Vomiting of watery fluids according to Chinese Medicine

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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 chest fullness, dizziness and dry tongue in the pattern “Phlegm-Fluids in the Stomach and Small intestine”. As you will see below, we have in record five patterns that can cause vomiting of watery fluids.

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

The five "patterns of disharmony" that can cause vomiting of watery fluids

In Chinese Medicine vomiting of watery fluids is a symptom for 5 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them 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 chest fullness, dizziness and dry tongue.

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

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) is the king ingredient for Er Chen Tang, a formula used for Phlegm-Fluids

Phlegm-Fluids

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

In addition to vomiting of watery fluids, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Fluids include chest fullness, shortness of breath and coughing.

Phlegm-Fluids is often treated with Er Chen Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Er Chen Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm".

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids here

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

Stomach Deficient and Cold

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

In addition to vomiting of watery fluids, other symptoms associated with Stomach Deficient and Cold include cold limbs, preference for warm drinks and foods and poor appetite.

Stomach Deficient and Cold is often treated with Xiao Jian Zhong Tang, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Maltose - Yi Tang - as a key herb). Xiao Jian Zhong Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms and tonifies the Middle Burner (Spleen and Stomach)".

Read more about Stomach Deficient and Cold here

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

Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi), Wiry (Xian)

In addition to vomiting of watery fluids, other symptoms associated with Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel include feeling of cold, testicular pain and contraction of the scrotum.

Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel is often treated with Nuan Gan Jian, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Fennel Seeds - Xiao Hui Xiang - as a key herb). Nuan Gan Jian belongs to the category of "formulas that promote qi movement", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Liver and Kidneys".

Read more about Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel here

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

Cold invading the Stomach

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi), Tight (Jin)

The Stomach is one of three Organs which can be directly invaded by Exterior Cold (along with the Large Intestine and Uterus). It is an acute condition caused by exposure to cold from improper dressing and excessive consumption of cold foods and iced drinks.

In addition to vomiting of watery fluids, other symptoms associated with Cold invading the Stomach include feeling of cold, cold limbs and preference for warm drinks and foods.

Cold invading the Stomach is often treated with Liang Fu Wan, a herbal formula made of 2 herbs (including Lesser Galangal Rhizomes - Gao Liang jiang - as a key herb). Liang Fu Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that promote qi movement", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Middle Burner".

Read more about Cold invading the Stomach here

Five herbal formulas that might help with vomiting of watery fluids

Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Warms and transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Strengthens the Spleen. Resolves Dampness.

Why might Ling Gui Zhu Gan 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 chest fullness, dizziness and dry tongue.

Read more about Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang here

Er Chen Tang

Source date: 1148 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm. Regulates Qi and harmonizes the Middle Burner (Stomach and Spleen).

Why might Er Chen Tang help with vomiting of watery fluids?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Fluids include chest fullness, shortness of breath and coughing.

Read more about Er Chen Tang here

Xiao Jian Zhong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies the Middle Burner (Spleen and Stomach). Tonifies Qi. Relieves spasmodic pain.

Why might Xiao Jian Zhong Tang help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Stomach Deficient and Cold' of which vomiting of watery fluids is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Stomach Deficient And Cold include cold limbs, preference for warm drinks and foods and poor appetite.

Read more about Xiao Jian Zhong Tang here

Nuan Gan Jian

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Liver and Kidneys. Promotes the movement of Qi. Alleviates pain.

Why might Nuan Gan Jian help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel' of which vomiting of watery fluids is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Stagnation Of Cold In The Liver Channel include feeling of cold, testicular pain and contraction of the scrotum.

Read more about Nuan Gan Jian here

Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Dampness. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Middle Burner.

Why might Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Cold invading the Stomach' of which vomiting of watery fluids is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Cold Invading The Stomach include feeling of cold, cold limbs and preference for warm drinks and foods.

Read more about Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San here

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

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 Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang or Er Chen 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

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 Jian Zhong 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 Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat vomiting of watery fluids as a symptom, like Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang or Wu Ling San for instance.

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.

Read more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms here

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with vomiting of watery fluids?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat vomiting of watery fluids as a symptom, like Er Chen Tang or Wen Dan Tang for instance.

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Drains Dampness and reduces Phlegm. Reverses the flow of Rebellious Qi. Reduces hardenings and relieves distention.

Read more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes here