Obstructive pulmonary disease according to Chinese Medicine

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease redirects here

Obstructive pulmonary disease 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 obstructive pulmonary disease 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 obstructive pulmonary disease is often associated with in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/cold-phlegm”.

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

Cold-Phlegm, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause obstructive pulmonary disease

In Chinese Medicine obstructive pulmonary disease is a symptom for the pattern "Cold-Phlegm". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang) is the king ingredient for Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/cold-phlegm

Cold-Phlegm

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

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

This is when a Fire Deficiency of the Gate of Life (Ming Men), which is the source of warmth for all physiological processes, inhibits the Spleen's ability to transform and transport the Body Fluids, which accumulate and become Phlegm and thin mucus.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/cold-phlegm is often treated with Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Dried Ginger - Gan Jiang - as a key herb). Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that warm and transform phlegm-cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Lungs".

Read more about Cold-Phlegm here

Two herbal formulas that might help with obstructive pulmonary disease

Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Lungs. Transforms congested Fluids.

Why might Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang help with obstructive pulmonary disease?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/cold-phlegm' of which obstructive pulmonary disease is a symptom.

Read more about Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang here

San Zi Yang Qin Tang

Source date: 1856 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Directs the Qi downward. Transforms Phlegm. Reduces harbored food.

Why might San Zi Yang Qin Tang help with obstructive pulmonary disease?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/cold-phlegm' of which obstructive pulmonary disease is a symptom.

Read more about San Zi Yang Qin Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat obstructive pulmonary disease

Why might Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang) help with obstructive pulmonary disease?

Because it is a key herb in Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Cold-Phlegm' (a pattern with obstructive pulmonary disease as a symptom)

Dried Ginger is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney, the Lung and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and expels Cold. Restores collapse of Yang and expels Interior Cold. Warms the Lungs and assists expectoration of Cold Phlegm. Stops chronic bleeding caused by Cold.

Read more about Dried Ginger here

Why might Wild Ginger (Xi Xin) help with obstructive pulmonary disease?

Because it is a key herb in Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Cold-Phlegm' (a pattern with obstructive pulmonary disease as a symptom)

Wild Ginger is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and warms the Yang. Expels Cold and relieves pain. Warms the Lungs and reduces Phlegm. Moves the Qi and disperses Phlegm to open the nasal passages.

Read more about Wild Ginger here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with obstructive pulmonary disease?

Because it is a key herb in Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Cold-Phlegm' (a pattern with obstructive pulmonary disease as a symptom)

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney, the Lung and the Spleen.

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

Why might Schisandra Berry (Wu Wei Zi) help with obstructive pulmonary disease?

Because it is a key herb in Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Cold-Phlegm' (a pattern with obstructive pulmonary disease as a symptom)

Schisandra Berries is a Warm herb that tastes Sour and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Kidneys and preserves the Essence. Astringes the Lung Qi and stops coughing. Retains Bodily Fluids and encourages their production. Tonifies the Heart and calms the spirit (Shen).

Read more about Schisandra Berries here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with obstructive pulmonary disease?

Because it is a key herb in Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Cold-Phlegm' (a pattern with obstructive pulmonary disease as a symptom)

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

Other symptoms often associated with obstructive pulmonary disease

Asthma Sores