Shiny complexion according to Chinese Medicine

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Shiny complexion 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 shiny complexion 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 shiny complexion is often associated with eye swelling, scanty clear urination and fever in the pattern “Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of shiny complexion we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Xiao Qing Long Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause shiny complexion

In Chinese Medicine shiny complexion is a symptom for the pattern "Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Floating (Fu)

In addition to shiny complexion, other symptoms associated with Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs include eye swelling, scanty clear urination and fever.

Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs is often treated with Xiao Qing Long Tang, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Ephedra - Ma Huang - as a key herb). Xiao Qing Long Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear wind-cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Releases the Exterior".

Read more about Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs here

A herbal formula that might help with shiny complexion

Xiao Qing Long Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Warms the Lungs. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Why might Xiao Qing Long Tang help with shiny complexion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs' of which shiny complexion is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Wind-Cold-Water Invading The Lungs include eye swelling, scanty clear urination and fever.

Read more about Xiao Qing Long Tang here

The two Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat shiny complexion

Why might Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi) help with shiny complexion?

Because it is a key herb in Xiao Qing Long Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs' (a pattern with shiny complexion as a symptom)

Cinnamon Twigs is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Adjusts the nutritive Ying and defensive Wei Qi. Relieves the Exterior through sweating. Warms and disperses Cold. Removes obstruction of Yang. Promotes the circulation of Yang Qi in the chest. Regulates and moves blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Twigs here

Why might Ephedra (Ma Huang) help with shiny complexion?

Because it is a key herb in Xiao Qing Long Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Wind-Cold-Water invading the Lungs' (a pattern with shiny complexion as a symptom)

Ephedra is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Bladder and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Releases the surface through sweating. Promotes the circulation of Lung Qi and stop wheezing. Promotes urination.

Read more about Ephedra here

Other symptoms often associated with shiny complexion

Eye swelling Scanty clear urination Fever Shortness of breath Aversion to cold Oedema of face