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.
Uneven milk supply 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 uneven milk supply 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 uneven milk supply is often associated with breast lumps, breast pain and breast distention in the pattern “Liver Qi Stagnation”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause uneven milk supply.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of uneven milk supply we’ve identified three 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 uneven milk supply.
In Chinese Medicine uneven milk supply 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 Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)
Tongue color: Normal (light red)
When Liver Qi does not flow smoothly or regularly, it becomes Stagnant and in Excess. This leads to Heat accumulating in the Liver. The feeling of ‘Distension’ (zhang 胀) is the main symptom of Liver Qi Stagnation.
Liver Qi Stagnation is often treated with Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Yao San belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize liver-spleen", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen".
Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)
Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating
Tongue color: Pale
Blow Breast (Chui Ru) is often treated with Tuo Li Xiao Du San, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Milkvetch Roots - Huang Qi - as a key herb). Tuo Li Xiao Du San belongs to the category of "formulas that clear internal abscesses and sores", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Draws out toxicity".
Number of ingredients: 12 herbs
Key actions: Alleviates milk blockages and uneven supply issues*
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Source date: 1826 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Key actions: Remove breast carbuncle (mastitis) after birth giving.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Qi Stagnation' of which uneven milk supply is a symptom.
Source date: 1548 AD
Number of ingredients: 11 herbs
Key actions: Draws out toxicity. Expels pus from the interior. Tonifies Qi and Blood.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blow Breast (Chui Ru)' of which uneven milk supply is a symptom.
Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Wind. Disperses Wind and Cold from the Yang Brightness channels. Relieves Wind-Damp Cold painful obstruction. Dries Dampness and pus and reduces swelling. Opens the nasal passages.
Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation.
Its main actions are: Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Dispels Wind-Heat derived from an External pathogen. Expels Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner. Relieves Carbuncles.
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.
Because it is a key herb in Gua Lou San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with uneven milk supply as a symptom)
Its main actions are: Clears Phlegm-Heat conditions with thick difficult to expectorate sputum. Regulates the Qi of the chest and relieves constriction and swellings of the chest and Lungs. Lubricates the Intestines.