Low-grade fever according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Low-grade fever

Low-grade fever 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 low-grade fever 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 low-grade fever is often associated with abdominal pain, constipation and hypochondriac pain in the pattern “Exterior Cold invading the Interior”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause low-grade fever.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of low-grade fever we’ve identified three herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the two medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat low-grade fever.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause low-grade fever

In Chinese Medicine low-grade fever 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.

Exterior Cold invading the Interior

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

In addition to low-grade fever, other symptoms associated with Exterior Cold invading the Interior include abdominal pain, constipation and hypochondriac pain.

Exterior Cold invading the Interior is often treated with Da Huang Fu Zi Tang, a herbal formula made of 3 herbs (including Prepared Aconite - Zhi Fu Zi - as a key herb). Da Huang Fu Zi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that warm and purge", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Interior".

Read more about Exterior Cold invading the Interior here

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

Wind-Heat entering the Lungs

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to low-grade fever, other symptoms associated with Wind-Heat entering the Lungs include cough with foul-smelling sputum, mild chest pain and dry and scaly skin.

Wind-Heat entering the Lungs is often treated with Wei Jing Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Common Reed Rhizomes - Lu Gen - as a key herb). Wei Jing Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear internal abscesses and sores", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears heat from the Lungs".

Read more about Wind-Heat entering the Lungs here

Three herbal formulas that might help with low-grade fever

Da Huang Fu Zi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Interior. Disperses Cold. Unblocks the bowels. Alleviates pain.

Why might Da Huang Fu Zi Tang help with low-grade fever?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Exterior Cold invading the Interior' of which low-grade fever is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Exterior Cold Invading The Interior include abdominal pain, constipation and hypochondriac pain.

Read more about Da Huang Fu Zi Tang here

Wei Jing Tang

Source date: 627 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Clears heat from the Lungs. Transforms Phlegm. Drives out Blood-Stagnation. Discharges pus.

Why might Wei Jing Tang help with low-grade fever?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Wind-Heat entering the Lungs' of which low-grade fever is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Wind-Heat Entering The Lungs include cough with foul-smelling sputum, mild chest pain and dry and scaly skin.

Read more about Wei Jing Tang here

Zhen Wu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies the Yang and Qi of the Spleen and Kidneys. Eliminates Dampness.

Why might Zhen Wu Tang help with low-grade fever?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Exterior Cold invading the Interior' of which low-grade fever is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Exterior Cold Invading The Interior include abdominal pain, constipation and hypochondriac pain.

Read more about Zhen Wu Tang here

The two Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat low-grade fever

Why might Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) help with low-grade fever?

Because Prepared Aconite is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat low-grade fever as a symptom, like Da Huang Fu Zi Tang or Zhen Wu Tang for instance.

Prepared Aconite is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Raises the collapse of Yang. Warms the meridians and relieves pain caused by Cold. Reduces Damp caused by Deficiency in Yang.

Read more about Prepared Aconite here

Why might Common Reed Rhizome (Lu Gen) help with low-grade fever?

Because it is a key herb in Wei Jing Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Wind-Heat entering the Lungs' (a pattern with low-grade fever as a symptom)

Common Reed Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and promotes the generation of Fluids. Dispels Lung Heat. Dispels Stomach Heat. Promotes urination and clears Heat in the urinary tract. Calm the minds and stop vomiting.

Read more about Common Reed Rhizomes here