Chinese Medicine is one of the oldest and most commonly used medical systems in the world. It is based on a Chinese understanding of the body and its functions, as well as Chinese Traditional medicine theory. Chinese medicine has been used for over 2,500 years to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions.
One of the main focuses of Chinese Medicine is the balance of yin and yang in the body. Yin and Yang are two opposite, but complementary, forces that make up everything in the universe. In Chinese Medicine theory, when these two forces are in balance, the body is healthy. When they are out of balance, the body is not healthy.
One of Chinese Medicine’s most important concepts is Qi. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the life force or energy that flows through everything in the universe, including the human body. In Chinese Medicine theory, it is believed that if the flow of Qi in the body becomes blocked, this can lead to disease and ill health.
As discussed for Damp-Heat, in Phlegm-Heat, the primary aspect is the Phlegm rather than the Heat. It is Phlegm that is hot rather than the Heat having Phlegm. In a similar way as we said for Damp-Heat, a better name would be “Hot Phlegm” rather than “Phlegm-Heat”. This has important implications in treatment as this should be aimed at resolving Phlegm primarily and clearing Heat secondarily.
Interestingly, the Chinese character for Phlegm ( 痰 ) is based on the radical for “disease” and that for “Fire” (twice). This would seem to imply that Phlegm derives from Heat: indeed, in many cases it does. However, there are also other causes of Phlegm production such as Spleen impairment, which we will discuss later.
Phlegm can be a very stubborn problem to treat and it is often necessary to use a variety of methods in order to resolve it. Some of the most common strategies include:
– Regulating the Qi and restoring the Spleen: This is important as Spleen deficiency is a common cause of Phlegm.
– Dissolving Phlegm: This can be done with herbs such as Chinese Licorice ( 洋参 ) or Gypsum ( 石膏 ).
– Promoting sweating: This can help to clear Heat and toxins from the body.
– Removing Phlegm: This can be done through nasal irrigation, vomiting or expectoration.