The Method of Clearing Heat

To clear heat means to clear and sedate the pathogenic heat for various kinds of deep and hot symptoms; clearing heat can also be used to treat deficiency heat or superficial heat.

Different types of heat

A distinction must be made among the different types of heat, including energy heat, blood heat, yin heat, toxic heat, dampness-heat, heat in the internal organs, excess heat, and deficiency heat.

Treating different types of heat

For instance, energy heat and excess heat should be treated by clearing heat and sedating fire at the same time, blood heat should be treated by clearing heat and cooling the blood at the same time, yin heat should be treated by clearing the heat and nourishing the yin at the same time, toxic heat in excess should be treated by clearing heat and counteracting toxic effects at the same time, and heat in the internal organs should be treated by treating the organs involved.

To clear heat and sedate fire

This means treating energy heat, which normally displays the following symptoms: high fever, thirst, dry tongue, yellowish and dry coating of the tongue, and forceful and rapid pulse.

To clear heat and cool blood

This involves treating blood heat, which normally displays the following symptoms: high fever, mental confusion, delirium, deep-red tongue, and bleeding.

To clear heat and counteract toxic effects

This involves treating various types of toxic heat, which usually displays the following symptoms: red swelling, fever, pain, pustulation, and decomposition.

Toxic heat

Toxic heat includes the diseases caused by an attack of external energies, with such symptoms as sore throat, ulcers, vomiting of blood, nosebleed, and delirium, all of which belong to the hot syndrome.

To clear heat in the internal organs

This involves treating heat in the internal organs that display various symptoms.

Treating excess heat in the heart meridian

Excess heat in the heart meridian will give rise to feeling depressed, thirst, ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue, short streams of reddish urine, difficulty in urination, and pain on urination.

Treating excess fire in the liver meridian

Excess fire in the liver meridian will give rise to pain in the upper abdomen, bitter taste in the mouth, pink eyes and pain in the eyes, wax in the ears, urinary straining, ulcers in the genitals, and red swelling of the scrotum.

Treating heat in the lungs

Heat in the lungs will give rise to cough and asthma.

Treating hot stomach or heat in the stomach

Hot stomach or heat in the stomach will cause bad breath and swelling and bleeding of the gums, all of which may be treated by this method.

To clear heat and transform dampness

This involves treating dampness-heat, which generally displays the following symptoms: intermittent or prolonged fever, congested chest, abdominal swelling, sticky sensations in the mouth, nausea, poor appetite, reddish urine, watery stools, and yellowish and greasy coating of the tongue.

Treating dampness-heat turning into fire

The same method can also be used to treat a syndrome called dampness-heat turning into fire, which generally gives rise to dysentery, jaundice, hot urinary straining, or discharge of yellowish fluids in skin diseases.

To clear heat and lubricate dryness

This involves treating three syndromes:

  1. The lungs-dryness syndrome, in which dryness impairs the lungs and the stomach, causing dry throat, thirst, and dry cough with scant sputum.
  2. The hot syndrome, particularly at its later stage when both energy and yin are impaired, causing such symptoms as dry mouth, mental depression, hiccups, and poor appetite.
  3. The deficiency heat syndrome, which gives rise to such symptoms as hot sensations in the body as if they were coming from the bones, periodic fever, night sweats, or persistent low fever.

Overall, clearing heat is a fundamental principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is commonly used to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. The specific approach used to clear heat depends on the type of heat and associated symptoms, and treatment may involve combinations of herbs, acupuncture, and dietary adjustments.