Section T



Synonym:  tablet preparation .

A medicinal preparation made by mixing a powder of ground medicinal materials with a formative medicinal and compressing them into a mold. Tablets are convenient to carry and use. They easily absorb dampness, so should be kept in a dry place. Tablets may be hand or machine made. To make tablets by hand, the constituents are ground to a fine powders, and blended with flour and water paste or viscous rice water, pressed in a mold, and either oven-dried or left to dry in the shade. Less commonly, some of the constituents are boiled, and after straining off the dregs, the decoction is reduced to a paste, which is then mixed with the dry medicinals. See medicinal preparation.

tablet preparation


See tablet.




tail bone



take drenched


Swallowing (powders, paste, or glue) mixed with several times the volume of cold, warm, or hot water or other fluid. Medicinals that should not or need not be decocted are taken drenched to facilitate swallowing. Some medicinals such as Succinum ( ), Cinnabaris (zhü shä), or Notoginseng Radix (sän ) that are expensive or that should not be decocted are ground to a fine powder and mixed with warm water or an accompanying decoction and swallowed. Some gelatinous medicinals or mineral salts such as Asini Corii Gelatinum (ë jiäo), Mirabilitum (máng xiäo), or Granorum Saccharon ( táng) can be dissolved in warm water or an accompanying decoction.



The name of a dynasty ( 618--907).

tangled red-thread vessels

Synonym:  chaotic red-

thread vessels ;

Synonym:  chaotic vessels in the white of the eye .

A disease pattern of the eye characterized by red vessels in the white of the eye that run in all directions like tangled threads. Tangled red-thread vessels are associated with dryness of the eyes and slight tearing and aversion to light. They are attributed to the enduring presence of evils causing stasis in the blood network vessels of the white of the eye. They are is observed in peppercorn sores, millet sores, eye strain, and long exposure to fumes or dust.

Western Medical Concept:  conjunctivitis*!chronic chronic conjunctivitis* hyperemia of the bulbar conjunctiva* hyperemia of the bulbar conjunctiva as in chronic conjunctivitis.

Medication:  Dispel the evil and dissipate stasis. Compare red vessels invading the eye.

taste in the mouth

kôu wèi

The taste experienced when there is nothing in the mouth. Changes in the taste in the mouth are of corroborative value in pattern identification. If the taste in the mouth is unaffected by illness, the mouth is said to be in harmony. This indicates that there is no heat in the interior. taste is the most commonly reported deviation from ``harmony of mouth'' and is attributed to bile. It is observed in lesser yang disease and depressed liver-gallbladder heat. taste in the mouth is attributable either to spleen-stomach heat or to dual vacuity of spleen-stomach qi and yin. taste, sometimes described as being ``fishy,'' is ascribed to kidney vacuity. taste in the mouth is a subjective feeling of sourness in the mouth, that in severe cases may be accompanied by a sour smell on the breath. It is attributed to liver heat, to spleen vacuity being exploited by wood, or to food stagnation. taste in the mouth is diminished sense of taste. It is usually associated with no enjoyment in food and poor appetite. It is attributed to spleen-stomach vacuity or to dampness obstructing the center burner. See bitter taste in the mouth; sweet taste in the mouth; sour taste in the mouth; bland taste in the mouth. See also sliminess in the mouth.

taste of urine in the mouth

kôu yôu niào wèi

See block and repulsion.




Physical exertion.

Definition:  Fatigue resulting from physical exertion. According to Elementary Questions ( wèn) ``taxation causes wearing of qi.''

Definition:  Severe lasting wear and tear on the body by overexertion or lack of exercise, and in a wider context by intemperate living (including dietary irregularities and sexual intemperance), the seven affects (emotional imbalance), or enduring disease. The damage resulting from any of these factors is referred to as taxation fatigue or taxation damage (these terms also have another specific meanings; see taxation fatigue). The damage resulting from overexertion or lack of exercise is classically described in terms of the damage by the five taxations (prolonged vision damages the blood; prolonged lying damages qi; prolonged sitting damages the flesh; prolonged standing damages the bones; and prolonged walking damages the sinews). Damage by excessive sexual activity is called sexual taxation. The harmful effects of intemperate living and the seven affects are referred to as internal damage, and when they cause severe lasting wear and tear on the body, the resulting patterns are called vacuity taxation or vacuity detriment conditions.

