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Relief From Fluid Retention by TCM Remedies

Fluid retention in the chest (pleural effusion) may appear in lung, breast and lymphoma cancers, while abdominal fluid retention ( malignant ascites) can be seen in cancer of the liver, stomach, large intestine and ovary. Normally, the conditions indicate an advantaged stage of cancer.

In TCM understanding, water metabolism is dominated by the kidney, controlled by the spleen, regulated by the lung, transformed by the bladder and managed by the triple-burner; when these organs are under-functioning and fluid metabolism is disturbed, then retention of body fluid will be developed. TCM has many formulae to eliminate excessive body fluids; they target different mechanical pathways that lead to the over abundance of these fluids. The herbs work by promoting organ functioning, drying the body, inducing urination or purgation. Common ingredients used as external remedies for relief of fluid retention are:

da ji Euphorbia root Radix Euphorbiae Pekinensis
yuan hua Lilac daphne flower bud Flos Genkwa
gan sui Gansui root Radix Euphorbiae Kansui
shang lu Pokeberry root Radix Phytolaccae
qian niu zi Pharbitis seed Semen Pharbitidis
da fu pi Betel nut coat Pericarpium Arecae
sang bai pi White mulberry root-bark Cortex Mori

This type of formulae is mainly composed of herbs with bitter and cold properties, and is poisonous as well. They tend to consume body fluids and further weaken the constitution if used internally; however, topical application of these herbs can avoid the risk. Usually, physicians pulverize the herbal mixture, make it into paste form, and then apply on the entire chest or abdomen.

Pokeberry root
Pharbitis seed
Betel nut shell