The Method of Inducing Perspiration

Inducing perspiration is also called initiating the superficial region in Chinese medicine. The objective of inducing perspiration is to encourage the external pathogenic energies to leave the body by means of sweat. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that pathogens attack the human body from the outside and then gradually penetrate deeper. For this reason, when the pathogen is still in the superficial layer (such as the skin, veins, hair, and muscles), it is necessary to induce perspiration. This way, the pathogen will have a chance to leave the body before it penetrates deeper and causes a more severe illness. The superficial syndrome, including symptoms such as dislike of cold, fever, headache, pain in the body, and superficial pulse, should be treated by inducing perspiration.

As each patient has different medical conditions and each disease is also different, the superficial syndrome is further divided into the superficial cold syndrome and the superficial hot syndrome. However, these two syndromes are closely related to each other, and in most cases, they are treated together in clinical practice. Perspiration can be induced with pungent and warm herbs or with pungent and cold herbs.

In Chinese herbal therapy, herbs or foods with a pungent flavor and warm energy are used to treat a superficial cold syndrome, which displays the following symptoms: dislike of cold, fever, sweating, headache, nasal congestion, pain in the limbs, thin and white coating on the tongue, and a superficial and tight pulse or a superficial and relaxed pulse.

In Chinese herbal therapy, herbs or foods with a pungent flavor and cold energy are used to treat the superficial hot syndrome, which displays symptoms such as fever, headache, slight dislike of cold and wind, sweating, thirst, sore throat, red tongue with a thin, yellow and dry coating, and a superficial and rapid pulse.