Sickly Child or Reduced Immunity according to TCM

Nowadays, it is no exception that small children use antibiotics repeatedly, even several times a year. The most frequent reason for their use is mainly respiratory diseases, i.e., diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract – nasopharyngitis, tonsillitis, otitis media, laryngitis, inflammations of the bronchi and lungs, inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, permanently enlarged cervical lymph nodes, but also various viroses, influenzas, etc. The cause of these frequent and recurring diseases is seen by Chinese medicine mostly in the so-called persistent hot toxin in blood, RE DU XUE, with stagnant hot phlegm in the upper burner, TAN RE. What this all means and how such a situation comes about, will be described below:

  1. According to TCM, small children (up to about 10 years old) are mostly so-called yang (hot, of fire, i.e., they have excess yang), because their yin is still weak (cold, water) and is only gradually being built. Therefore, small children tend to overheat easily. Not without reason such hot yang children are sometimes called in nice Czech “janek” (something like “hot a Jack”) (which in this case, it is rather the magic of the unintentional). This condition can be compared to lack of oil or water in the engine (not enough yin), when yang is in relative abundance; very little is needed, and the engine can easily overheat.
  2. According to TCM, we can also bring the hot toxin, RE DU, into our lives from intrauterine development, when it is carried over from the mother’s womb. If the mother suffered with various infections during pregnancy, ate inappropriately, experienced emotions and emotional shocks, smoked, used alcohol, addictive substances, drugs … she left such a burden for her child.
  3. According to TCM, early vaccination and each vaccination in general brings the so-called hot toxin, RE DU, into blood (see Vaccination and TCM). If this residual toxin is not eliminated from the body in good time, it will settle in it like a cuckoo in another´s nest and it will successfully vegetate there, waiting for a suitable opportunity so that it can reappear in its full glory. And this opportunity will certainly come sooner rather than later “thanks to a healthy diet” or a cold.
  4. According to TCM, another driving factor is a diet. There is no need to give details here of how “well and healthily” we all eat today. It would be a chapter in itself. After all, an adult organism, which has already been created and set up from the ground up, will last longer than a sensitive child’s digestive tract, which is still forming and developing. The natural diet is the most important and most natural for children (see e.g., Cholesterol and Obesity), therefore, no foods that are chemically and industrially processed in various ways,these are the ones that bother the child’s body the most, because it cannot process them and is not sufficiently equipped for them. These are mainly milk, dairy products, and sugar. Pasteurised cow’s milk and all products made from it bring so-called cold and dampness, HAN/SHI, into the body, which later turn into phlegm, TAN. This phlegm settles most often in the upper burner (in the lung meridian) and over time it turns into hot phlegm, TAN RE, which creates a “mycelium” and a growth medium for multiplying of any infection and is then also the cause of a wide range of diseases, such as chronically enlarged cervical lymph nodes, enlarged adenoids, enlarged tonsils, inflammation of the nasal cavities with polyps, chronic discharge from the middle ear, chronic wet cough, etc. Another harmful food is sugar (glucose), in any form (see e.g., Sugar not only from the TCM Perspective). When mentioning sugar, this means not only confectionery, chocolates, desserts, but also sugar, which is contained in many different sweetened drinks, lemonades, juices, which are also chemically flavoured, coloured, sterilized, etc. Even honey is not exactly optimal, as it contains the monosaccharide glucose. It is ideal to use e.g., barley malt called “Sladěnka” or “Sladovit” from healthy food stores. According to TCM, sugar brings so-called dampness and heat, SHI/RE, into the body, which in turn is the infamous breeding ground for the multiplication of various bacteria and viruses.
  5. According to TCM, another imaginary nail in the child’s body is the excessive or unnecessary use of antibiotics, e.g. for viral infections. This leads to the creation of that mythical but unwanted vicious circle, where one disease replaces another, one antibiotic is replaced by another… and in the end, the kiddie is more and more sick than healthy. According to TCM, all antibiotics bring the so-called cold, HAN, into the spleen and stomach meridians, in other words, they cool down the stomach. This cold freezes the flow of energy in the meridians, where this blockage later turns into heat, RE, which gets into blood layer and creates here again an unrivalled environment for a wide range of infections. Antibiotics also “extinguish” MING MENphysiological fire in the kidneys, which serves, among other things, to maintain proper healthy and defensive energy of the body. We can imagine this situation as, e.g., pouring water over a small campfire using a tank of water from a fire hose, whose hard and sharp jet of water will destroy not only the fire but also everything around it, and thus make more harm than good, or quite a “mess“ – and after us (literally) the deluge…

Typical Symptoms

These children, affected by any of the above 5 points, are characterized by some specific symptoms, of which the most important for Chinese medicine is the image of the tongue and its coating. We can see such a typical tongue in the attached pictures – the tongue is mostly elongated (inborn tendency to heat, RE), the coating is slippery (phlegm, TAN) or damp (dampness and heat SHI/RE) or none (internal heat, RE, burned body fluids, JING YE). However, the most typical are red dots, which occur mainly in the front third of the tongue (at the tip), but can also be all over the body of the tongue (persistent hot toxin, RE DU, in the XUE blood layer, the XUE blood layer, the YING nutrient layer, and in the upper burner, mainly in the lungs). Those dots must never be missing from this Chinese diagnosis. Interestingly, they are often not even visible to the naked eye, but after taking a picture of the tongue and enlarging it on the computer, they are quite noticeable and clear! However, those red dots must be distinguished from similar red dots caused by emotional blockages, mainly in the liver and heart meridian – these dots they are usually smaller, the tip of the tongue tends to be swollen and deep red, and they occur mostly in women.

Other symptoms consistent with the hot RE DU toxin persisting in the body may include: persistent enlarged lymph nodes and throat nodules, deep red lips, thirst, picky eating, preference for “unhealthy” food (sweets, fried food, fast food, hamburgers, etc.), night snoring, gnashing of teeth, insomnia, mental restlessness, hyperactivity, decreased concentration, attention deficit disorder, night terrors, sleep talking, tics, reactions to vaccinations (fever, redness, hardening or soreness after the injection), indeterminate headaches or abdominal pain, recurring parasites (mainly pinworms), etc.

You may ask about along with Chinese medicine. TCM offers solutions in the form of complete lifestyle adjustments according to the principles of TCM, however, this alone is not enough if the hot toxin RE DU has already settled in the body. For “detoxification”, Chinese medicine uses a proven combination of two herbal mixtures, Birth of the Phoenix (code 009) or Shade of Brocade Veil (code 012). Both these herbal mixtures eliminate the hot toxin RE DU from blood and the so-called SAN JIAO triple burner, i.e., from the whole body, and cool the heat RE. Another herbal mixture is usually added to them. Gentleness of Swan Neck (code 037), and this is when the cervical lymph nodes are enlarged, there is a coating on the tongue, the kid snores, it is pasty (as if slightly puffy with a pasty face). This herbal mixture dissolves hot phlegm, TAN RE, in the ZHONG JIAO upper burner, mainly in the lungs, neck, and head. Dosage is most often 3×2 tablets daily from each one together, for children from 3 years of age. For younger children in China, the dosage is as follows: up to 1 year – 2 x ½ a tablet of each daily, up to 2 years of age 2 x 1 tablet of each daily, up to 3 years of age 3 x 1 tablet of each daily. In the case of an acute infection, the dosage is not interrupted, but on the contrary, it is advisable to continue and even double the dose, which usually speeds up the onset of the effect and “retreat” of the problems. This combination is most often used before the “sickly” season, i.e., from September, and then again, from January for 2-3 months.