Recurrent miscarriage according to Chinese Medicine

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Recurrent miscarriage 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 recurrent miscarriage 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 recurrent miscarriage is often associated with feeling of cold, cold limbs and white vaginal discharge in the pattern “Kidney Qi not Firm”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause recurrent miscarriage.

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

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause recurrent miscarriage

In Chinese Medicine recurrent miscarriage 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.

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

Kidney Qi not Firm

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Kidney Qi not Firm means Kidney Qi Deficiency. Two characteristics are typical in this pattern. Firstly, it is a type of Kidney Yang Deficiency with the associated Cold symptoms. Secondly, it is a type of sinking of Kidneys Qi, thus with many ‘leaking’ downwards symptoms.

In addition to recurrent miscarriage, other symptoms associated with Kidney Qi not Firm include feeling of cold, cold limbs and white vaginal discharge.

Kidney Qi not Firm is often treated with You Gui Wan, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Prepared Aconite - Zhi Fu Zi - as a key herb). You Gui Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that warm yang and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang".

Read more about Kidney Qi not Firm here

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

Lung Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue color: Pale

The Lungs govern Qi and respiration. In case of Lung Qi Deficiency, Qi's protecting, dispersing and descending function can not be performed properly.

In addition to recurrent miscarriage, other symptoms associated with Lung Qi Deficiency include shortness of breath, weak voice and aversion to speak.

Lung Qi Deficiency is often treated with Si Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Si Jun Zi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Qi".

Read more about Lung Qi Deficiency here

Five herbal formulas that might help with recurrent miscarriage

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Why might You Gui Wan help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which recurrent miscarriage is a symptom.

Read more about You Gui Wan here

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidneys. Binds up the semen.

Why might Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which recurrent miscarriage is a symptom.

Read more about Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan here

Fu Tu Dan

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidney Qi. Strengthens the Spleen. Stops leakage.

Why might Fu Tu Dan help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which recurrent miscarriage is a symptom.

Read more about Fu Tu Dan here

Qing E Wan

Source date: 1107

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Warms and Reinforces Kidney Yang.

Why might Qing E Wan help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which recurrent miscarriage is a symptom.

Read more about Qing E Wan here

Si Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach.

Why might Si Jun Zi Tang help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Lung Qi Deficiency' of which habitual miscarriage is a symptom.

Read more about Si Jun Zi Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat recurrent miscarriage

Why might Eucommia Bark (Du Zhong) help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because Eucommia Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat recurrent miscarriage as a symptom, like Qing E Wan or You Gui Wan for instance.

Eucommia Bark is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Liver and Kidneys. Calms ascendant Liver Yang (hypertension/high blood pressure). Calms a restless fetus.

Read more about Eucommia Bark here

Why might Yam (Shan Yao) help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat recurrent miscarriage as a symptom, like Fu Tu Dan or You Gui Wan for instance.

Yam is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Lung and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach. Tonifies the Lung Qi and nourishes the Lung Yin. Nourishes the Kidneys and consolidates Jing.

Read more about Yam here

Why might Lotus Seed (Lian Zi) help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because Lotus Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat recurrent miscarriage as a symptom, like Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan or Fu Tu Dan for instance.

Lotus Seeds is a Neutral herb that tastes Sour and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen, stops diarrhea. Strengthens the Kidneys, reinforces Essence. Nourishes the Blood and calms the mind.

Read more about Lotus Seeds here

Why might Cuscuta Seed (Tu Si Zi) help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because Cuscuta Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat recurrent miscarriage as a symptom, like Fu Tu Dan 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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with recurrent miscarriage?

Because it is a key herb in Si Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Lung Qi Deficiency' (a pattern with recurrent miscarriage as a symptom)

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