Pustule according to Chinese Medicine

Pustule 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 pustule 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 pustule is often associated with dark urine, constipation and fever in the pattern “Toxic-Heat”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of pustule we’ve identified five 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 pustule.

Toxic-Heat, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause pustule

In Chinese Medicine pustule is a symptom for the pattern "Toxic-Heat". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Honeysuckle Flowers (Jin Yin Hua) is the king ingredient for Yin Qiao San, a formula used for Toxic-Heat

Toxic-Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to pustule, other symptoms associated with Toxic-Heat include dark urine, constipation and fever.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Toxic-Heat is associated with health issues such as Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Toxic-Heat is often treated with Yin Qiao San, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Honeysuckle Flowers - Jin Yin Hua - as a key herb). Yin Qiao San belongs to the category of "external formulas for external disorders", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Disperses Wind Heat".

Read more about Toxic-Heat here

Five herbal formulas that might help with pustule

Huang Lian Jie Du Tang

Source date: 752 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Drains Fire. Resolves Toxin.

Why might Huang Lian Jie Du Tang help with pustule?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' of which pustule is a symptom.

Read more about Huang Lian Jie Du Tang here

Xin Yi Qing Fei Yin

Source date: 1617

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Spreads Lung Qi. Clears Heat. Unblocks the orifices (specifically the nose) .

Why might Xin Yi Qing Fei Yin help with pustule?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' of which pustule is a symptom.

Read more about Xin Yi Qing Fei Yin here

Yin Qiao San

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Disperses Wind Heat. Clears Heat. Resolves Toxicity.

Why might Yin Qiao San help with pustule?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' of which pustule is a symptom.

Read more about Yin Qiao San here

Sang Ju Yin

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Disperses Wind. Stops coughing by invigorating Lung Qi. Clears Heat.

Why might Sang Ju Yin help with pustule?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' of which pustule is a symptom.

Read more about Sang Ju Yin here

Bai Hu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Clears Qi-level Heat. Drains Stomach Fire. Generates fluids. Alleviates thirst.

Why might Bai Hu Tang help with pustule?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Toxic-Heat' of which pustule is a symptom.

Read more about Bai Hu Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat pustule

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with pustule?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pustule as a symptom, like Bai Hu Tang or Sang Ju Yin 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 Baikal Skullcap Root (Huang Qin) help with pustule?

Because Baikal Skullcap Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pustule as a symptom, like Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan or Huang Lian Jie Du Tang for instance.

Baikal Skullcap Roots is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Lung, the Small intestine and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and Dampness. Clears Upper Burner Heat, especially of the Lung. Clears Heat and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears pathogenic Heat which is upsetting the fetus. Cools the Liver, reducing Liver Yang rising syndrome.

Read more about Baikal Skullcap Roots here

Why might Forsythia Fruit (Lian Qiao) help with pustule?

Because Forsythia Fruit is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pustule as a symptom, like Yin Qiao San or Sang Ju Yin for instance.

Forsythia Fruits is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Heart, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and toxicity from the Blood. Dispels External Wind-Heat. Reduces lumps, swollen lymph nodes and sores of a Heated nature.

Read more about Forsythia Fruits here

Why might Platycodon Root (Jie Geng) help with pustule?

Because Platycodon Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pustule as a symptom, like Yin Qiao San or Sang Ju Yin for instance.

Platycodon Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Lung.

Its main actions are: Opens the Lungs and smoothes the flow of Lung Qi. Expels Phlegm and pus from the Lungs and throat, can be used for either Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat according to the other herbs in the formula. Directs the actions of other herbs to the Upper Warmer.

Read more about Platycodon Roots here

Why might Anemarrhena Rhizome (Zhi Mu) help with pustule?

Because Anemarrhena Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pustule as a symptom, like Bai Hu Tang or San Zhong Kui Jian Tang for instance.

Anemarrhena Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Lung and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and Fire from the Qi level. Clears Heat and Fire from the Lung and Stomach. Clears Heat and tonifies the Yin.

Read more about Anemarrhena Rhizomes here