Sputum in the lungs and throat

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Sputum in the lungs and throat 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 sputum in the lungs and throat 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 sputum in the lungs and throat is often associated with asthma in the pattern “Phlegm in the Lungs”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of sputum in the lungs and throat 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 sputum in the lungs and throat.

Phlegm in the Lungs, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause sputum in the lungs and throat

In Chinese Medicine sputum in the lungs and throat is a symptom for the pattern "Phlegm in 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

Phlegm in the Lungs

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

Phlegm in the Lungs (a synonym for "Substantial Phlegm") is the sputum that collects in the Lungs and is spat out during bronchitis or other Lung diseases.

In addition to sputum in the lungs and throat, other symptoms associated with Phlegm in the Lungs include asthma.

Phlegm in the Lungs is often treated with Ding Chuan Tang, a herbal formula made of 9 herbs (including Ginkgo Nuts - Bai Guo - as a key herb). Ding Chuan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas for a rebellious qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Lung Heat".

Read more about Phlegm in the Lungs here

Two herbal formulas that might help with sputum in the lungs and throat

Xiao Xian Xiong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Transforms Phlegm. Expands the chest. Dissipates clumps.

Why might Xiao Xian Xiong Tang help with sputum in the lungs and throat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm in the Lungs' of which sputum in the lungs and throat is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm In The Lungs include asthma.

Read more about Xiao Xian Xiong Tang here

Ding Chuan Tang

Source date: 1550 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears Lung Heat. Expectorant for asthma.

Why might Ding Chuan Tang help with sputum in the lungs and throat?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm in the Lungs' of which sputum in the lungs and throat is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm In The Lungs include asthma.

Read more about Ding Chuan Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat sputum in the lungs and throat

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with sputum in the lungs and throat?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sputum in the lungs and throat as a symptom, like Xiao Xian Xiong Tang or Ding Chuan Tang for instance.

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Drains Dampness and reduces Phlegm. Reverses the flow of Rebellious Qi. Reduces hardenings and relieves distention.

Read more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes here

Why might Ginkgo Nut (Bai Guo) help with sputum in the lungs and throat?

Because it is a key herb in Ding Chuan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm in the Lungs' (a pattern with sputum in the lungs and throat as a symptom)

Ginkgo Nuts is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Lung.

Its main actions are: Assists the Lung Qi, stops cough and expels Phlegm. Stops leakage of Bodily Fluids.

Read more about Ginkgo Nuts here

Why might Snake Gourd (Gua Lou) help with sputum in the lungs and throat?

Because it is a key herb in Xiao Xian Xiong Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm in the Lungs' (a pattern with sputum in the lungs and throat as a symptom)

Snake Gourds is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Stomach, the Large intestine and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Phlegm-Heat conditions with thick difficult to expectorate sputum. Regulates the Qi of the chest and relieves constriction and swellings of the chest and Lungs. Lubricates the Intestines.

Read more about Snake Gourds here

Why might Common Reed Rhizome (Lu Gen) help with sputum in the lungs and throat?

Because it is a key herb in Wei Jing Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm in the Lungs' (a pattern with sputum in the lungs and throat as a symptom)

Common Reed Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and promotes the generation of Fluids. Dispels Lung Heat. Dispels Stomach Heat. Promotes urination and clears Heat in the urinary tract. Calm the minds and stop vomiting.

Read more about Common Reed Rhizomes here

Why might Ephedra (Ma Huang) help with sputum in the lungs and throat?

Because it is a key herb in Ding Chuan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm in the Lungs' (a pattern with sputum in the lungs and throat 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 sputum in the lungs and throat

Asthma