Vomiting of watery fluids according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Vomiting of watery fluids

Vomiting of watery fluids 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 vomiting of watery fluids 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 vomiting of watery fluids is often associated with splashing sound in the stomach, feeling of fullness in the chest and loose stools in the pattern “Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of vomiting of watery fluids we’ve identified two 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 vomiting of watery fluids.

Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause vomiting of watery fluids

In Chinese Medicine vomiting of watery fluids is a symptom for the pattern "Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

When the transportative and transformative functions of the Middle-Burner are damaged (often by Cold), Phlegm-Fluids accumulate in the Stomach and epigastric area. This leads to the symptoms such as the vomiting of watery fluids or splashing sounds in the stomach.

In addition to vomiting of watery fluids, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine include splashing sound in the stomach, feeling of fullness in the chest and loose stools.

Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine is often treated with Xiao Chai Hu Tang, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Chai Hu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize lesser yang-warp disorders", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Treats the Lesser Yang Channels (Gallbladder and Triple Warmer)".

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine here

Two herbal formulas that might help with vomiting of watery fluids

Xiao Chai Hu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Treats the Lesser Yang Channels (Gallbladder and Triple Warmer). Regulates the Liver and Spleen functions. Addresses combined Yin-Yang symptoms of External and Internal, Excess and Deficiency, and Hot and Cold.

Why might Xiao Chai Hu Tang help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine' of which vomiting of watery fluids is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Fluids In The Stomach And Small Intestine include splashing sound in the stomach, feeling of fullness in the chest and loose stools.

Read more about Xiao Chai Hu Tang here

Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Reverses the flow of Rebellious Stomach Qi. Relieves both Heat and Cold Stagnation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Why might Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine' of which vomiting of watery fluids is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Fluids In The Stomach And Small Intestine include splashing sound in the stomach, feeling of fullness in the chest and loose stools.

Read more about Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat vomiting of watery fluids

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat vomiting of watery fluids as a symptom, like Xiao Chai Hu Tang or Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang for instance.

Ginseng is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit).

Read more about Ginseng here

Why might Baikal Skullcap Root (Huang Qin) help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because Baikal Skullcap Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat vomiting of watery fluids as a symptom, like Xiao Chai Hu Tang or Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang for instance.

Baikal Skullcap Roots is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and Dampness. Clears Upper Burner Heat, especially of the Lung. Clears Heat and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears pathogenic Heat which is upsetting the fetus. Cools the Liver, reducing Liver Yang rising syndrome.

Read more about Baikal Skullcap Roots here

Why might Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang) help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because Fresh Ginger is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat vomiting of watery fluids as a symptom, like Xiao Chai Hu Tang or Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang for instance.

Fresh Ginger is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Warms and circulates Qi in the Middle Burner. Calms a restless fetus and treats morning sickness. Treats seafood poisoning.

Read more about Fresh Ginger here

Why might Jujube Date (Da Zao) help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because Jujube Date is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat vomiting of watery fluids as a symptom, like Xiao Chai Hu Tang or Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang for instance.

Jujube Dates is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach Qi. Tonifies the Blood. Calms the Shen (spirit). Moderates the actions of other herbs in formula.

Read more about Jujube Dates here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat vomiting of watery fluids as a symptom, like Xiao Chai Hu Tang or Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

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.

Read more about Liquorice here

Other symptoms often associated with vomiting of watery fluids

Splashing sound in the stomach Feeling of fullness in the chest Loose stools Weight loss