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 poor appetite, loose stools and feeling of heaviness 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 poor appetite, loose stools and feeling of heaviness.

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

Wu Pi Yin

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Reduces edema, diuretic. Regulates and strengthens Spleen Qi.

Why might Wu Pi Yin 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 poor appetite, loose stools and feeling of heaviness.

Read more about Wu Pi Yin here

Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Warms and transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Strengthens the Spleen. Resolves Dampness.

Why might Ling Gui Zhu Gan 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 poor appetite, loose stools and feeling of heaviness.

Read more about Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang here

Acupuncture points used for oedema of abdomen

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

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 Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang 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 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 Zhen Wu Tang or Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang 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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with oedema of abdomen?

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

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

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 Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi) help with oedema of abdomen?

Because Cinnamon Twig is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat oedema of abdomen as a symptom, like Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang or Shen Qi Wan for instance.

Cinnamon Twigs is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Adjusts the nutritive Ying and defensive Wei Qi. Relieves the Exterior through sweating. Warms and disperses Cold. Removes obstruction of Yang. Promotes the circulation of Yang Qi in the chest. Regulates and moves blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Twigs here

Why might Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi) help with oedema of abdomen?

Because Tangerine Peel is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat oedema of abdomen as a symptom, like Ping Wei San or Wu Pi Yin for instance.

Tangerine Peel is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs.

Read more about Tangerine Peel here