Mucus in stools according to Chinese Medicine

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Mucus in stools 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 mucus in stools 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 mucus in stools is often associated with red face, feeling of oppression of the chest and dry mouth in the pattern “Phlegm-Heat”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause mucus in stools.

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

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause mucus in stools

In Chinese Medicine mucus in stools 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.

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) is the king ingredient for Wen Dan Tang, a formula used for Phlegm-Heat

Phlegm-Heat

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

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

Tongue shape: Swollen

Phlegm-Heat arises when Dampness or Body Fluids combine with pathogenic Heat. Common symptoms include the coughing of a thick, yellow, viscous sputum that is difficult to expectorate and a red, flushed face.

In addition to mucus in stools, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Heat include red face, feeling of oppression of the chest and dry mouth.

Phlegm-Heat 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 Phlegm".

Read more about Phlegm-Heat here

The Large Intestine is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Large Intestine in Chinese Medicine

Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine

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

In addition to mucus in stools, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine include stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium, abdominal pain and abdominal fullness.

Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine is often treated with Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Kudzu Roots - Ge Gen - as a key herb). Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang belongs to the category of "external formulas for external disorders", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Releases the Exterior".

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine here

Three herbal formulas that might help with mucus in stools

Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Wen Dan Tang help with mucus in stools?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Heat' of which mucus in stools is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Heat include red face, feeling of oppression of the chest and dry mouth.

Read more about Wen Dan Tang here

Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Drains Heat.

Why might Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang help with mucus in stools?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine' of which mucus in stools is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Large Intestine include stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium, abdominal pain and abdominal fullness.

Read more about Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang here

Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan

Source date: 1584 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Transforms Phlegm. Directs Rebellious Qi downwards. Stops coughing.

Why might Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan help with mucus in stools?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Heat' of which mucus in stools is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Heat include red face, feeling of oppression of the chest and dry mouth.

Read more about Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan here

Acupuncture points used for mucus in stools

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat mucus in stools

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with mucus in stools?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat mucus in stools as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan for instance.

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Lung, the Spleen and the Stomach.

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 Baikal Skullcap Root (Huang Qin) help with mucus in stools?

Because Baikal Skullcap Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat mucus in stools as a symptom, like Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan or Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang for instance.

Baikal Skullcap Roots is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Lung, the Small intestine and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and Dampness. Clears Upper Burner Heat, especially of the Lung. Clears Heat and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears pathogenic Heat which is upsetting the fetus. Cools the Liver, reducing Liver Yang rising syndrome.

Read more about Baikal Skullcap Roots here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with mucus in stools?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat mucus in stools as a symptom, like Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang or Wen Dan Tang for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Lung, the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs.

Read more about Liquorice here

Why might Apricot Seed (Xing Ren) help with mucus in stools?

Because Apricot Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat mucus in stools as a symptom, like Ding Chuan Tang or Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan for instance.

Apricot Seeds is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Large intestine and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Stops cough and wheezing caused by either Heat or Cold. Lubricates the Intestines and relieves constipation.

Read more about Apricot Seeds here

Why might Immature Bitter Orange (Zhi Shi) help with mucus in stools?

Because Immature Bitter Orange is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat mucus in stools as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan 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