The most common Chinese terms
To Europeans, Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is somewhat “other worldly”. We may find TCM concepts unnatural or difficult to imagine. In its essence, however, Chinese medicine is always simple and logical. It always strives to understand the causes and consequences of the ilness – based on day-to-day situations in life or in nature.
In Chinese medicine we can compare the human body to the car engine. The different chinese elements represent different parts, for example JIN (oil in the car), JANG (motor in the car) or QI energy (speed and power of the motor) etc…
In Chinese medicine, blood XUE is a category that constitutes the liquid part of the body energy. However, it is not only blood as such, it means all the body fluids including the lymph and extracellular fluid. Its deficiency may be likened to a situation when we detect a low pressure or a low red blood cell count. Blood is produced by the spleen and kidneys, controlled by the heart and stored in the liver. Blood XUE can be likened to a fuel in an engine. Blood XUE deficiency corresponds to a lack of petrol in a situation when the tank capacity is small so the petrol is used up soon.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it means weakening of the blood, which can be likened to a poor quality petrol and oil for our engine that, as a result, does not deliver the required performance. The tongue is pale and dry. This deficiency may be indicated by signs such as pale lips and face, mental problems or dry and irritated skin.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, anaemia, low blood pressure, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, menstrual problems, sterility or eczema.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it can be likened to clogging of the hose supplying the engine with petrol or to drying-up of the petrol that stops flowing into the engine. The tongue is purplish. The signs of a blood blockade include dark skin and lips or stabbing pains at a certain single place.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, myomas, cysts, headaches, varicose veins, carpal tunnels, etc.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it can be likened to an engine overheated due to a lack of water in the radiator (yin deficiency – YIN XU) or due to a lack of oil in the engine (blood deficiency – XUE XU), or due to driving with the handbrake on that results in burning out the brake discs (qi stagnation – QI ZHI). This heat creates, for example, eczema and psoriasis or causes strong heat flushes. The entire tongue is red.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, psoriasis, eczema, allergy, etc.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it can be likened to reduced performance of an engine (qi deficiency) that lacks oil and petrol (yin deficiency). This deficiency is indicated by symptoms such as fatigue, muscular weakness or spontaneous sweating. The tongue is pale.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, delayed menstruation, exhaustion and fatigue after childbirth and after lactation, lack of breast milk, physical or mental exhaustion or convalescence after long-term illness, etc
Cold HAN can be likened to a cold engine. Cold HAN arising from excess corresponds to a cold engine with frozen pipes. The engine cannot start because it cannot reach the appropriate running temperature. Cold HAN arising from deficiency corresponds to a weak engine with low quality petrol. As a result, the car hardly moves.
It means an attack by an external harmful cold wind. Therefore, this condition causes symptoms such as chills, shivers, sneezing or rhinitis. The tongue looks the same as before the attack by the external wind, or a thin white coating is created on the tongue.
In Western medicine, this may be a case of, for example, influenza, virosis, nasopharyngeal inflammation, torticollis (neck stiffness), trigeminal neuralgia, allergic rhinitis, chronic perennial rhinitis, etc.
Dampness (SHI) can be likened to low quality petrol. Dampness (SHI) arising from deficiency corresponds to a situation when the engine gets contaminated by the poor quality petrol (inappropriate diet) and the combustion products of the contaminated petrol gradually clog the engine, reducing its performance. This disease may, for example, create a feeling of heaviness throughout the body, sticky discharge or bad breath. The tongue is mostly swollen with a sticky coating.
In Western medicine, this can be a case of, for example, vaginal discharge, prostatic problems, urinary tract infections, rheumatic diseases, wet eczema, chronic diarrhoea, cellulitis, chronic fatigue syndrome etc.
Deficiency (XU) can be likened to a weak engine - as if a car is being driven up a hill without stepping on the gas. An individual with this deficiency is weak and fragile, usually has little vigour, is thin or even undernourished and his or her muscles are often tired.
Dryness (ZAO) can be likened to hardly any water in an engine. Dryness (ZAO) corresponds to a lack of water in an engine radiator so the engine overheats, thus also impairing the oil (YIN) in the engine.
