Phlegm Damp Obstructing the Lung Tan Shi Zu

This syndrome encompasses several lung phlegm syndromes:

Phlegm-damp obstructing the lung (tan shizufei), phlegm-heat coating the lung (tan re zu fei, and phlegm-liquid coating the lung (tan shuizufei). In practice, phlegm, phlegm-cold or phlegm-heat coating the lung is often a cold that has turned into bronchitis. Factors promoting the production and accumulation of phlegm include defense qi and lung qi vacuity, as well as a weakened spleen that insufficiently transforms and transports fluids.

These fluids accumulate, are transformed into phlegm, and in the sequence of the engendering cycle (sheng cycle), are handed from the "mother phase" earth/spleen to the "child phase" metal/lung. Energetic spleen vacuity impairs the lung network in the engendering cycle. The phlegm produced by the spleen is stored in the lungs. In TCM, all respiratory disorders involving phlegm— from acute purulent bronchitis, chronic bronchitis, to acute or chronic frontal or maxillary sinusitis—are part of the same syndrome category. Acute phlegm disorders are relatively easy to treat with nutritional therapy. When the recommended dietary measures are strictly and consistently followed, nutritional therapy can also successfully treat recurrent and chronic congestion of the respiratory tract. By comparison, acupuncture alone is often insufficient therapy for treating these conditions in practice.

Chinese pathophysiology differentiates between cold and warm phlegm syndromes.

Cold phlegm is easy to cough up, of a whitish, transparent color, usually of a thin consistency, and displays excess cold.

Hot phlegm (phlegm-heat or phlegm-fire) is more difficult to cough up, and depending on clinical and pathogenic factors, is viscous, yellowish, or greenish, possibly even blood-colored and can smell bad or even rotten. This condition clearly displays excess heat.

Each condition requires a different treatment strategy.

Cold phlegm calls for warming treatment, for example supplementing acupuncture and warming, yang-inducing foods or Chinese herbs. Hot phlegm calls for cooling, calming treatment with acupuncture, cooling Chinese herbs, and cooling foods. When treating phlegm-heat conditions with cooling foods, make sure that the weak spleen qi or the lungs are not further weakened (see "Dampness and Phlegm Conditions," p. 64)

Cough with sputum, dyspnea, asthma, chest tightness, headaches.

Causes

Lung obstructions involve the factors leading to lung qi vacuity discussed earlier (see "Lung Qi

Vacuity," p. 79 and "Defense Qi Vacuity," p. 62), as well as factors that can weaken the spleen and stomach.

Therapy

Strengthen spleen and lungs

* SP-3 * BL-20 • BL-21 • ST-36 H * LU-9 * BL-13 * LU-7

Foods for treating phlegm-heat conditions

Vegetables

Watercress, white radish, celeriac (celery root)

Beverages

Peppermint tea, lemon

Spices

Less acrid

Other

Soy beans, red seaweed (dulse), grapefruit, tangerines

,/V Lemon juice, green tea, ifSj!T~~ pear juice.

Foods that promote the formation of fluids and phlegm, such as dairy products, fatty, overly sweet or acrid foods, alcohol, bananas, and junk food.

Recommended:

Foods that supplement spleen qi and lung qi.

Flavor

Sweet-neutral, sweet-warm (spleen qi), bitter-cool (drying), acrid-warm (lung qi)

Fruit

Pears, star fruit, tangerines

Vegetables

Radish, asparagus, water chestnuts, lotus root, dandelion, Chinese (napa) cabbage

Grains

Millet, rice, rye, buckwheat

Spices

Fresh ginger, marjoram, pepper, cardamom

Nuts and seeds

Apricot seeds, almonds, walnuts

Foods for treating cold phlegm conditions

Beverages

Bitter liqueurs (warm the body and remove dampness)

Spices

Garlic, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, thyme, cardamom

Other

Cherries, millet

^^^^^ Cinger tea

Foods for treating lung heat conditions

Fruit

Apples, pears

Vegetables

Savoy cabbage, asparagus, radish, carrots, dandelion, tomatoes, mushrooms

Other

Green tea, peppermint tea, mung beans, soy milk, salt, seaweed

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