Spitting up bitter or sour fluids

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Spitting up bitter or sour fluids

Spitting up bitter or sour fluids 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 spitting up bitter or sour fluids 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 spitting up bitter or sour fluids is often associated with mild chills alternating with pronounced fever, bitter taste in the mouth and stifling sensation in the chest in the pattern “Heat in Gall Bladder”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of spitting up bitter or sour fluids we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Heat in Gall Bladder, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause spitting up bitter or sour fluids

In Chinese Medicine spitting up bitter or sour fluids is a symptom for the pattern "Heat in Gall Bladder". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Heat in Gall Bladder

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

Tongue coating: Thick coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to spitting up bitter or sour fluids, other symptoms associated with Heat in Gall Bladder include mild chills alternating with pronounced fever, bitter taste in the mouth and stifling sensation in the chest.

Heat in Gall Bladder is often treated with Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Sweet Wormwood Herbs - Qing Hao - as a key herb). Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize lesser yang-warp disorders", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and relieves acute conditions of the Gallbladder".

Read more about Heat in Gall Bladder here

A herbal formula that might help with spitting up bitter or sour fluids

Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang

Source date: Qing Dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and relieves acute conditions of the Gallbladder. Relieves acute Damp-Heat syndromes. Resolves Phlegm. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang help with spitting up bitter or sour fluids?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heat in Gall Bladder' of which spitting up bitter or sour fluids is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heat In Gall Bladder include mild chills alternating with pronounced fever, bitter taste in the mouth and stifling sensation in the chest.

Read more about Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang here

The two Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat spitting up bitter or sour fluids

Why might Sweet Wormwood Herb (Qing Hao) help with spitting up bitter or sour fluids?

Because it is a key herb in Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heat in Gall Bladder' (a pattern with spitting up bitter or sour fluids as a symptom)

Sweet Wormwood Herbs is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Treats malaria. Treats summer Heat and clears symptoms of deficient Heat. Clears Blood Heat and stops bleeding.

Read more about Sweet Wormwood Herbs here

Why might Baikal Skullcap Root (Huang Qin) help with spitting up bitter or sour fluids?

Because it is a key herb in Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heat in Gall Bladder' (a pattern with spitting up bitter or sour fluids as a symptom)

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

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