Written By Basilio Chen

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This is excerpts for good TCM topics on Uterine Conditions (http://www.tcmpage.com/hp_uterine_fibroid.html)

Patterns of Uterine Fibroids in Chinese Medicine
The traditional Chinese medicine category which includes uterine fibroid tumors is "Zheng Xia." Zheng Xia is defined as "masses in the uterus with a feeling of pain, swelling, or fullness, and with bleeding in severe cases." The Yellow Emperor�s Classic of Medicine recorded this disease in the third century BCE. All traditional Chinese medicine gynecology books address this condition in great detail as it has been treated by various schools of medicine over the last two thousand years. Three patterns of uterine fibroids are differentiated in traditional Chinese medicine. Each pattern is differentiated in terms of specific qualities of the menstrual period, abdominal sensations, changes in breast tissue, appearance of the tongue, and qualities of the pulse. The leading herbs and herbal formulas used to treat each pattern are listed.

Chi Stagnation and Blood Stasis. Emotional stress or physical trauma are the most common causes of Chi stagnation. Blood stasis can be caused by abnormally heavy bleeding with menses, blood loss during and after childbirth, or an "improper" sex life (excessive sexual activity, or having sex while menstruating). Symptoms include: regular cycles with heavy bleeding, or scanty but long-lasting bleeding; breast distention; abdominal swelling or pain; a pulling sensation in the anus; a dark-red tongue body with purple dots; and a soggy-thin, deep-wiry, or thin-choppy pulse. The fibroid tumors are felt as masses that are either fixed (not moving), or moveable on palpation. Susan falls into this pattern. Cnidium (Chuan Qiong), angelica (Dang Gui), red peony root (Chi Shao), and corydalis (Yan Hu Suo) are important herbs for this pattern, and BlockagEASE (Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang) is the leading formula used to address this combined pattern.

Yin Deficiency and Empty-Fire Blazing. Deficiency of Kidney energy or chronic illness is the origin of this pattern. It is an advanced stage of Yin Deficiency. Symptoms include: early periods with heavy or scanty, long-lasting bleeding; a hot sensation in the chest or abdomen; a sensation of itching in the breast, or a feeling of sharp or distending pain in the breast; blood-streaked white discharge or yellow-white vaginal discharge after periods; a red tongue, dry or with a yellow coating; and a wiry-thin or thin-rapid pulse. Anemarrhena (Zhi Mu), and phellodendron (Huang Bai) are the leading herbs used to address this pattern. Water Fire Balance (Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan) is a widely-used herbal formula in China.

Liver Chi Stagnation and Spleen Deficiency. Deficiency of Spleen energy is the origin of this pattern. Symptoms include: regular or late periods with heavy bleeding; a pulling sensation of the lower abdomen; loose bowels; thin vaginal discharge after periods; a pale tongue or thin-white tongue coating; and a soggy-thin or thin-wiry pulse. The fibroid tumor is a soft mass. Buplerum (Chai Hu), and peony (Bai Shao) are widely- used herbs, and Liver Spleen Harmonizer (Xiao Yao San) is a leading formula to address this pattern.

Formula for Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang (少腹逐瘀片)

  • Drive Out Blood Stasis in the Lower Abdomen Decoction
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    Pu Huang 蒲黃 cattail pollen, bulrush, typha pollen Pollen Typhae [don’t use if pregnant]

    • Pollen is a very potent yang energy. If yang is active and yin is passive, then pollen is yang and eggs are yin. This herb is pollen. Pollen is therefore activating or stimulating in terms of movement. This pollen is very beneficial for sluggish blood circulation.

    Chuan Xiong 川芎 Sichuan lovage root, cnidium, chuanxiong root Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong

    Yan Hu Suo 延胡索 corydalis rhizome Rhizoma Corydalis Yanhusuo, Corydalis Rhizoma

    Chi Shao 赤芍 red peony root Radix Peoniae Rubrae

    Wu Ling Zhi 五靈脂 flying squirrel feces, pteropus Trogopterori Faeces  [don’t use if pregnant]

    Dang Gui 當歸 tangkuei, Chinese angelica root Radix Angelicae Sinensis [supports pregnancy]

    • All of the above herbs stimulate blood circulation.

    Rou Gui 肉桂 inner bark of Saigon cinnamon, cinnamon bark Cinnamomi Cortex [don’t use if pregnant]

    Xiao Hui Xiang 小茴香 fennel fruit Foeniculi Fructus [use caution if pregnant]

    • These two herbs are warm in nature and as such stimulate blood movement. Any scientist will tell you that heat equals greater molecular movement. Chinese medicine says much the same thing, that cold impedes movement which then causes pain. So adding warming herbs helps the blood move for abdominal discomfort.