The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Overweight 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 overweight 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 overweight is often associated with fatigue, dizziness and scanty periods in the pattern “Phlegm”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause overweight.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of overweight 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 overweight.
In Chinese Medicine overweight is a symptom for 3 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick coating
Tongue shape: Swollen
The concept of Phlegm is much wider and important in Chinese Medicine than in the West. Broadly speaking, Phlegm is a substance produced when the body fails to handle Body Fluids properly.
Phlegm is often treated with Er Chen Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Er Chen 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: "Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm".
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)
Tongue color: Normal (light red)
Phlegm in the Uterus is often treated with Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Coco-Grass Rhizomes - Xiang Fu - as a key herb). Cang Fu Dao Tan Wan 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: "Resolves Dampness and Phlegm".
Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo), Fine (Xi)
Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating
Tongue color: Pale
Blood and Qi Deficiency is often treated with Sheng Yu Tang, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Dong Quai - Dang Gui - as a key herb). Sheng Yu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Qi and Blood".
Source date: 1148 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm. Regulates Qi and harmonizes the Middle Burner (Stomach and Spleen).
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm' of which overweight is a symptom.
Source date: 1675 AD
Number of ingredients: 9 herbs
Key actions: Tonifies Spleen and Stomach Qi. Removes Dampness. Moves Qi. Alleviates pain.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm in the Uterus' of which overweight is a symptom.
Source date: 1247
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Key actions: Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner). Raises the Yang. Detoxifies. Lifts what has sunken.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood and Qi Deficiency' of which overweight is a symptom.
Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.
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.
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.
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.
Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Warms and circulates Qi in the Middle Burner. Calms a restless fetus and treats morning sickness. Treats seafood poisoning.