Definition:  Consumption (corresponding to pulmonary tuberculosis in Western medicine), a contagious disease that causes gradual wasting away of the body.

taxation causes wearing of qi

láo   hào

Excessive taxation, panting, and excessive sweating can cause damage to qi, causing fatigue.

taxation cough

láo sòu

Synonym:  vacuity taxation cough ;

Synonym:  taxation damage cough .

Definition:  Cough occurring in severe vacuity patterns due to taxation fatigue, sexual and drinking intemperance. Taxation cough frequently manifests as lung-kidney yin vacuity flaming fire or lung-spleen vacuity cold. See also spleen cough.

Lung-kidney yin vacuity flaming fire  (fèi shèn yïn  huô yán) taxation cough is characterized by signs of the lung being deprived of nourishment and of lung qi ascending counterflow, such as dry cough with scant phlegm, a hoarse cough, dry mouth and dry throat. This is accompanied by signs of effulgent yin vacuity fire such as postmeridian tidal heat~effusion, night sweating, and vexing heat in the five hearts. In this condition, heat easily stirs yin-blood and damages the network vessels of the lung so that the phlegm is flecked with blood.

Medication:  Treat with Fine Jade Paste (qióng  gäo) or Six Gentlemen Metal and Water Brew (jïn shuî lìu jün jiän).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on LU and KI. Select BL-13 (fèi shü, Lung Transport) , BL-43 (gäo huäng shü, Gao-Huang Transport) , LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) , and KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea) ; needle with supplementation. For phlegm flecked with blood, drain, LU-6 (kông zuì, Collection Hole) , and LU-10 ( , Fish Border) .

Lung-spleen vacuity cold  (fèi   hán) taxation cough is characterized by enduring cough with copious phlegm that is easily expectorated, shortness of breath, sloppy stool, and aversion to cold.

Medication:  Treat with Supplemented Center-Rectifying Decoction (jiä wèi  zhöng täng).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on back transport points, LU, SP, and ST. Select BL-13 (fèi shü, Lung Transport) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , LU-9 (tài yuän, Great Abyss) , SP-3 (tài bái, Supreme White) , CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , ST-40 (fëng lóng, Bountiful Bulge) , and LI-4 ( , Union Valley) ; needle with supplementation and add moxa. See spleen cough.

Definition:  The term taxation cough also includes, and sometimes specifically denotes, cough due to consumption, which is attributed to ``worms gnawing the lungs.'' See consumption and lung taxation.

Medication:  Use formulas such as Stemona Paste (bâi  gäo).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on LU and back transport points. Select LU-9 (tài yuän, Great Abyss) , BL-13 (fèi shü, Lung Transport) , BL-43 (gäo huäng shü, Gao-Huang Transport) , LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , and KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) ; needle with supplementation. See fire depression cough.

taxation damage

láo shäng

taxation fatigue.

taxation damage cough

láo shäng  sòu

taxation cough.

taxation damage profuse menstruation

láo shäng yuè jïng guò duo

Profuse menstruation (menorrhagia) occurring when taxation fatigue causes detriment to the thoroughfare and controlling vessels. Menstrual flow gradually increases and becomes persistent. It is dull and pale in color. Accompanying signs include withered-yellow facial complexion, physical fatigue and lack of strength, and in some cases sagging aching pain in the abdomen.

Medication:  Secure the thoroughfare vessel and stanch bleeding with Thoroughfare-Quieting Decoction (än chöng täng).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV, SP, and ST. Select CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , SP-1 (yîn bái, Hidden White) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , and SP-3 (tài bái, Supreme White) ; needle with supplementation and add moxa.

taxation detriment

láo sûn

Any pattern caused by taxation which in turn causes vacuity detriment to yin-yang, qi-blood, or the organs. Taxation is the cause, whereas detriment is the resulting pattern. Taxation detriment is also used as a generic name for vacuity taxation and vacuity detriment. See also taxation fatigue.

taxation fatigue

láo juàn

Synonym:  taxation damage .