The essence YING is a product of kidney yin and yang. This essence can be imagined as a burning candle - the flame is yang, the wax is yin, the heat from the flame is qi energy and the flame’s light is the pure essence ying. The life of the candle depends on the strength of the burning flame, and on the quantity and quality of the wax. The bigger the candle is, the bigger the light (essence ying) is to be taken care of. This example shows the close interconnection between yin and yang. The strength of yang depends on the strength of yin, and vice versa. So the weakening of yin gradually weakens yang, and the weakening of yang gradually weakens yin.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, this means either weakening of the kidney yin or yang, or both at the same time. This weakening may be due to the following symptoms: in children: lack of bone development, small height, delayed closure of fontanelle, mental retardation; in adults: weakness in the shoulders and knees, softness of the bones, osteoporosis, impaired memory, paradentosis, hair loss, premature hair graying, weakened sexual activity, lower back pain, infertility, absence of menstruation in puberty, dizziness, whistling in the ears, reduced hearing, blurred vision, distraction, inattention, reduced mental perception. It mainly affects the kidneys. The tongue is pale in kidney yang deficiency, or red without a coating in kidney yin deficiency.
In Western medicine, this may be a case of, for example, sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, slipped disc, primary amenorrhoea (absent menstruation), sterility, mild brain dysfunction in children, delayed mental and physical development, etc.
Herbal mixtures in the absence of kidney jang:
Herbal mixtures in the absence of kidney yin:
Herbal mixtures in the absence of kidney yin and jang:
Excess SHI can be likened to a powerful engine. Excess SHI corresponds to a powerful engine in a car driven down the hill with the driver stepping on the gas needlessly. An individual with this physique is strong and energetic, has a lot of vigour, speaks in a strident voice and usually has a reddish skin.
An external disease can be likened to the damaged body of a car, which has its engine in good order. An appropriate example is influenza. At an early stage, the harmful wind settles down in surface parts of the body, but sweating returns the body’s condition back to normal.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, influenza, virosis, nasopharyngeal inflammation, torticollis, trigeminal neuralgia, allergic rhinitis, chronic perennial rhinitis, etc.
This wind attacks the nose and mouth and shows aversion to coldness, slightly yellowish nasal mucus or headache. Also in this case, the tongue changes from day to day depending on the strength of the wind in the body.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, influenza, cold, virus infection, laryngeal inflammation, conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, angina, both viral and bacterial, etc.
Herbal mixtures for external hot wind FENG RE:
In Chinese medicine, fire HUO is an extreme form of heat RE. When compared to heat RE, fire HUO burns and dries out more, and blazes. It results either from external heat that settles down in the organism and gradually transforms into internal heat and afterwards into fire HUO, or from long-standing emotions. Each stagnation or blockade transforms into fire HUO sooner or later.
It is yin deficiency with internal heat YIN XU + RE. Is shows signs of heat arisen from yin deficiency such as night sweating, feeling hot or pains in the lumbar region. The tongue is red, cracked with a reddish tip, without a coating.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, climacteric difficulties, sterility, hypersexuality, premature ejaculation, hematuria (blood in urine), hypertension, kidney inflammation, tuberculosis.
Herbal mixtures in case of fire from lack - HUO XU:
It is heat from excess of RE SHI that changes into fire HUO SHI. This excessive fire shows symptoms such as a bitter taste in the mouth, aphthae, permanently red face or heart palpitation. The tongue is red with a yellow coating.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, paradentoses, afters, gingivitis, constipation, insomnia, manic depression, mental illness, eczema, psoriasis, hypertension, chronic urinary tract infections without pathological findings, migraines, palpitations, tinnitus, glaucoma.
Herbal mixtures at an excess of HUO SHI:
Heat RE can be imagined as an engine that always tends to overheat because it either does not have water in the radiator, which corresponds to deficiency or is oversized so after stepping on the gas, it heats up fast and subsequently overheats, which corresponds to excess.
It can be likened to an engine overheated due to insufficient cooling with water or oil, which may gradually lead to blowing the engine. The tongue is red, either without a coating or with a coating that peels off. Heat from deficiency may show signs such as night sweating, red cheeks or dry mouth.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, tuberculosis, flushing in menopause, diabetes, infertility, insomnia, tinnitus, cataracts. It mainly affects the kidneys, liver, heart, lung, spleen and stomach.
It can be likened to an engine that overheats because of an aggressive driving style “brake – acceleration” or because of driving at full throttle when the driver does not spare his or her body at all. The tongue is red with a yellow coating. Heat from excess may show signs such as red eyes, red face or headache. The tongue is red with a yellow coating.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, various acute and chronic inflammations, bowel obstruction, insomnia, maniodepression, mental illness, eczema, acne, psoriasis, heartburn.
