Vomiting of watery fluids according to Chinese Medicine

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, shortness of breath and coughing in the pattern “Phlegm-Fluids”. As you will see below, we have in record two 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 two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause vomiting of watery fluids

In Chinese Medicine vomiting of watery fluids 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.

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

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

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' of which vomiting of watery fluids is a symptom.

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.

Read more about Er Chen Tang here

Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Wen Dan 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.

Read more about Wen Dan Tang here

Wu Ling San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes urination,. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Promotes Qi transformation function. Drains Dampness. Clears edema.

Why might Wu Ling San 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.

Read more about Wu Ling San here

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.

Read more about Xiao Chai Hu Tang here

Acupuncture points used for vomiting of watery fluids

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 Heart, the Lung, the Spleen and the Stomach.

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 Lung, the Spleen and the Stomach.

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 Heart, the Kidney, the Lung and the Spleen.

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 Lung, the Spleen and the Stomach.

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