Definition:  Overexertion, intemperate living (including dietary irregularities and sexual intemperance), or the seven affects (emotional imbalance) as a cause of disease.

Definition:  A disease pattern resulting from taxation fatigue. Overexertion, dietary irregularities, sexual intemperance, and affect damage tend to damage spleen qi and kidney essence; hence taxation fatigue is characterized by fatigue and laziness to speak, panting on exertion, heat vexation, spontaneous sweating, and heart palpitations.

Medication:  Use Center-Supplementing Qi-Boosting Decoction ( zhöng   täng). For pronounced yin fire with heat agitation, add Phellodendri Cortex (huáng bâi) and Rehmanniae Radix Exsiccata seu Recens (shëng  huáng) to supplement water and rescue yin. For vexation, combine the formula with Cinnabar Spirit-Quieting Pill (zhü shä än shén wán) to drain fire and quiet the spirit.

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV, SP, and ST. Select CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , and SP-3 (tài bái, Supreme White) ; needle with supplementation and moxa if appropriate. For heat vexation and spontaneous sweating, add LI-4 ( , Union Valley) and KI-7 ( lïu, Recover Flow) . For heart vexation, add HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) . See damage by the five taxations and sexual taxation.

taxation heat~effusion

láo  in vacuity taxation patterns,

attributable to qi-blood depletion or yang debilitation and yin vacuity. It takes the form of effusion steaming bone taxation heat~, and vexing heat in the five hearts. Accompanying signs differ according to the nature of the vacuity. See yin vacuity heat~effusion, yang vacuity heat~effusion, blood vacuity heat~effusion, and qi vacuity heat~effusion.

taxation malaria

láo nüè


Enduring malaria occurring when patients suffering from debilitation of right qi or enduring taxation detriment contract the evils that cause malaria. Taxation malaria is characterized by mild aversion to cold and mild heat~effusion occurring in the day or at night, with attacks being brought on by taxation. Patients often suffer from qi vacuity copious sweating and reduced food intake.

Medication:  Supplement vacuity and terminate malaria, using Center-Supplementing Qi-Boosting Decoction ( zhöng   täng) plus Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix (níu ), Polygoni Multiflori Radix Praeparatum (zhì  shôu ), and Mume Fructus ( méi). If there is pronounced vacuity heat and shortage of liquid characterized by a dry mouth and tongue, Bupleurum Decoction Minus Pinellia Plus Trichosanthes Root (chái   bàn xià jiä guä lóu täng) can be used.

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on GV, PC, SI, ST, and back transport points. Select GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) , GV-13 (táo dào, Kiln Path) , PC-5 (jiän shî, Intermediary Courier) , SI-3 (hòu , Back Ravine) , CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , SP-2 ( , Great Metropolis) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , and BL-17 ( shü, Diaphragm Transport) ; needle with supplementation and add moxa. For principles and methods of treatment, see malaria.

Definition:  mother-of-malaria.

taxation relapse


Relapse due to taxation. During recovery from an illness, before qi and blood have returned to normal or when residual heat is still present, physical exertion, affect damage, dietary or sexual intemperance can damage right qi and cause a relapse of the illness.

taxation steaming

láo zhëng

steaming disease.

taxation strangury

láo lín

Dribbling painful urination brought on by taxation fatigue. Distinction is made between spleen taxation and kidney taxation.

