Yellow vaginal discharge according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Yellow vaginal discharge

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, irritability and depression in the pattern “Liver Qi Stagnation”. As you will see below, we have in record four 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 four 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 four "patterns of disharmony" that can cause yellow vaginal discharge

In Chinese Medicine yellow vaginal discharge is a symptom for 4 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

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, irritability and depression.

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

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

Yang Excess

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 include irritability, fever and red face.

Yang Excess 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 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 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 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 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

Four herbal formulas that might help with yellow vaginal discharge

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

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

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' of which yellow vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yang Excess include irritability, fever and red face.

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 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 Xiao Yao San or Long Dan Xie Gan 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

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 Xiao Yao San or Long Dan Xie Gan Tang 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

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 Xiao Yao San or Long Dan Xie Gan 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 Chinese Gentian (Long Dan Cao) help with yellow vaginal discharge?

Because it is a key herb in Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with yellow vaginal discharge as a symptom)

Chinese Gentian is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians. Clears Liver-Fire. Clears Liver-Wind.

Read more about Chinese Gentian here

Why might Chinese Pink Herb (Qu Mai) help with yellow vaginal discharge?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner' (a pattern with yellow vaginal discharge as a symptom)

Chinese Pink Herbs is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Bladder, the Heart and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and expels Damp-Heat. Dissolves Blood Stasis and assists blocked menstruation.

Read more about Chinese Pink Herbs here

Conditions associated with yellow vaginal discharge

Abnormal vaginal discharge Vaginal itching