Painful urination according to Chinese Medicine

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Painful urination 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 painful urination 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 painful urination is often associated with fever and urinary dribbling in the pattern “Damp-Heat in the Bladder”.

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

Damp-Heat in the Bladder, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause painful urination

In Chinese Medicine painful urination is a symptom for the pattern "Damp-Heat in the Bladder". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Damp-Heat in the Bladder

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

In addition to painful urination, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Bladder include fever and urinary dribbling.

Damp-Heat in the Bladder is often treated with Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula made of 9 herbs (including Chinese Pink Herbs - Qu Mai - as a key herb). Ba Zheng San belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat and expel dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire".

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Bladder here

A herbal formula that might help with painful urination

Ba Zheng San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire. Promotes urination. Unblocks painful urinary dribbling.

Why might Ba Zheng San help with painful urination?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' of which painful urination is a symptom.

Read more about Ba Zheng San here

Acupuncture points used for painful urination

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat painful urination

Why might Plantain Seed (Che Qian Zi) help with painful urination?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat painful urination and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat painful urination as a symptom (such as Ba Zheng San for instance).

Plantain Seeds is a Cool herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and clears Heat. Stops diarrhea by expelling water through urination. Brightens the eyes, used in combination either for Deficiency or Heat. Reduces inflammation of infections. Arrests cough and expectorates Phlegm.

Read more about Plantain Seeds here

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with painful urination?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat painful urination as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or Shen Qi Wan for instance.

Prepared Rehmannia is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Tonifies the Yin of the Kidneys.

Read more about Prepared Rehmannia here

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with painful urination?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat painful urination as a symptom, like Er Xian Tang or You Gui Wan for instance.

Dong Quai is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation.

Read more about Dong Quai here

Why might Cuscuta Seed (Tu Si Zi) help with painful urination?

Because Cuscuta Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat painful urination as a symptom, like Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan or You Gui Wan for instance.

Cuscuta Seeds is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies Kidney Yang and Essence. Nourishes the Liver.

Read more about Cuscuta Seeds here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with painful urination?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat painful urination as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or Shen Qi Wan for instance.

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