Medication:  Spleen taxation is treated by fortifying the spleen and boosting qi, using formulas such as Center-Supplementing Qi-Boosting Decoction ( zhöng   täng) or Spleen-Returning Decoction (guï  täng) and their variations, whereas kidney taxation is treated by supporting vacuity and supplementing the kidney, using Six-Ingredient Rehmannia Pill (lìu wèi  huáng wán), and Golden Coffer Kidney Qi Pill (jïn guì shèn  wán).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on the three yin channels of the foot and on alarm and back transport points of BL (CV-3 and BL-28). Main points: BL-28 (páng guäng shü, Bladder Transport) , CV-3 (zhöng , Central Pole) , SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) (moxa can be added at this last point). Selection of points according to pattern: For kidney taxation, add BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , and KI-7 ( lïu, Recover Flow) ; needling with supplementation. For spleen taxation, add BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) ; needle with supplementation and add moxa.

taxation timidity

láo què

vacuity taxation.


sän jiäo

Abbreviation for the triple burner or the hand lesser yang triple burner channel.




The dried leaves of the shrub Camellia sinensis (tea leaves) or the drink made by infusing tea leaves in hot water.

Definition:  Powders made loosely into cakes with binding medicinals which are prepared by brewing like tea, either with tea leaves or without.

tear hall

lèi táng

The hole from which tears flow (i.e., the outlet of the lacrimal gland). Also lacrimal gland* called tear orifice.


líu lèi

Synonym:  lacrimation .

The discharge of tears other than for emotional reasons. A broad distinction is made between heat tearing, cold tearing, and tearing on exposure to wind. In young children, crying without tearing is a sign of a relatively serious condition.

tearing on exposure to wind

yíng fëng líu lèi

A sign of liver channel vacuity cold or liver channel wind-heat. Periodic tearing unassociated with exposure to wind may be due either to liver-kidney depletion or to effulgent yin vacuity fire.

tear orifice

lèi qiào

Synonym:  tear hall .

The hole from which tears flow.

Western Medical Concept:  punctum lacrimale* lacrimal point* outlet of the lacrimal gland (punctum lacrimale, lacrimal point).



The humor of the liver.

tears are the humor of the liver

lèi wéi gän 

The liver opens at the eyes; hence tears are the humor of the liver.

teeth are the surplus of the bone

chî wéi  zhï 

The teeth are the product of a surplus qi of the bone, and since the kidney governs the bone, the teeth are considered to be related to the kidney qi. The growth and condition of the teeth are considered as a reflection of kidney qi. See slowness to teethe; change of teeth; loosening of the teeth; desiccated teeth; black teeth.

teeth dry as desiccated bones

 chî gän zào   

desiccated teeth.


Synonym:  greater yang .

The area medial to the eyebrow bone (superciliary arch), in front of the upper part of the ear.

tendency to sleep

duö mèi


tender-red tongue

shé zhí nèn hóng

A tongue that is a pale soft red (pastel red) in color. It is a sign of severe vacuity.

tender-soft tongue

shé nèn

A tongue that looks smooth and tender like the flesh of a child.


  hòu zhòng

Synonym:  abdominal urgency and heaviness in the rectum .

The urgent desire to evacuate, with difficulty in defecation characterized by heaviness or pressure in the rectum. Tenesmus with stool containing pus and blood is a major sign of dysentery.

ten formula types


Diffusing, freeing, supplementing, discharging, light, heavy, lubricating, astringent, dry, and moist formulas.

Ten Formula Types

tennis elbow

wâng qíu zhôu

elbow taxation.

ten-principle inspection of the complexion

wàng  shí 

A method of evaluating the facial complexion according to ten paired principles: floating and sunken; clear and turbid; weak and strong; diffuse and intense; moist and perished.

Floating and sunken  ( chén) ( fu2 chen2): A floating complexion is one where the color appears to be in the skin; it signifies disease in the exterior. A sunken complexion is one where the color appears to be below the skin; it indicates that the disease is in the interior. A floating complexion that gradually becomes sunken indicates disease passing from the exterior into the interior. A sunken complexion that gradually becomes floating indicates disease passing from the interior out to the exterior.

Clear and turbid  (qïng zhuó) ( qing1 zhuo2): A clear complexion is clean and bright; it means that the disease is in yang. A turbid complexion is murky and dull; it means that the disease is in yin. A clear complexion that becomes turbid and a turbid complexion that becomes clear indicates disease movement from yang to yin or yin to yang.

