Oedema of limbs according to Chinese Medicine

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Oedema of limbs 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 limbs 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 limbs is often associated with pale complexion, oedema of face and cold extremities in the pattern “Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of oedema of limbs we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Wu Ling San can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause oedema of limbs

In Chinese Medicine oedema of limbs is a symptom for the pattern "Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency

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

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to oedema of limbs, other symptoms associated with Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency include pale complexion, oedema of face and cold extremities.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Lupus.

Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency 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 Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency here

A herbal formula that might help with oedema of limbs

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 limbs?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency' of which oedema of limbs is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Lupus.

Read more about Wu Ling San here

Water plantain might help with oedema of limbs

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

Because it is a key herb in Wu Ling San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with oedema of limbs 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

Conditions associated with oedema of limbs

Lupus