It creates yang deficiency in the body. The most frequent signs of this deficiency are cold extremities, pale face or preference of hot beverages. You can see a thin white coating on the tongue. It mainly affects the kidneys, spleen, heart, lungs, uterus and joints. In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, chronic allergic rhinitis, cold allergy, Raynaud's syndrome, sciatica, rheumatic diseases, impotence, sterility, etc.
Internal disease means that the engine of a car is broken but the car’s body is in order. An appropriate example is influenza again. If this disease is not properly cured, harmful substances settle down deeper, i.e. in the heart, in joints or in the lungs.
This issue results, for example, in a high fever, cramps and sometimes even unconsciousness. In terms of modern medicine, it could be feverish cramping in young children. The tongue is always curled or vibrated.
It can be likened to sticky waste generated in a malfunctioning engine when it gets low quality petrol and oil. The overheating engine cannot process and sufficiently remove the waste, which results in accumulation of the waste in the engine and subsequent “clogging” of the engine jets. Hot phlegm shows signs such as expectorating yellow phlegm, feeling hot, or having reddened cheeks. The tongue is swollen and red with a sticky yellow coating.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, struma, enlarged nasal almonds, enlarged neck lymph nodes, rheumatoid arthritis etc.
Herbal mixtures in hot mucus TAN - RE:
In the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, the hot toxin RE DU can be likened to an acute bacterial or viral infection. Sometimes, the infection may settle in the organism after the signs fade out, so it is not sufficiently eliminated from the body. Examinations and laboratory values do not show any pathologic changes but the individual does not feel himself or herself, and is repeatedly and frequently affected by various infections and inflammations. So it is necessary to eliminate the hot toxin from the body and remedy the improper ground. Typical signs of this disease are thirst to cold drinks, nervousness and irritability or skin inflammations. The tongue is red with red dots.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, angina, scarlet fever, bacterial and viral infections, borreliosis, meningitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.
In most cases, it results from qi energy stagnation QI ZHI, namely either from emotions or after an attack by an external harmful substance, which, however, does not show any signs or problems so the harmful substance sinks to a depth where, after some time, it transforms into latent heat REL, which is also accompanied with dampness SHI.
The main cause is always SHEN YING kidney essence deficiency and vaccination that directly “pours hot toxin RE DU” into the deepest layer, namely the blood XUE layer. Similarly, emotions, disturbed balance of mind, overwork and excessive worries weaken the kidney essence SHEN YING or cause stagnation of qi energy QI ZHI, which transforms into heat RE later on. These days we must not also disregard the important fact that, in addition to vaccination, other significant contributors to latent heat REL include the use of hormones and antibiotics that “push” the harmful substance into deeper layers.
Treatment of latent REL heat does not differ much from classical RE heat treatment - it resides in the removal of RE heat, which is mostly located in the XUE blood layer, i.e. the combination of Taming of the hot-blooded horse (018) + Birth of the Phoenix (009) or Shade of brocade veil (012), which can also be used for all vaccination (as well as for prevention) or for post-vaccination diseases. One of the most common combinations is Birth of the Phoenix (009) or Shade of brocade veil (012) + Gentleness of swan neck (037), which is an excellent aid for children and can be used and a first choice medicine for pediatric population. After that, the condition will always be “developed” and, according to this, the yin or yang essence of the kidney SHEN JING is strengthened – Secret of golden case (171) or Swiftness of meadow scorpio (186) etc. Sometimes it can be started with the combination of Drop forest spring (060) + Birth of the Phoenix (009) or Shade of brocade veil (012), which is particularly useful in SHAO YANG syndrome, when the external cold harmful substance has entered directly into the internal heat of the liver and gall bladder into the SHAO YANG layer. For the latent REL heat created by emotion, the combination of Calming of rough water (062) + Birth of the Phoenix (009) or Shade of brocade veil (012) is appropriate.
Our generation is always connected with the diet. It involves accumulation of dampness that is generated by the spleen meridian due to its deficiency or due to inappropriate food and drinks. In the course of time, this stagnant dampness is “thickened” by the heat generated from stagnation or emotions, leading to the generation of phlegm TAN. Afterwards phlegm TAN travels throughout the body and settles at the place of least resistance – it clogs or narrows blood vessels, accumulates in nodes, blocks meridians or accompanies acute and chronical diseases. So it is necessary to dissolve and remove the phlegm as soon as possible, and then to strengthen the meridian of the spleen, lungs and kidneys.