Weak and strong  (wëi shèn) ( wei1 shen4): A weak complexion is pale-colored; it is associated with vacuity of right qi. A strong complexion is deep-colored; it signifies exuberant evil qi. A strong complexion changing to a weak complexion or vice-versa indicates repletion-vacuity conversion.

Diffuse and dense  (sàn tuán) ( san4 tuan2): A diffuse complexion is a dispersed complexion; it signifies illness about to resolve; a dense complexion is an unbroken complexion, and means a disease gradually gathering. A diffuse complexion becoming dense indicates that although the disease is of recent onset, it is gradually gathering; a dense complexion becoming diffuse indicates that although the illness is long standing, it is about to resolve.

Moist and perished  ( yäo) ( ze2 yao1): A moist complexion is one with a sheen; it signifies life. A perished complexion is a desiccated complexion; it signifies death. A perished complexion that becomes moist indicates the return of essence-spirit; a moist complexion that becomes perished indicates debilitation of qi and blood. The ten principles are helpful in assessing the development of a disease. However, they must be correlated with the five colors. For example, a red complexion means heat. A weak red complexion indicates vacuity heat, whereas a strong red complexion is repletion heat; a floating weak red complexion indicates vacuity heat in the exterior, while a deep weak red complexion indicated vacuity heat in the interior.

ten questions

shí wèn

Inquiry into the following ten areas: cold and heat; sweating; head and body; stool and urine; appetite; chest; hearing; thirst; previous illnesses; cause of present illness. In addition, the practitioner should inquire into effectiveness of previous medication, menstruation in women, and smallpox and measles in children.

tension of the sinews

jïn mài  

Tension of the sinews preventing normal bending and stretching. Sinew hypertonicity is mostly attributable to contraction of wind-cold in general vacuity, or to blood or liquid vacuity depriving the sinew vessels of nourishment. It is observed in lockjaw , tetany , impediment , fright wind , and wind stroke .

Medication:  Use Five Accumulations Powder (  sân) to dispel wind and dissipate cold or use Four Agents Decoction (  täng) to nourish blood and increase humor.

Acupuncture:  Needle the meeting point of the sinews, GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring) , and add other points according to cause and location.

ten strange pulses

shí guài mài

Ten critical pulse conditions, include the seven strange pulses, i.e., pecking sparrow pulse, leaking roof pulse, flicking stone pulse, untwining rope pulse, waving fish pulse, darting shrimp pulse, and seething cauldron pulse, plus the three others:

Upturned knife pulse  (yân däo mài) : A pulse like a knife with the blade pointing upward, i.e., fine, stringlike, extremely tight.

Spinning bean pulse:  (zhuân dòu mài) : A pulse that comes and goes away elusive like a spinning bean. Also called a spinning pill pulse.

Frenzied sesame seed pulse:  (  mài) : A pulse that feels like sesame seeds under the finger, extremely fine and faint, and urgent, skipping and chaotic.

terminating lactation


A method of treatment used to stop the flow of milk.

Medication:  Preparea a decoction of stir-fried Hordei Fructus Germinatus (mài ) and drink as tea. Decoct 80--100~g (some say only 60~g) per day, and take for 3--5 consecutive days. Some also claim that raw barley sprout should be used. If signs such distention and pain in the breasts, or lumps, or even a sensation of heat in the breast appear, Taraxaci Herba cum Radice ( göng yïng) can be added to clear heat and resolve toxin, and Citri Semen ( ), Forsythiae Fructus (lián qiào), and Galli Gigerii Endothelium ( nèi jïn) can be added to disperse stagnation to prevent the development of mammary welling-abscess. Alternatively, use No-Nursing-Worries Powder (miân huái sân) with the addition of Hordei Fructus Germinatus (mài ), Citri Semen ( ), and Crataegi Fructus (shän zhä).

