The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Scanty sputum 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 scanty sputum 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 scanty sputum is often associated with dry throat, dry nose and fever in the pattern “Dry-Cold”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause scanty sputum.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of scanty sputum 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 scanty sputum.
In Chinese Medicine scanty sputum 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.
Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Floating (Fu)
Dry-Cold is often treated with Xing Su San, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Apricot Seeds - Xing Ren - as a key herb). Xing Su San belongs to the category of "formulas that disperse dryness and moisten", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Dry-Cold".
The Lungs is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Lungs in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Fine (Xi)
Dry-Phlegm in the Lungs is often treated with Bei Mu Gua Lou San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Fritillary Bulbs - Chuan Bei Mu - as a key herb). Bei Mu Gua Lou San belongs to the category of "formulas that dispel phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Moistens the Lungs".
Source date: 1798 AD
Number of ingredients: 11 herbs
Key actions: Clears Dry-Cold. Disseminates the Lung Qi and relieves cough. Transforms thin mucus.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Dry-Cold' of which scanty sputum is a symptom.
Source date: 1732 AD
Number of ingredients: 6 herbs
Key actions: Moistens the Lungs. Clears Heat. Regulates Qi. Resolve Phlegm.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Dry-Phlegm in the Lungs' of which scanty sputum is a symptom.
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.
Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.
Its main actions are: Clears Hot Phlegm and stops cough. Clears Lung Heat caused by Yin Deficiency. Clears Heat and reduces hard lumps and swellings.
Its main actions are: Stops cough and wheezing caused by either Heat or Cold. Lubricates the Intestines and relieves constipation.
Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Promotes the circulation of Spleen and Stomach Qi. Calms a restless fetus. Detoxifies seafood poisoning