Superficial edema in the extremities

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Superficial edema in the extremities 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 superficial edema in the extremities 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 superficial edema in the extremities is often associated with generalized body pain, irritability and feeling of heaviness in the pattern “Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of superficial edema in the extremities we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Da Qing Long Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause superficial edema in the extremities

In Chinese Medicine superficial edema in the extremities is a symptom for the pattern "Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Ephedra (Ma Huang) is the king ingredient for Da Qing Long Tang, a formula used for Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs

Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick white coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

This is when Body Fluids stagnate in the four limbs instead of flowing in the body and getting released as sweat.

In addition to superficial edema in the extremities, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs include generalized body pain, irritability and feeling of heaviness.

Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs is often treated with Da Qing Long Tang, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Ephedra - Ma Huang - as a key herb). Da Qing Long Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear wind-cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Promotes sweating".

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs here

A herbal formula that might help with superficial edema in the extremities

Da Qing Long Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Promotes sweating. Releases the Exterior. Clears Interior Heat.

Why might Da Qing Long Tang help with superficial edema in the extremities?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs' of which superficial edema in the extremities is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Fluids In The Limbs include generalized body pain, irritability and feeling of heaviness.

Read more about Da Qing Long Tang here

Ephedra might help with superficial edema in the extremities

Why might Ephedra (Ma Huang) help with superficial edema in the extremities?

Because it is a key herb in Da Qing Long Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs' (a pattern with superficial edema in the extremities 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