Yellow vaginal discharge according to Chinese Medicine

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Yellow 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 yellow 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 yellow vaginal discharge is often associated with sticky vaginal discharge, dizziness and smelly vaginal discharge in the pattern “Damp-Heat”. As you will see below, we have in record five patterns that can cause yellow vaginal discharge.

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

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

In Chinese Medicine yellow 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.

Korean Mint (Huo Xiang) is the king ingredient for Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a formula used for Damp-Heat

Damp-Heat

Pulse type(s): Soggy (Ru)

In addition to yellow 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 Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Korean Mint - Huo Xiang - as a key herb). Huo Xiang Zheng Qi 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: "Releases the Exterior".

Read more about Damp-Heat here

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

Liver Qi Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Normal (light red)

When Liver Qi does not flow smoothly or regularly, it becomes Stagnant and in Excess. This leads to Heat accumulating in the Liver. The feeling of ‘Distension’ (zhang 胀) is the main symptom of Liver Qi Stagnation.

In addition to yellow vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Liver Qi Stagnation include sticky vaginal discharge, poor appetite and irritability.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Liver Qi Stagnation is associated with health issues such as Low Breast Milk Supply, Mastitis or Breast Engorgement.

Liver Qi Stagnation is often treated with Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Yao San belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize liver-spleen", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen".

Read more about Liver Qi Stagnation here

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

Damp-Heat in the Liver

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

This pattern is caused by excessive Heat in the Liver and Dampness due to Spleen Deficiency. Dampness can cause the formation of Phlegm.  Patients often have a feeling of fullness. It is often caused by bad diet and lifestyle, hot and damp environment and emotional stress such as anger.

In addition to yellow vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Liver include dark urine, poor appetite and vaginal itching.

Damp-Heat in the Liver is often treated with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Chinese Gentian - Long Dan Cao - as a key herb). Long Dan Xie Gan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder".

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Liver here

Rhubarb (Da Huang) is the king ingredient for Da Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for Yang Excess or Full Yang

Yang Excess or Full Yang

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

Yang is associated with Heat, activity and Dryness and these are the general symptoms when patients have Excess Yang. They become more specific depending on the Organ involved. This pattern is often caused by the Heat Pernicious Influence, internal damage from the Seven Emotions, the Stagnation of Qi or Blood, over-exposure to hot environments or diet.

In addition to yellow vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Yang Excess or Full Yang include irritability, feeling of heat and fever.

Yang Excess or Full Yang is often treated with Da Cheng Qi Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Rhubarb - Da Huang - as a key herb). Da Cheng Qi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that purge heat accumulation", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Purges Heat from the Stomach and Intestines".

Read more about Yang Excess or Full Yang here

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

Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating

In addition to yellow vaginal discharge, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner include lower back pain, dry mouth and scanty and yellow urine.

Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner 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 in the Lower Burner here

Five herbal formulas that might help with yellow vaginal discharge

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.

Why might Long Dan Xie Gan Tang help with yellow vaginal discharge?

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

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

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

Xiao Yao San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen. Relieves Liver Qi stagnation. Nourishes the Blood.

Why might Xiao Yao San help with yellow vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Qi Stagnation' of which yellow vaginal discharge is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Liver Qi Stagnation can contribute to many health issues, including Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.

Read more about Xiao Yao San here

Yin Chen Hao Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Clears heat. Resolves dampness. Reduces jaundice.

Why might Yin Chen Hao Tang help with yellow vaginal discharge?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Liver include dark urine, poor appetite and vaginal itching.

Read more about Yin Chen Hao Tang here

Da Cheng Qi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Purges Heat from the Stomach and Intestines. Relieves constipation.

Why might Da Cheng Qi Tang help with yellow vaginal discharge?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Yang Excess or Full Yang' of which yellow vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yang Excess Or Full Yang include irritability, feeling of heat and fever.

Read more about Da Cheng Qi Tang here

Ba Zheng San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire. Promotes urination. Unblocks painful urinary dribbling.

Why might Ba Zheng San help with yellow vaginal discharge?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Lower Burner include lower back pain, dry mouth and scanty and yellow urine.

Read more about Ba Zheng San here

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

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with yellow vaginal discharge?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat yellow vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Xiao Yao San 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 Cape Jasmine Fruit (Zhi Zi) help with yellow vaginal discharge?

Because Cape Jasmine Fruit is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat yellow vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Yin Chen Hao Tang for instance.

Cape Jasmine Fruits is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Lung and the Sanjiao.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and calms spirit. Drains Damp-Heat affecting the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears Heat in the Blood and stops bleeding. Anti-inflammatory.

Read more about Cape Jasmine Fruits here

Why might Rhubarb (Da Huang) help with yellow vaginal discharge?

Because Rhubarb is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat yellow vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Da Cheng Qi Tang or Yin Chen Hao Tang for instance.

Rhubarb is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Pericardium.

Its main actions are: Drains Excess Heat and eliminates Dampness, especially when in the Sunlight Yang stage. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding. Invigorates Blood, breaks up Stasis and relieves pain. Clears Heat and toxins from Excess. Applied topically for Hot sores and Blood Stasis.

Read more about Rhubarb here

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

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat yellow vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Xiao Yao San 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

Why might Bupleurum Root (Chai Hu) help with yellow vaginal discharge?

Because Bupleurum Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat yellow vaginal discharge as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Xiao Yao San for instance.

Bupleurum Roots is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Harmonizes exterior and interior. Smoothes the Liver and upraises the Yang.

Read more about Bupleurum Roots here

Conditions associated with yellow vaginal discharge

Abnormal vaginal discharge Vaginal itching