Red and swollen genitals according to Chinese Medicine

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Red and swollen genitals 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 red and swollen genitals 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 red and swollen genitals is often associated with bitter taste in the mouth, menstrual cramps and irregular menstruation in the pattern “Damp-Heat in the Liver”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause red and swollen genitals.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of red and swollen genitals we’ve identified two herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the three medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat red and swollen genitals.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause red and swollen genitals

In Chinese Medicine red and swollen genitals 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 Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine

Damp-Heat in the Liver

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

This pattern is caused by excessive Heat in the Liver and Dampness due to Spleen Deficiency. Dampness can cause the formation of Phlegm.  Patients often have a feeling of fullness. It is often caused by bad diet and lifestyle, hot and damp environment and emotional stress such as anger.

In addition to red and swollen genitals, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Liver include bitter taste in the mouth, menstrual cramps and irregular menstruation.

Damp-Heat in the Liver is often treated with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Chinese Gentian - Long Dan Cao - as a key herb). Long Dan Xie Gan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder".

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Liver here

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

Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder

Pulse type(s): Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to red and swollen genitals, other symptoms associated with Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder include bitter taste in the mouth, fixed pain in the hypochondria and headaches.

Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder is often treated with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Chinese Gentian - Long Dan Cao - as a key herb). Long Dan Xie Gan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder".

Read more about Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder here

Two herbal formulas that might help with red and swollen genitals

Yin Chen Hao Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Clears heat. Resolves dampness. Reduces jaundice.

Why might Yin Chen Hao Tang help with red and swollen genitals?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Liver' of which red and swollen genitals is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Liver include bitter taste in the mouth, menstrual cramps and irregular menstruation.

Read more about Yin Chen Hao Tang here

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.

Why might Long Dan Xie Gan Tang help with red and swollen genitals?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder' of which red and swollen genitals is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heat Excess In The Liver Or Gallbladder include bitter taste in the mouth, fixed pain in the hypochondria and headaches.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

The three Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat red and swollen genitals

Why might Cape Jasmine Fruit (Zhi Zi) help with red and swollen genitals?

Because Cape Jasmine Fruit is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat red and swollen genitals as a symptom, like Yin Chen Hao Tang or Long Dan Xie Gan Tang for instance.

Cape Jasmine Fruits is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Lung and the Sanjiao.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and calms spirit. Drains Damp-Heat affecting the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears Heat in the Blood and stops bleeding. Anti-inflammatory.

Read more about Cape Jasmine Fruits here

Why might Virgate Wormwood (Yin Chen) help with red and swollen genitals?

Because it is a key herb in Yin Chen Hao Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Liver' (a pattern with red and swollen genitals as a symptom)

Virgate Wormwood is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Stomach and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Drains Damp and clears Heat, especially from the Liver and Gallbladder. Eliminates Heat and relieves the Exterior. Relieve Jaundice.

Read more about Virgate Wormwood here

Why might Chinese Gentian (Long Dan Cao) help with red and swollen genitals?

Because it is a key herb in Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Liver' (a pattern with red and swollen genitals as a symptom)

Chinese Gentian is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians. Clears Liver-Fire. Clears Liver-Wind.

Read more about Chinese Gentian here