Yellow vaginal discharge according to Chinese Medicine

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 dark urine, poor appetite and vaginal itching in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-heat-in-the-liver”. As you will see below, we have in record two 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 three 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 two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause yellow vaginal discharge

In Chinese Medicine yellow 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 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 /tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-heat-in-the-liver include dark urine, poor appetite and vaginal itching.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/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 /tcm-education-center/patterns/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 /tcm-education-center/patterns/yang-excess-or-full-yang include irritability, feeling of heat and fever.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/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

Three 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 '/tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-heat-in-the-liver' of which yellow vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang 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 '/tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-heat-in-the-liver' of which yellow vaginal discharge is a symptom.

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 '/tcm-education-center/patterns/yang-excess-or-full-yang' of which yellow vaginal discharge is a symptom.

Read more about Da Cheng Qi Tang here

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

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 Yin Chen Hao Tang or Long Dan Xie Gan 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 Bright Yang stage according to the Six Stages Theory. 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 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 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 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 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 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