White vaginal discharge according to Chinese Medicine

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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 cold limbs, frequent urination and feeling of cold in the pattern “Kidney Qi not Firm”. As you will see below, we have in record two 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 two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause white vaginal discharge

In Chinese Medicine white vaginal discharge 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.

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

Kidney Qi not Firm

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

Tongue color: Pale

Kidney Qi not Firm means Kidney Qi Deficiency. Two characteristics are typical in this pattern. Firstly, it is a type of Kidney Yang Deficiency with the associated Cold symptoms. Secondly, it is a type of sinking of Kidneys Qi, thus with many ‘leaking’ downwards symptoms.

In addition to white vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Kidney Qi not Firm include cold limbs, frequent urination and feeling of cold.

Kidney Qi not Firm is often treated with You Gui Wan, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Prepared Aconite - Zhi Fu Zi - as a key herb). You Gui Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that warm yang and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang".

Read more about Kidney Qi not Firm here

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

Cold-Damp invading the Spleen

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Slow (Chi)

In addition to white vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Cold-Damp invading the Spleen include loose stools, tiredness and poor appetite.

Cold-Damp invading the Spleen is often treated with Ping Wei San, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Black Atractylodes Rhizomes - Cang Zhu - as a key herb). Ping Wei San belongs to the category of "formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dries Dampness".

Read more about Cold-Damp invading the Spleen here

Five herbal formulas that might help with white vaginal discharge

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Why might You Gui Wan help with white vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which white vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Read more about You Gui Wan here

Ping Wei San

Source date: 1051 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Dries Dampness. Improves the Spleen's transportive function. Promotes the movement of Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Ping Wei San help with white vaginal discharge?

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

Read more about Ping Wei San here

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidneys. Binds up the semen.

Why might Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan help with white vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which white vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Read more about Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan here

Fu Tu Dan

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidney Qi. Strengthens the Spleen. Stops leakage.

Why might Fu Tu Dan help with white vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which white vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Read more about Fu Tu Dan here

Qing E Wan

Source date: 1107

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Warms and Reinforces Kidney Yang.

Why might Qing E Wan help with white vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Qi not Firm' of which white vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Read more about Qing E Wan here

Acupuncture points used for white vaginal discharge

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 Kidney, the Lung and the Spleen.

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 Ping Wei San or Bu Zhong Yi Qi 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 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 Ping Wei San or Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

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

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 Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with white vaginal discharge?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat white vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Liu Jun Zi Tang or Wan Dai Tang for instance.

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

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 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 Heart, the Liver and the Spleen.

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