Uterine prolapse according to Chinese Medicine

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Uterine prolapse 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 uterine prolapse 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 uterine prolapse is often associated with frequent urination, diarrhea and poor appetite in the pattern “Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause uterine prolapse.

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

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause uterine prolapse

In Chinese Medicine uterine prolapse 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.

Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) is the king ingredient for Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a formula used for Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking

Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue color: Pale

In a Qi Collapsing (also called 'Sinking Qi') situation, a weakened Qi is unable to perform its holding function, resulting in a prolapse of the Organs. This condition mostly applies to the Qi of the Spleen.

In addition to uterine prolapse, other symptoms associated with Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking include frequent urination, diarrhea and poor appetite.

Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking is often treated with Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Milkvetch Roots - Huang Qi - as a key herb). Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner)".

Read more about Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking here

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

Kidney Qi not Firm

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Kidney Qi not Firm means Kidney Qi Deficiency. Two characteristics are typical in this pattern. Firstly, it is a type of Kidney Yang Deficiency with the associated Cold symptoms. Secondly, it is a type of sinking of Kidneys Qi, thus with many ‘leaking’ downwards symptoms.

In addition to uterine prolapse, other symptoms associated with Kidney Qi not Firm include frequent urination, vaginal discharge and back pain.

Kidney Qi not Firm is often treated with You Gui Wan, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Prepared Aconite - Zhi Fu Zi - as a key herb). You Gui Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that warm yang and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang".

Read more about Kidney Qi not Firm here

Three herbal formulas that might help with uterine prolapse

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Source date: 1247

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner). Raises the Yang. Detoxifies. Lifts what has sunken.

Why might Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang help with uterine prolapse?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking' of which uterine prolapse is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Qi Collapsing Or Qi Sinking include frequent urination, diarrhea and poor appetite.

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang here

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Why might You Gui Wan help with uterine prolapse?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which uterine prolapse is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Qi Not Firm include frequent urination, vaginal discharge and back pain.

Read more about You Gui Wan here

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidneys. Binds up the semen.

Why might Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan help with uterine prolapse?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which uterine prolapse is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Qi Not Firm include frequent urination, vaginal discharge and back pain.

Read more about Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat uterine prolapse

Why might Milkvetch Root (Huang Qi) help with uterine prolapse?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat uterine prolapse and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat uterine prolapse as a symptom (such as Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang for instance).

Milkvetch Roots is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Wei Qi and stops perspiration. Tonifies the Spleen Qi and the Yang Qi of the Earth Element. Tonifies the Qi and Blood. Expels pus and assists in the healing of wounds. Helps to regulate water metabolism in the body and reduce edema.

Read more about Milkvetch Roots here

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with uterine prolapse?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat uterine prolapse as a symptom, like Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang or You Gui Wan for instance.

Dong Quai is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Liver.

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.

Read more about Dong Quai here

Why might Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui) help with uterine prolapse?

Because it is a key herb in You Gui Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' (a pattern with uterine prolapse as a symptom)

Cinnamon Bark is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and Kidneys and tonifies the Yang. Expels Cold, Warms the meridians, promotes circulation of Qi and Blood and relieves pain. Used with tonics to assist in the generation of Qi and Blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Bark here

Why might Milkvetch Seeds (Sha Yuan Zi) help with uterine prolapse?

Because it is a key herb in Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' (a pattern with uterine prolapse as a symptom)

Milkvetch Seeds is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies Kidney Yang. Consolidates Essence and semen. Strengthens vision.

Read more about Milkvetch Seeds here

Why might Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) help with uterine prolapse?

Because it is a key herb in You Gui Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' (a pattern with uterine prolapse as a symptom)

Prepared Aconite is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Raises the collapse of Yang. Warms the meridians and relieves pain caused by Cold. Reduces Damp caused by Deficiency in Yang.

Read more about Prepared Aconite here