White vaginal discharge according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > White vaginal discharge

White vaginal discharge 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 white vaginal discharge 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 white vaginal discharge is often associated with dizziness, tiredness and cold limbs in the pattern “Kidney Yang Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record five patterns that can cause white vaginal discharge.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of white vaginal discharge 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 white vaginal discharge.

The five "patterns of disharmony" that can cause white vaginal discharge

In Chinese Medicine white vaginal discharge 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 Kidneys is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine

Kidney Yang Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Kidney Yang Deficiency causes Internal Cold and weakness.

In addition to white vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency include dizziness, tiredness and cold limbs.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Kidney Yang Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Late Menstruation, Menopausal Syndrome or Irregular Menstruation.

Kidney Yang Deficiency is often treated with Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Ba Wei Di Huang Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Yang".

Read more about Kidney Yang Deficiency here

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 white vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat include sticky vaginal discharge, dizziness and smelly vaginal discharge.

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 white vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Spleen Deficiency include sticky vaginal discharge, tiredness and cold limbs.

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

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

Spleen Deficiency with Dampness

In addition to white vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Spleen Deficiency with Dampness include sticky vaginal discharge, smelly vaginal discharge and tiredness.

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

Spleen Deficiency with Dampness is often treated with Wu Ling San, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Water Plantain - Ze Xie - as a key herb). Wu Ling San belongs to the category of "formulas that promote urination and leach out dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Promotes urination,".

Read more about Spleen Deficiency with Dampness here

Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) is the king ingredient for Wen Jing Tang, a formula used for Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus

Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus

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

Tongue color: Bluish-Purple

In addition to white vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus include cold limbs, late period and feeling of cold.

Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus is often treated with Wen Jing Tang, a herbal formula made of 12 herbs (including Cinnamon Twigs - Gui Zhi - as a key herb). Wen Jing Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Uterus and vessels".

Read more about Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus here

Five herbal formulas that might help with white vaginal discharge

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 white vaginal discharge?

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

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

Read more about Yi Huang Tang here

Wan Dai Tang

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies the Middle Burner. Removes Dampness. Stops vaginal discharge. Strengthens the Spleen.

Why might Wan Dai Tang help with white vaginal discharge?

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

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

Read more about Wan Dai Tang here

Liu Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1107

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach. Clears Phlegm and mucus. Promotes appetite.

Why might Liu Jun Zi Tang help with white vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Spleen Deficiency with Dampness' of which white vaginal discharge is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Spleen Deficiency with Dampness can contribute to many health issues, including Vaginal Itching.

Read more about Liu Jun Zi Tang here

Wen Jing Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Uterus and vessels. Nourishes Blood. Dispels Cold. Dispels Blood Stagnation.

Why might Wen Jing Tang help with white vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus' of which white vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Dampness And Phlegm In The Uterus include cold limbs, late period and feeling of cold.

Read more about Wen Jing Tang here

Ba Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yang. Warms the Kidneys and lower extremities.

Why might Ba Wei Di Huang Wan help with white vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' of which white vaginal discharge is a symptom.

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

Read more about Ba Wei Di Huang Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat white vaginal discharge

Why might Yam (Shan Yao) help with white vaginal discharge?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat white vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Yi Huang Tang or Wan Dai Tang for instance.

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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with white vaginal discharge?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat white vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang or Liu Jun Zi 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 Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi) help with white vaginal discharge?

Because Tangerine Peel is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat white vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Liu Jun Zi Tang or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang for instance.

Tangerine Peel is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs.

Read more about Tangerine Peel here

Why might Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi) help with white vaginal discharge?

Because Cinnamon Twig is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat white vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Wen Jing Tang or Ba Wei Di Huang Wan for instance.

Cinnamon Twigs is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Adjusts the nutritive Ying and defensive Wei Qi. Relieves the Exterior through sweating. Warms and disperses Cold. Removes obstruction of Yang. Promotes the circulation of Yang Qi in the chest. Regulates and moves blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Twigs here

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with white vaginal discharge?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat white vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Wen Jing Tang or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang 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

Conditions associated with white vaginal discharge

Abnormal vaginal discharge Vaginal itching