Purplish menstrual blood according to Chinese Medicine

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Purplish menstrual blood 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 purplish menstrual blood 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 purplish menstrual blood is often associated with lower abdominal pain, dizziness and restlessness in the pattern “Damp-Heat”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of purplish menstrual blood 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 purplish menstrual blood.

Damp-Heat, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause purplish menstrual blood

In Chinese Medicine purplish menstrual blood is a symptom for the pattern "Damp-Heat". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Korean Mint (Huo Xiang) is the king ingredient for Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a formula used for Damp-Heat

Damp-Heat

Pulse type(s): Soggy (Ru)

In addition to purplish menstrual blood, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat include lower abdominal pain, dizziness and restlessness.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Damp-Heat is associated with health issues such as Menstrual Cramps, Intermenstrual Bleeding or Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Damp-Heat is often treated with Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Korean Mint - Huo Xiang - as a key herb). Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San belongs to the category of "formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Releases the Exterior".

Read more about Damp-Heat here

Two herbal formulas that might help with purplish menstrual blood

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 purplish menstrual blood?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat' of which purplish menstrual blood is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Damp-Heat can contribute to many health issues, including Menstrual Cramps.

Read more about Xiao Yao San here

Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang

Source date: 1576 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Expel Dampness. Relieve pain. Move Qi and Blood.

Why might Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang help with purplish menstrual blood?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat' of which purplish menstrual blood is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Damp-Heat can contribute to many health issues, including Menstrual Cramps.

Read more about Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat purplish menstrual blood

Why might White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with purplish menstrual blood?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat purplish menstrual blood as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang for instance.

White Peony Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain.

Read more about White Peony Roots here

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with purplish menstrual blood?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat purplish menstrual blood as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Qing Re Tiao Xue 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 Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) help with purplish menstrual blood?

Because it is a key herb in Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with purplish menstrual blood as a symptom)

Unprepared Rehmannia is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes.

Read more about Unprepared Rehmannia here

Why might Bupleurum Root (Chai Hu) help with purplish menstrual blood?

Because it is a key herb in Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with purplish menstrual blood as a symptom)

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

Why might Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo) help with purplish menstrual blood?

Because it is a key herb in Er Miao San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with purplish menstrual blood as a symptom)

Phellodendron Bark is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Bladder, the Kidney and the Large intestine.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. Clears Kidney Yin Deficient Heat. Applied externally or toxic Fire, especially associated with Dampness.

Read more about Phellodendron Bark here

Conditions associated with purplish menstrual blood

Menstrual cramps