Strangury according to Chinese Medicine

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Strangury 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 strangury 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 strangury is often associated with fever and painful urinary dribbling in the pattern “Damp-Heat in the Bladder”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of strangury 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 strangury.

Damp-Heat in the Bladder, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause strangury

In Chinese Medicine strangury is a symptom for the pattern "Damp-Heat in the 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

Damp-Heat in the Bladder

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

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

In addition to strangury, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Bladder include fever and painful urinary dribbling.

Damp-Heat in the Bladder is often treated with Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula made of 9 herbs (including Chinese Pink Herbs - Qu Mai - as a key herb). Ba Zheng San belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat and expel dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire".

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Bladder here

Two herbal formulas that might help with strangury

Liu Yi San

Source date: 1172 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Clears Summer-Heat. Drains Dampness. Supplements Qi.

Why might Liu Yi San help with strangury?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' of which strangury is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Bladder include fever and painful urinary dribbling.

Read more about Liu Yi San here

Ba Zheng San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire. Promotes urination. Unblocks painful urinary dribbling.

Why might Ba Zheng San help with strangury?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' of which strangury is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Bladder include fever and painful urinary dribbling.

Read more about Ba Zheng San here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat strangury

Why might Talc (Hua Shi) help with strangury?

Because Talc is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat strangury as a symptom, like Liu Yi San or Ba Zheng San for instance.

Talc is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Bladder and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination. Expels Damp-Heat from the Urinary Bladder. Dispels Summer Heat. Dries Dampness when applied topically.

Read more about Talc here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with strangury?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat strangury as a symptom, like Liu Yi San or Ba Zheng 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 Fish-Poison Yam (Bi Xie) help with strangury?

Because it is a key herb in Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' (a pattern with strangury as a symptom)

Fish-Poison Yam is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Bladder, the Stomach and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and eliminates cloudy urine. Eliminates Wind-Damp. Relieves Damp-Heat from the skin.

Read more about Fish-Poison Yam here

Why might Chinese Pink Herb (Qu Mai) help with strangury?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' (a pattern with strangury as a symptom)

Chinese Pink Herbs is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Bladder, the Heart and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and expels Damp-Heat. Dissolves Blood Stasis and assists blocked menstruation.

Read more about Chinese Pink Herbs here

Why might Knotgrass (Bian Xu) help with strangury?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' (a pattern with strangury as a symptom)

Knotgrass is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Bladder.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat and encourages urination. Drains Dampness and stops itching. Kills parasites.

Read more about Knotgrass here