Sticky vaginal discharge according to Chinese Medicine

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Sticky vaginal discharge 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 sticky vaginal discharge 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 sticky vaginal discharge is often associated with dizziness, smelly vaginal discharge and loose stools in the pattern “Damp-Heat”. As you will see below, we have in record four patterns that can cause sticky vaginal discharge.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of sticky vaginal discharge we’ve identified four 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 sticky vaginal discharge.

The four "patterns of disharmony" that can cause sticky vaginal discharge

In Chinese Medicine sticky vaginal discharge is a symptom for 4 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Korean Mint (Huo Xiang) is the king ingredient for Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a formula used for Damp-Heat

Damp-Heat

Pulse type(s): Soggy (Ru)

In addition to sticky vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat include dizziness, smelly vaginal discharge and loose stools.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Damp-Heat is associated with health issues such as Menstrual Cramps, Intermenstrual Bleeding or Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Damp-Heat is often treated with Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Korean Mint - Huo Xiang - as a key herb). Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San belongs to the category of "formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Releases the Exterior".

Read more about Damp-Heat here

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

Liver Qi Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Normal (light red)

When Liver Qi does not flow smoothly or regularly, it becomes Stagnant and in Excess. This leads to Heat accumulating in the Liver. The feeling of ‘Distension’ (zhang 胀) is the main symptom of Liver Qi Stagnation.

In addition to sticky vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Liver Qi Stagnation include yellow vaginal discharge, depression and poor appetite.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Liver Qi Stagnation is associated with health issues such as Low Breast Milk Supply, Mastitis or Breast Engorgement.

Liver Qi Stagnation is often treated with Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Yao San belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize liver-spleen", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen".

Read more about Liver Qi Stagnation here

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

Spleen Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to sticky vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Spleen Deficiency include tiredness, loose stools and white vaginal discharge.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Spleen Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Spleen Deficiency is often treated with Wan Dai Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Atractylodes Rhizomes - Bai Zhu - as a key herb). Wan Dai Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies the Middle Burner".

Read more about Spleen Deficiency here

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

Spleen Deficiency with Dampness

In addition to sticky vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Spleen Deficiency with Dampness include smelly vaginal discharge, tiredness and loose stools.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Spleen Deficiency with Dampness is associated with health issues such as Vaginal Itching.

Spleen Deficiency with Dampness is often treated with Wu Ling San, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Water Plantain - Ze Xie - as a key herb). Wu Ling San belongs to the category of "formulas that promote urination and leach out dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Promotes urination,".

Read more about Spleen Deficiency with Dampness here

Four herbal formulas that might help with sticky vaginal discharge

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 sticky vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat' of which sticky vaginal discharge is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Damp-Heat can contribute to many health issues, including Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

Xiao Yao San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen. Relieves Liver Qi stagnation. Nourishes the Blood.

Why might Xiao Yao San help with sticky vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Qi Stagnation' of which sticky vaginal discharge is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Liver Qi Stagnation can contribute to many health issues, including Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Read more about Xiao Yao San here

Wan Dai Tang

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies the Middle Burner. Removes Dampness. Stops vaginal discharge. Strengthens the Spleen.

Why might Wan Dai Tang help with sticky vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Spleen Deficiency' of which sticky vaginal discharge is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Spleen Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Read more about Wan Dai Tang here

Liu Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1107

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach. Clears Phlegm and mucus. Promotes appetite.

Why might Liu Jun Zi Tang help with sticky vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Spleen Deficiency with Dampness' of which sticky vaginal discharge is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Spleen Deficiency with Dampness can contribute to many health issues, including Vaginal Itching.

Read more about Liu Jun Zi Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat sticky vaginal discharge

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with sticky vaginal discharge?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sticky vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Xiao Yao San for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs.

Read more about Liquorice here

Why might Atractylodes Rhizome (Bai Zhu) help with sticky vaginal discharge?

Because Atractylodes Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sticky vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Wan Dai Tang for instance.

Atractylodes Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Fortifies the Spleen Yang and dispels Damp through urination. Tonifies Qi and stops sweating. Calms restless fetus when due to Deficiency of Spleen Qi.

Read more about Atractylodes Rhizomes here

Why might Bupleurum Root (Chai Hu) help with sticky vaginal discharge?

Because Bupleurum Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sticky vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Xiao Yao San for instance.

Bupleurum Roots is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Harmonizes exterior and interior. Smoothes the Liver and upraises the Yang.

Read more about Bupleurum Roots here

Why might Plantain Seed (Che Qian Zi) help with sticky vaginal discharge?

Because Plantain Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sticky vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Yi Huang Tang for instance.

Plantain Seeds is a Cool herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and clears Heat. Stops diarrhea by expelling water through urination. Brightens the eyes, used in combination either for Deficiency or Heat. Reduces inflammation of infections. Arrests cough and expectorates Phlegm.

Read more about Plantain Seeds here

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with sticky vaginal discharge?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sticky vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Wan Dai Tang or Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

Ginseng is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit).

Read more about Ginseng here

Conditions associated with sticky vaginal discharge

Abnormal vaginal discharge Vaginal itching