Miscarriage according to Chinese Medicine

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Miscarriage 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 miscarriage 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 miscarriage is often associated with enuresis, premature ejaculation and fatigue in the pattern “Kidney Qi not Firm”.

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

Kidney Qi not Firm, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause miscarriage

In Chinese Medicine miscarriage is a symptom for the pattern "Kidney Qi not Firm". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Kidney Qi not Firm

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Kidney Qi not Firm means Kidney Qi Deficiency. Two characteristics are typical in this pattern. Firstly, it is a type of Kidney Yang Deficiency with the associated Cold symptoms. Secondly, it is a type of sinking of Kidneys Qi, thus with many ‘leaking’ downwards symptoms.

In addition to miscarriage, other symptoms associated with Kidney Qi not Firm include enuresis, premature ejaculation and fatigue.

Kidney Qi not Firm is often treated with You Gui Wan, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Prepared Aconite - Zhi Fu Zi - as a key herb). You Gui Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that warm yang and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang".

Read more about Kidney Qi not Firm here

Two herbal formulas that might help with miscarriage

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidneys. Binds up the semen.

Why might Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan help with miscarriage?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which miscarriage is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Qi Not Firm include enuresis, premature ejaculation and fatigue.

Read more about Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan here

Fu Tu Dan

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidney Qi. Strengthens the Spleen. Stops leakage.

Why might Fu Tu Dan help with miscarriage?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which miscarriage is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Qi Not Firm include enuresis, premature ejaculation and fatigue.

Read more about Fu Tu Dan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat miscarriage

Why might Cuscuta Seed (Tu Si Zi) help with miscarriage?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat miscarriage and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat miscarriage as a symptom (such as Fu Tu Dan for instance).

Cuscuta Seeds is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies Kidney Yang and Essence. Nourishes the Liver.

Read more about Cuscuta Seeds here

Why might Eucommia Bark (Du Zhong) help with miscarriage?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat miscarriage and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat miscarriage as a symptom (such as Qing E Wan for instance).

Eucommia Bark is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Liver and Kidneys. Calms ascendant Liver Yang (hypertension/high blood pressure). Calms a restless fetus.

Read more about Eucommia Bark here

Why might Yam (Shan Yao) help with miscarriage?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat miscarriage as a symptom, like Fu Tu Dan or You Gui Wan for instance.

Yam is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach. Tonifies the Lung Qi and nourishes the Lung Yin. Nourishes the Kidneys and consolidates Jing.

Read more about Yam here

Why might Lotus Seed (Lian Zi) help with miscarriage?

Because Lotus Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat miscarriage as a symptom, like Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan or Fu Tu Dan for instance.

Lotus Seeds is a Neutral herb that tastes Sour and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen, stops diarrhea. Strengthens the Kidneys, reinforces Essence. Nourishes the Blood and calms the mind.

Read more about Lotus Seeds here

Why might Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui) help with miscarriage?

Because it is a key herb in You Gui Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' (a pattern with miscarriage as a symptom)

Cinnamon Bark is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and Kidneys and tonifies the Yang. Expels Cold, Warms the meridians, promotes circulation of Qi and Blood and relieves pain. Used with tonics to assist in the generation of Qi and Blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Bark here