In Chinese medicine, qi energy is an imaginary energy that cannot be recorded by instruments. It can be imagined as engine performance. Qi energy is closely connected with blood XUE, and they may not exist without each other. Weakening of qi energy gradually leads to weakening of blood XUE, and vice versa. The lungs and spleen are responsible for the creation of qi energy.
Qi deficiency – QI XU
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it means weakened vitality, life vigour and energy, which resembles an engine delivering half the performance. This weakening may be indicated by signs such as fatigue, weak voice or loss of appetite. The tongue is pale.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it resembles deceleration of an engine like when a car is driven with the handbrake on. It affects especially the liver because all emotions always block the liver first, and then the liver presses the spleen and attacks the stomach. This blockade transforms into internal heat in the course of time. The stagnant liver qi changes into heat or fire. This is the most prevalent and the most typical Chinese diagnosis for our Western civilization these days. This stagnation can show signs such as by abdominal pain, flatulence or irritability and depression. The tongue has a normal colour, and in more serious cases the tongue’s edges are slightly red.
In Western medicine, they may be the case of, for example, psychosomatic diseases, neurovegetative asthenia, allergies, premenstrual tension, cystic fibromastopathy in the breast, ovarian cysts, etc.
It is a group of physiological activities that relate to all the organs and cover the supply of blood, energy QI and body fluids into muscles, skin and organs, as well as digestion, absorption and excretion of food by the stomach, spleen and intestines, and excretion and regulation of body fluids by kidneys and the urinary bladder.
The upper burner can be likened to a mist – it is an energy accumulated in the lungs. This energy rises to the lungs from the spleen and stomach, and makes it possible for the nose and tongue to distinguish 5 tastes and odours. Therefore, the upper burner is also called a sea of energy – it receives energy and distributes it in all directions. When the upper burner is attacked by a harmful energy, you have a fever or feel cold.
The middle burner can be likened to a muddy puddle – it is the stomach’s state in digestion when solids and fluids are separated from the food to create energy QI and blood afterwards. When the middle burner works insufficiently, you can feel fatigue and loss of appetite.
The lower burner can be likened to a draining channel that prevents the stomach and spleen from getting muddy and stinking. Therefore, the urinary bladder and kidneys serve for excretion of fluids. The lower burner is also the seat of the prenatal energy YUAN QI, which may be likened to the warmth in the earth, which allows its growth and warms and strengthens the spleen, which corresponds
YANG is a philosophical category of the Chinese medicine, which is not measurable by any current instruments of the Western civilization. It is a complex of processes that together make up a certain potential corresponding to the activity of the man. The simplest representation of yang in the nature is fire.
o YANG deficiency – YANG XU
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it means weakening of the “action” strength of an individual who, as a result, does not have sufficient vigour and will to finalize things or to even start them. This weakening may be indicated by signs such as feeling cold, having cold hands and feet or weak voice. The tongue is pale.
In Western medicine, this condition may correspond to, for example, cold allergy, chronic back pain, asthma, infertility, impotence, fatigue, etc.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it is always connected with the liver meridian and constitutes a combination of excess and deficiency. Due to the deficiency of the kidney, liver or blood yin or kidney yin/yang, the liver yang in not “anchored” and results in a relative excess that leads to an absolute excess. Yang tends to rise to the upper parts and “float” on the surface. Therefore, the therapy must not only reduce YANG but also supplement YIN. This condition may show symptoms such as headache, dizziness or irritability and sleeplessness.
Tongue by reason:
- at stagnation of liver qi GAN QI ZHI, it has normal colour or is slightly red on the sides, or pale in case of blood insufficiency XUE XU
- in the case of insufficiency of kidney jin YIN XU, it is slightly red on the sides and uncoated
- at stagnation of liver qi GAN QI ZHI, it has normal colour or is slightly red on the sides
In Western medicine, this may be the case, for example, of high blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, whistles in the ears, etc.
Yin can be imagined as oil in an engine. Yin deficiency leads to reduced performance since the engine is not duly lubricated to deliver optimum performance. It overheats easily, which leads to its gradual drying. Yin excess is like an engine flooded with oil, which gets excessively damp so it delivers lower performance.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it is weakening of a “dampening” component of an individual who, as a result, shows excessive vigour and uncontrollable activity leading to hyperactivity. It is an engine without water that overheats easily in consequence. This weakening can be indicated by symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweating or feeling of internal unease. The tongue is red without a coating or with a coating that peels off.
In Western medicine, this may be the case of, for example, diabetes, allergy, insomnia, whistles in the ears, palpitations, dizziness, headaches, menopause problems, hair loss, asthenia, etc.