Oedema of abdomen according to Chinese Medicine

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Oedema of abdomen 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 oedema of abdomen 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 oedema of abdomen is often associated with oedema of ankles, oedema of legs and oedema of hands in the pattern “Oedema”.

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

Oedema, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause oedema of abdomen

In Chinese Medicine oedema of abdomen is a symptom for the pattern "Oedema". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Water Plantain (Ze Xie) is the king ingredient for Wu Ling San, a formula used for Oedema

Oedema

Pulse type(s): Slowed-down (Huan), Hidden (Fu)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Oedema manifests itself as swellings due to the retention of Body Fluids. Chinese Medicine believes that it originates from the leaking of Body Fluids from their normal pathways into the space between skin and muscles.

In addition to oedema of abdomen, other symptoms associated with Oedema include oedema of ankles, oedema of legs and oedema of hands.

Oedema is often treated with Wu Ling San, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Water Plantain - Ze Xie - as a key herb). Wu Ling San belongs to the category of "formulas that promote urination and leach out dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Promotes urination,".

Read more about Oedema here

Two herbal formulas that might help with oedema of abdomen

Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Diuretic, clears Excess fluid and removes edema. Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Calms External Wind.

Why might Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang help with oedema of abdomen?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Oedema' of which oedema of abdomen is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Oedema include oedema of ankles, oedema of legs and oedema of hands.

Read more about Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang here

Wu Ling San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes urination,. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Promotes Qi transformation function. Drains Dampness. Clears edema.

Why might Wu Ling San help with oedema of abdomen?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Oedema' of which oedema of abdomen is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Oedema include oedema of ankles, oedema of legs and oedema of hands.

Read more about Wu Ling San here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat oedema of abdomen

Why might Atractylodes Rhizome (Bai Zhu) help with oedema of abdomen?

Because Atractylodes Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat oedema of abdomen as a symptom, like Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang or Wu Ling San for instance.

Atractylodes Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Fortifies the Spleen Yang and dispels Damp through urination. Tonifies Qi and stops sweating. Calms restless fetus when due to Deficiency of Spleen Qi.

Read more about Atractylodes Rhizomes here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with oedema of abdomen?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat oedema of abdomen as a symptom, like Wu Pi Yin or Wu Ling San 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

Why might Milkvetch Root (Huang Qi) help with oedema of abdomen?

Because it is a key herb in Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Oedema' (a pattern with oedema of abdomen as a symptom)

Milkvetch Roots is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Wei Qi and stops perspiration. Tonifies the Spleen Qi and the Yang Qi of the Earth Element. Tonifies the Qi and Blood. Expels pus and assists in the healing of wounds. Helps to regulate water metabolism in the body and reduce edema.

Read more about Milkvetch Roots here

Why might Ginger Peel (Sheng Jiang Pi) help with oedema of abdomen?

Because it is a key herb in Wu Pi Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Oedema' (a pattern with oedema of abdomen as a symptom)

Ginger Peel is a Cool herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Promotes urination and reduces edema at its early onset. Disperses the Exterior.

Read more about Ginger Peel here

Why might Water Plantain (Ze Xie) help with oedema of abdomen?

Because it is a key herb in Wu Ling San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Oedema' (a pattern with oedema of abdomen as a symptom)

Water Plantain is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Bladder and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Causes urination and removes Damp-Heat

Read more about Water Plantain here

Other symptoms often associated with oedema of abdomen

Oedema of ankles Oedema of legs Oedema of hands Oedema of face Oedema of feet