Vaginal itching according to Chinese Medicine

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Vaginal itching 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 vaginal itching 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 vaginal itching is often associated with sticky vaginal discharge, dizziness and poor appetite in the pattern “Damp-Heat”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause vaginal itching.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of vaginal itching we’ve identified two herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the four medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat vaginal itching.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause vaginal itching

In Chinese Medicine vaginal itching 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.

Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo) is the king ingredient for Er Miao San, a formula used for Damp-Heat

Damp-Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to vaginal itching, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat include sticky vaginal discharge, dizziness and poor appetite.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Damp-Heat is associated with health issues such as Menstrual Cramps, Intermenstrual Bleeding or Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Damp-Heat is often treated with Er Miao San, a herbal formula made of 2 herbs (including Phellodendron Bark - Huang Bo - as a key herb). Er Miao San belongs to the category of "formulas that expel dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Expels Dampness from the Lower Burner".

Read more about Damp-Heat here

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

Spleen Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to vaginal itching, other symptoms associated with Spleen Deficiency include sticky vaginal discharge, poor appetite and tiredness.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Spleen Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Spleen Deficiency is often treated with Wan Dai Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Atractylodes Rhizomes - Bai Zhu - as a key herb). Wan Dai Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies the Middle Burner".

Read more about Spleen Deficiency here

Two herbal formulas that might help with vaginal itching

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.

Why might Long Dan Xie Gan Tang help with vaginal itching?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat' of which vaginal itching is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Damp-Heat can contribute to many health issues, including Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

Yi Huang Tang

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Strengthens the Spleen. Dries Dampness. Clears Heat. Stops vaginal discharge.

Why might Yi Huang Tang help with vaginal itching?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Spleen Deficiency' of which vaginal itching is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Spleen Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Read more about Yi Huang Tang here

The four Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat vaginal itching

Why might Chinese Gentian (Long Dan Cao) help with vaginal itching?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat vaginal itching and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat vaginal itching as a symptom (such as Long Dan Xie Gan Tang for instance).

Chinese Gentian is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians. Clears Liver-Fire. Clears Liver-Wind.

Read more about Chinese Gentian here

Why might Plantain Seed (Che Qian Zi) help with vaginal itching?

Because Plantain Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat vaginal itching as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Yi Huang Tang for instance.

Plantain Seeds is a Cool herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and clears Heat. Stops diarrhea by expelling water through urination. Brightens the eyes, used in combination either for Deficiency or Heat. Reduces inflammation of infections. Arrests cough and expectorates Phlegm.

Read more about Plantain Seeds here

Why might Yam (Shan Yao) help with vaginal itching?

Because it is a key herb in Yi Huang Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with vaginal itching as a symptom)

Yam is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach. Tonifies the Lung Qi and nourishes the Lung Yin. Nourishes the Kidneys and consolidates Jing.

Read more about Yam here

Why might Foxnut Seed (Qian Shi) help with vaginal itching?

Because it is a key herb in Yi Huang Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with vaginal itching as a symptom)

Foxnut Seeds is a Neutral herb that tastes Sour and Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen and stops diarrhea. Strengthens the Kidneys and restrains Essence. Dispels Dampness and relieves leukorrhea.

Read more about Foxnut Seeds here