Purple petechiae according to Chinese Medicine

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Purple petechiae 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 purple petechiae 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 purple petechiae is often associated with abdominal pain, vomiting of blood and epistaxis in the pattern “Liver Blood Stagnation”.

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

Liver Blood Stagnation, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause purple petechiae

In Chinese Medicine purple petechiae is a symptom for the pattern "Liver Blood Stagnation". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Liver Blood Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Bluish-Purple sides

Liver Blood Stagnation usually develops from Qi Stagnation, Cold and Heat. It has great influence over the Directing and Penetrating Vessels and thus the menstruation functions.

In addition to purple petechiae, other symptoms associated with Liver Blood Stagnation include abdominal pain, vomiting of blood and epistaxis.

Liver Blood Stagnation is often treated with Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Yao San belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize liver-spleen", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen".

Read more about Liver Blood Stagnation here

Two herbal formulas that might help with purple petechiae

Xiao Yao San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen. Relieves Liver Qi stagnation. Nourishes the Blood.

Why might Xiao Yao San help with purple petechiae?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Blood Stagnation' of which purple petechiae is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Blood Stagnation include abdominal pain, vomiting of blood and epistaxis.

Read more about Xiao Yao San here

Chai Hu Shu Gan San

Source date: 1602

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Disperses Stagnant Liver Qi and Blood. Alleviates pain. Harmonizes Blood.

Why might Chai Hu Shu Gan San help with purple petechiae?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Blood Stagnation' of which purple petechiae is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Blood Stagnation include abdominal pain, vomiting of blood and epistaxis.

Read more about Chai Hu Shu Gan San here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat purple petechiae

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with purple petechiae?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat purple petechiae as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Chai Hu Shu Gan San for instance.

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

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 Coco-Grass Rhizome (Xiang Fu) help with purple petechiae?

Because Coco-Grass Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat purple petechiae as a symptom, like Chai Hu Shu Gan San or Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang for instance.

Coco-Grass Rhizomes is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter, Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Liver, the Sanjiao and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Unblocks Stagnant Liver Qi and relieves pain. Regulates the Liver and Spleen. Assists the regulation of menses and relieves pain.

Read more about Coco-Grass Rhizomes here

Why might Flying Squirrel Faeces (Wu Ling Zhi) help with purple petechiae?

Because Flying Squirrel Faeces is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat purple petechiae as a symptom, like Shi Xiao San or Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang for instance.

Flying Squirrel Faeces is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Disperses congealed Blood in the lower abdomen and uterus and relieves pain. Promotes childhood nutrition with Cold Stagnation and focal abdominal swelling.

Read more about Flying Squirrel Faeces here

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with purple petechiae?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat purple petechiae as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang 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 Bupleurum Root (Chai Hu) help with purple petechiae?

Because Bupleurum Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat purple petechiae as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Chai Hu Shu Gan San for instance.

Bupleurum Roots is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Harmonizes exterior and interior. Smoothes the Liver and upraises the Yang.

Read more about Bupleurum Roots here