Stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium

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Stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium 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 stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium 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 stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium is often associated with fever, feeling of heaviness and aversion to cold in the pattern “Damp-Heat”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium 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 stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium

In Chinese Medicine stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium is a symptom for 3 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 stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat include fever, feeling of heaviness and aversion to cold.

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

Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)

In addition to stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine include fever, feeling of heaviness and abdominal pain.

Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine is often treated with Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Kudzu Roots - Ge Gen - as a key herb). Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang belongs to the category of "external formulas for external disorders", 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 in the Large Intestine here

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

Phlegm-Dampness in the Middle-Burner

In addition to stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Dampness in the Middle-Burner include nausea, vomiting and focal distention.

Phlegm-Dampness in the Middle-Burner is often treated with Liu Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Liu Jun Zi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Qi".

Read more about Phlegm-Dampness in the Middle-Burner here

Four herbal formulas that might help with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium

Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Dampness. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Middle Burner.

Why might Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San help with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat' of which stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat include fever, feeling of heaviness and aversion to cold.

Read more about Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San here

Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Drains Heat.

Why might Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang help with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine' of which stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Large Intestine include fever, feeling of heaviness and abdominal pain.

Read more about Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian 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 stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Dampness in the Middle-Burner' of which stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Dampness In The Middle-Burner include nausea, vomiting and focal distention.

Read more about Liu Jun Zi Tang here

Lian Po Yin

Source date: 1862 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Transforms Dampness. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Middle Burner.

Why might Lian Po Yin help with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat' of which stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat include fever, feeling of heaviness and aversion to cold.

Read more about Lian Po Yin here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium as a symptom, like Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San or Lian Po Yin 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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium as a symptom, like Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang or Huo Xiang Zheng Qi 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 Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi) help with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium?

Because Tangerine Peel is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium as a symptom, like Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San or Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

Tangerine Peel is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs.

Read more about Tangerine Peel here

Why might Cape Jasmine Fruit (Zhi Zi) help with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium?

Because Cape Jasmine Fruit is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium as a symptom, like Lian Po Yin or Yin Chen Hao Tang for instance.

Cape Jasmine Fruits is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Lung and the Sanjiao.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and calms spirit. Drains Damp-Heat affecting the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears Heat in the Blood and stops bleeding. Anti-inflammatory.

Read more about Cape Jasmine Fruits here

Why might Goldthread Rhizome (Huang Lian) help with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium?

Because Goldthread Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium as a symptom, like Lian Po Yin or Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang for instance.

Goldthread Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart, the Large intestine and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Lower Burner. Eliminates Fire toxicity especially when there is associated Dampness. Acts as a sedative by eliminating Heart Fire. Eliminates Stomach Fire. Expel parasites

Read more about Goldthread Rhizomes here

Other symptoms often associated with stifling sensation in the chest and epigastrium

Fever Feeling of heaviness Aversion to cold Headaches Nausea Vomiting Focal distention Poor appetite Loose stools Bitter taste in the mouth