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Wind-cold | Wind-heat | Wind-dampness
Liver yang | Kidney deficiency | Qi deficiency
Blood deficiency | Turbid phlegm | Blood stasis

Wind-dampness Headaches & the Chinese Remedies

Headache pattern: acute onset, headaches with pressure, and also have cloudiness and heaviness sensations, aggravated during rainy days.

Accompanied symptoms: limb heaviness, chest stuffiness, abdominal distension, poor appetite, a sticky sensation in the mouth, urinary difficulty or loose bowels, white greasy tongue coating, and rolling pulse.

Analysis: when the weather is humid, invasion of external wind-cold often combines with dampness. The pathogens attack the head and obstruct the orifices, producing headaches that feel as though the head is tightly banded. The spleen governs transportation and transformation and corresponds to the four limbs. Dampness tends to accumulate in the middle burner and interrupt the spleen functioning, so there will be heavy limbs, chest stuffiness, abdominal distension, and poor appetite. Internal dampness also disturbs the body fluids and leads to urinary difficulty and loose bowels. A sticky sensation in the mouth, the tongue coating and the pulse are also associated with dampness disrupting the middle burner. This type of headache prone to develop in those who stay in a humid environment for long hours, while they overstrain the bodies or have temporary weakness (insufficient healthy energy) at the same time.

Therapeutic principle: dispel wind and dry dampness

Sample prescription: Notopterygium Decoction to Remove Dampness

In the prescription, pungent and warming herbs are used, such as the notopterygium root, pubescent angelica root, ledebouriella root, Sichuan lovage, Jehol ligustium rhizome and vitex fruit. They expel the pathogens through sweating, restore the normal flow of yang qi, and thus relieve the pain and heaviness sensation. The liquorice root can assist other herbs to disperse the pathogens and also as a buffer.

Notopterygium root
Pubescent angelica root
Atractylodes rhizome

Some modifications can be made according to the specific symptoms.

Apparent chest stuffiness, poor appetite, abdominal distension and loose bowels indicate that the remedy should further reinforce its actions of drying dampness and relieving the middle burner. Select herbs like:

hou po magnolia bark Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis
cang zhu atractylodes rhizome Rhizoma Atractylodis
chen pi dried tangerine peel Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae

Apparent nausea and vomiting can be relieved by smoothing the stomach movements, select herbs like:

sheng jiang fresh ginger Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens
ban xia pinellia tuber Rhizoma Pinelliae
zhu ru bamboo shavings Caulis Bambusae in Taeniam

Sticky and bitter sensations in the mouth indicate that the accumulated dampness begin to transform into heat. Herbs selected to clear the heat and eliminate the dampness are:

huang lian golden thread rhizome Rhizoma Coptidis
huang qin baical skullcap root Radix Scutellariae
ban xia pinellia tuber Rhizoma Pinelliae