TCM Heart Patterns

TCM Heart Patterns

Hi friends! Let’s go over TCM Heart Patterns, their symptoms, and herbal formulas for each pattern! Before we delve into each pattern, let's review the functions of the Heart:

  • It governs Blood.
  • It controls the blood vessels.
  • It manifests in the complexion.
  • It houses the Mind.
  • It opens into the tongue.
  • It controls sweat.
Generally, the etiology of heart patterns arises from emotions (joy, sadness, grief, anger, and worry), diet, and overwork.
  • Joy slows down Heart Qi.
  • Sadness depletes Heart Qi.
  • Grief depletes Heart Qi.
  • Anger makes Heart Qi rise.
  • Worry knots Heart Qi.

Let's start with Heart Yin Deficiency!


    Heart Yin Deficiency

    🫀Heart Yin Deficiency

    • Causes: Heart Yin Deficiency may result from long-term anxiety, worry, and fear, as well as overwork and external heat that injures Yin.
    • Clinical manifestations: palpitations, insomnia, heart vexation, tidal fever, heat of the five hearts, and night sweating.
    • Herbal formulaBu Xin Dan
    Are you still following? It gets even more interesting!
    Heart Blood Deficiency

    🫀Heart Blood Deficiency

    • Causes: Heart Blood Deficiency may result from a poor diet lacking in blood-producing foods. Emotional stress, including prolonged periods of sadness, grief, anxiety, and worry, can also contribute to this condition. Severe blood loss is another potential cause.
    • Clinical manifestations: palpitations, insomnia, heart vexation, forgetfulness, dizziness, and pale face, lips, nails.
    • Herbal formula: Si Wu Tang 
    Heart Qi Deficiency

    🫀Heart Qi Deficiency

    • Causes:  Blood loss, which can occur due to a chronic illness, particularly after a serious hemorrhage or prolonged chronic hemorrhage. (Heart governs Blood and Blood is the Mother of Qi)
    • Clinical manifestations: palpitations, easily being frightened, difficulty falling asleep, spontaneous sweating, fatigue, and pale white complexion
    • Herbal formula: Yang Xin Tang
    Heart Yang Deficiency

    🫀Heart Yang Deficiency

    • Causes: Blood loss, which can occur due to a chronic illness, particularly after a serious hemorrhage or prolonged chronic hemorrhage. It may also be indirectly caused by any factors originating from Kidney Yang deficiency.
    • Clinical manifestations: palpitations, easily being frightened, difficulty falling asleep, spontaneous sweating, fatigue, bright white complexion, fear of cold, and cold limbs.
    • Herbal formula: Bao Yuan Tang
    Heart Qi Stagnation

    🫀Heart Qi Stagnation

    • Causes: Emotional stress such as grief, worry and anxiety.
    • Clinical manifestations: mitigating palpitations, insomnia, heart vexation, unregulated emotions, chest oppression, and frequent yawning.
    • Herbal formulas: Gan Mai Da Zao Tang or An Shen Ding Zhi Wan
    Heart Blood Stasis

    🫀Heart Blood Stasis

    • Causes: Emotional stress, particularly anxiety, grief or worry over a long period of time can lead to stasis of Blood in the chest. 
    • Clinical manifestations: palpitations, shortness of breath, chest oppression and pain, pain comes and goes, and reverting cold of limbs.
    • Herbal formulas: Zhi Shi Xie Bai Gui Zhi Tang or Tong Qiao Huo Xue Tang
    Heart Vessel Obstruction

    🫀Heart Vessel Obstruction

    • Causes: Emotional stress, including worry, anxiety, and anger, can contribute to this pattern. Additionally, excessive consumption of dairy and greasy foods can lead to the formation of Phlegm, which is another contributing factor. Excessive physical work is also a potential cause.
    • Clinical manifestations: palpitations, shortness of breath, desire to sleep, dizziness, and pale complexion.
    • Herbal formula: Zhi Gan Cao Tang
    Phlegm Confounding Heart Orifice

    🫀Phlegm Confounding Heart Orifice (Phlegm Misting the Mind) 

    • Causes: In children, weak constitution can lead to this pattern. In adults, it may be caused by excessive consumption of greasy, raw food combined with long-standing anxiety.
    • Clinical manifestations: feeble-mindedness, stupor, gurgling sound from throat, and vomiting of phlegm.
    • Herbal formula: Dao Tan Tang.
    Phlegm Fire Harassing Heart

    🫀Phlegm Fire Harassing Heart

    • Causes: Emotional stress, severe emotional problems, and depression can lead to stagnation of Qi, which, over a long period of time, transforms into fire. Additionally, excessive consumption of hot, greasy foods creates phlegm heat.
    • Clinical manifestations: confusion, manic agitation, nonsensical speech, red face, and hasty breathing.
    • Herbal formula: Meng Shi Gun Tang Wan 
    Heart Fire Hyperactive

    🫀Heart Fire Hyperactive 

    • Causes: Emotional stress, such as chronic anxiety, constant worrying, and depression, as well as excessive consumption of hot energy foods (spices and red meat) along with alcohol consumption.
    • Clinical manifestations: red face and lips, heart vexation, thirst, and scorching pain.
    • Herbal formula: Xie Xin Tang.


    We just went over the 10 TCM Heart patterns! Understanding these patterns aids in effective TCM treatment and prescribing herbal formulas! Can you recall them all?

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