Sudden blackouts according to Chinese Medicine

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Sudden blackouts 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 sudden blackouts 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 sudden blackouts is often associated with muttering to oneself, dull eyes and paralysis in the pattern “Phlegm Misting the Heart”.

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

Phlegm Misting the Heart, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause sudden blackouts

In Chinese Medicine sudden blackouts is a symptom for the pattern "Phlegm Misting the Heart". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Phlegm Misting the Heart

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

This is a condition where Phlegm enters the Heart and disturbs the Mind (Shen).

In addition to sudden blackouts, other symptoms associated with Phlegm Misting the Heart include muttering to oneself, dull eyes and paralysis.

Phlegm Misting the Heart is often treated with Wen Dan Tang, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Wen Dan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Hot-Phlegm".

Read more about Phlegm Misting the Heart here

Two herbal formulas that might help with sudden blackouts

Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Hot-Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder heat. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Wen Dan Tang help with sudden blackouts?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm Misting the Heart' of which sudden blackouts is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm Misting The Heart include muttering to oneself, dull eyes and paralysis.

Read more about Wen Dan Tang here

Di Tan Tang

Source date: 1470 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Removes Phlegm. Opens the sensory orifices. Tonifies Qi.

Why might Di Tan Tang help with sudden blackouts?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm Misting the Heart' of which sudden blackouts is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm Misting The Heart include muttering to oneself, dull eyes and paralysis.

Read more about Di Tan Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat sudden blackouts

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with sudden blackouts?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sudden blackouts as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Di Tan Tang for instance.

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.

Read more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms here

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with sudden blackouts?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sudden blackouts as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Di Tan 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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with sudden blackouts?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sudden blackouts as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Di Tan Tang 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 Bamboo Shaving (Zhu Ru) help with sudden blackouts?

Because Bamboo Shaving is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat sudden blackouts as a symptom, like Wen Dan Tang or Di Tan Tang for instance.

Bamboo Shavings is a Cool herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Gallbladder, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs. Clears Heat in the Stomach and stops vomiting. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding.

Read more about Bamboo Shavings here

Why might Red Tangerine Peel (Ju Hong) help with sudden blackouts?

Because it is a key herb in Di Tan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm Misting the Heart' (a pattern with sudden blackouts as a symptom)

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

Its main actions are: Dissipates Cold, dries Dampness, eliminates Phlegm and promotes the flow of Qi

Read more about Red Tangerine Peel here