deficiency With Disharmony Of Liver And Spleen include dizziness, anemia and poor appetite.

Read more about Xiao Yao San here

Shen Qi Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and warms Kidney Yang.

Why might Shen Qi Wan help with leukorrhea?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' of which leukorrhea is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yang Deficiency include spermatorrhea, vaginal discharge and dizziness.

Read more about Shen Qi Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat leukorrhea

Why might Cornelian Cherry (Shan Zhu Yu) help with leukorrhea?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat leukorrhea and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat leukorrhea as a symptom (such as Ba Wei Di Huang Wan for instance).

Cornelian Cherries is a Warm herb that tastes Sour. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Preserves and tonifies the Kidney, Liver and Essence. Stops sweating and benefits the Yang and Qi. Assists menstruation and stops bleeding.

Read more about Cornelian Cherries here

Why might Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo) help with leukorrhea?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat leukorrhea and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat leukorrhea as a symptom (such as Er Xian Tang 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

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with leukorrhea?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat leukorrhea as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Er Xian Tang for instance.

Dong Quai is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation.

Read more about Dong Quai here

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with leukorrhea?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat leukorrhea as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or Shen Qi 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 leukorrhea?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat leukorrhea as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Ba Wei 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