The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Tongue ulcers 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 tongue ulcers 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 tongue ulcers is often associated with mouth ulcers, insomnia and dream disturbed sleep in the pattern “Heart Fire blazing”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause tongue ulcers.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of tongue ulcers we’ve identified two herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.
We’ve also selected below the three medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat tongue ulcers.
In Chinese Medicine tongue ulcers is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.
The Heart is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Heart in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong), Rapid (Shu), Full (Shi), Hasty (Cu)
Heart Fire blazing is often treated with Xie Xin Tang, a herbal formula made of 3 herbs (including Rhubarb - Da Huang - as a key herb). Xie Xin Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat and resolve toxicity", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Drains Fire".
The Small Intestine is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Small Intestine in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Overflowing (Hong), Rapid (Shu)
Full-Heat in the Small Intestine is often treated with Dao Chi San, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Akebia Stems - Mu Tong - as a key herb). Dao Chi San belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears the Heart".
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 3 herbs
Key actions: Drains Fire. Resolves Toxicity. Dries Dampness.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heart Fire blazing' of which tongue ulcers is a symptom.
Source date: 1119 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Key actions: Clears the Heart. Promotes urination.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Full-Heat in the Small Intestine' of which tongue ulcers is a symptom.
Its main actions are: Drains Excess Heat and eliminates Dampness, especially when in the Bright Yang stage according to the Six Stages Theory. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding. Invigorates Blood, breaks up Stasis and relieves pain. Clears Heat and toxins from Excess. Applied topically for Hot sores and Blood Stasis.
Its main actions are: Encourages urination and clears Heat. Clears Heat and inflammation of the Heart. Promotes lactation. Moves and smoothes the flow of Blood. Used for painful obstruction associated with either Dampness, Blood Stagnation, Wind or Heat.
Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat tongue ulcers as can be seen on Common Rush's page.
Its main actions are: Diuretic, promotes urination. Clears urinary tract infections.