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Chinese Medicine for Asthma

Chinese Medicine for Asthma

Information  on this site is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or other medical professional. We make no claims as to efficacy or safety of herbs or herbal medicine appearing on this site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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The Four Kinds of Asthma

There are at least four different TCM syndromes that are commonly diagnosed as asthma by Western physicians. These patterns are:


  • Spleen Deficiency creating dampness in the lung,
Liver Heat which scorches the lung,
  • Lung Qi Deficiency and consequent lung weakness.
  • Kidney Qi Deficiency which leave the lungs unable to grasp the qi.

    To be successfully treated, the remedy used must be consistent with the the root cause.  An accurate diagnosis is essential.

    It isn’t uncommon for two or more root causes to be present.  If this is the case, two or more formulas should be used or combined

    Spleen deficiency caused asthma is characterized by a lot of mucous. It’s called spleen deficiency, but has nothing to do with your actual spleen. Rather, it is caused by a constitutional or digestive deficiency which causes the body to hold on to water. The excess water becomes mucous and often affects the lungs. This dampness can also affect the nose, sinuses, and large intestine, however the lungs are the favorite site for dampness to collect. A simple and highly effective herbal formula for this condition isER CHEN WAN.

    Liver Heat Scorching the Lungs. Asthma which presents with little phlegm, no phlegm, or thick green phlegm is caused by or adversely affected by persistent Heat in the body, usually from the Liver. It is referred to as Liver Heat Scorching the Lungs. This has nothing to do with your actual liver. Heat is subject to external sources of heat like pollution, alcohol or drug ingestion, and emotional agitation (stress). The patent medicine CHING FEI YI HUO effectively addresses this condition. If emotional stress clearly worsens this condition, supplement this with XIAO YAO WAN. Another useful combination are two classical formulas XIAO CHAI HU TANG and BAN XIA HOU PO TANG  which when combined are known as CHAI PO TANG.  This effectively treats asthma of this type.

    Lung Qi Deficiency is another cause of asthma which can exist from birth or result after the lung has been damaged by a cold or flu. Lung Weakness is sometimes accompanied by fatigue, shortness of breath, shallow breathing, heart palpitations, catching colds easily, and other signs of general debility. This condition requires long term treatment with LI FEI WAN or BU FEI TANG.

    Kidney Deficient Asthma presents with low back pain, debility, weakness, or concurrent problems with the urinary, nervous, skeletal, or reproductive systems. This kind of asthma indicates low batteries (depletion of reserve energy). The Kidney (stored energy) is not able to supply the lungs with enough energy. The lungs, therefore, function poorly. This asthma will worsen when the sufferer gets tired or drained. The Chinese patent formula GE JIE DA BU WAN can be used to treat this condition.


    Several different lung conditions are commonly diagnosed as asthma by MDs .

    Spleen Deficiency creating dampness in the lung, Liver Heat which scorches the lung, Lung Qi Deficiency and consequent lung weakness. Kidney Qi Deficiency which leave the lungs unable to grasp the Qi.

    Feishu UB 13, Lieque LU 7, Fengmen UB 12, Tanzhong REN 17, and Chize LU 5.

    Acupuncture treatment for spleen type asthma should focus on sedating the Lung and eliminating the phlegm. Renzhong REN 17 should be stimulated. Chize LU 5 should be needled against the flow of the channel.

    Cupping may be applied with acupuncture.

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