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 scanty periods, lower abdominal pain and dizziness in the pattern “Qi and Blood Stagnation”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause purplish menstrual blood.

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

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause purplish menstrual blood

In Chinese Medicine purplish menstrual blood is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu) is the king ingredient for Xiao Yao San, a formula used for Qi and Blood Stagnation

Qi and Blood Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Normal (light red), Red, Red sides

In addition to purplish menstrual blood, other symptoms associated with Qi and Blood Stagnation include scanty periods, lower abdominal pain and dizziness.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Qi and Blood Stagnation is associated with health issues such as Menstrual Cramps, Absence Of Menstruation or Menopausal Syndrome.

Qi and 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 Qi and Blood Stagnation here

Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo) is the king ingredient for Er Miao San, a formula used for Damp-Heat

Damp-Heat

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

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

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 Er Miao San, a herbal formula made of 2 herbs (including Phellodendron Bark - Huang Bo - as a key herb). Er Miao San belongs to the category of "formulas that expel dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Expels Dampness from the Lower Burner".

Read more about Damp-Heat here

Three 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 'Qi and Blood Stagnation' of which purplish menstrual blood is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Qi and Blood Stagnation 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

Er Miao San

Source date: 1481 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Expels Dampness from the Lower Burner. Drains Heat from the Lower Burner.

Why might Er Miao 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 Er Miao San 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 Spleen and the Liver.

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 Spleen, the Heart and the Liver.

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 Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) 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)

Mudan Peony Bark is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis.

Read more about Mudan Peony Bark 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

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

Conditions associated with purplish menstrual blood

Menstrual cramps