Acupuncture:  Select GB-21 (jiän jîng, Shoulder Well) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , bilateral GB-37 (guäng míng, Bright Light) , and bilateral GB-41 ( lín , Foot Overlooking Tears) ; needle with drainage, and addg moxa at GB-37 and GB-41.

tertian malaria

jiän  nüè characterized by episodes occurring every other day.

Western Medical Concept:  malaria*!vivax malaria*!tertian tertian malaria, vivax malaria.



Either of the egg-shaped contents of the scrotum. The Inner Canon (nèi jïng) makes no comment about the function of the testicles, although it mentions them six times in the context of disease, e.g., The Magic Pivot (líng shü) states, ``In disease of the small intestine, there is smaller-abdominal pain and pain in the lumbar spine referring to the testicles.''

tetanic disease

jìng bìng


tetanic reversal

jìng jué

Tetany accompanied by clouding reversal (loss of consciousness).





Severe spasm such as rigidity in the neck, clenched jaw, convulsions of the limbs, and arched-back rigidity. Repletion patterns are attributed to wind, cold, dampness, phlegm, or fire congesting the channels, whereas vacuity patterns occur when excessive sweating, loss of blood, or constitutional vacuity causes qi vacuity, shortage of blood, and insufficiency of the fluids, depriving the sinews of nourishment and allowing internal wind to stir. To resolve tetany, repletion patterns are treated primarily by dispelling wind and secondarily by supporting right qi, whereas vacuity patterns are treated primarily by boosting qi and nourishing the blood and secondarily by extinguishing wind. Distinction is made between soft tetany and hard tetany, the former being distinguished from the latter by the presence of sweating and absence of aversion to cold. The terms yin tetany and yang tetany are synonymous with soft and hard tetany, or may denote tetany with and without counterflow cold of the limbs respectively. Tetany may occur as a signs of a variety of different diseases, including but not limited to tetanus (see lockjaw); occurring in infants and children, it is referred to as fright wind. See fright and fright wind.

thick tongue fur

hòu täi

A thick tongue fur indicates the presence of an evil, usually dampness or phlegm. The thickening of the tongue fur means the advance of the evil, whereas its thinning marks regression.

thief sweating

dào hàn

night sweating.


The upper section of the leg from the knee to the trunk; the thigh bone. The Magic Pivot (líng shü) states, ``the distance between the thighs is six inches and a half.''

thigh bone


The bone of the upper leg.

Western Medical Concept:  femur* femur.

thigh joint


The area at the upper extremity of the thigh at the crease between the thigh and trunk.

Western Medical Concept:  hip joint* hip joint.

thigh pivot



The prominence at the top of the lateral aspect of the thigh.

Western Medical Concept:  great trochanter* trochanter*!great greater trochanter.

Definition:  The socket of the hip joint.

Western Medical Concept:  acetabulum* acetabulum.

thin tongue fur


A tongue fur is thin if the underlying tongue surface shows through faintly. A thin white tongue fur may be normal, or may be a sign of initial-stage external contraction. Other thin furs are of pathological significance judged by their color and texture.

third yang channel

sän yáng

greater yang channel.

third yin channel

sän yïn

greater yin channel.


A sense of dryness in the mouth with a greater or lesser urge to drink. Thirst most commonly reflects insufficiency of yin fluids and/or the presence of heat that causes fluid loss through sweating, as observed in lung-stomach heat, yin vacuity, and blood vacuity. It may occur when water-damp, phlegm or static blood cause obstruction. It can also reflect impaired transportation of the essence of food and water due to spleen vacuity or in impaired transformation of fluids due to kidney vacuity.

Lung-stomach heat  (fèi wèi yôu ) thirst is characterized by desire for cold drinks and is associated with constipation, reddish urine, yellow tongue fur, and rapid pulse.

Medication:  Clear heat and drain fire with formulas such as Lung-Clearing Drink (qïng fèi yîn zi), White Tiger Decoction (bái  täng), or one of the Qi-Coordinating Decoctions (chéng  täng).

Acupuncture:  Commonly used main points for all forms of thirst are , , TB-2 ( mén, Humor Gate) , KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea) , and SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , needle with supplementation. For lung-stomach heat, add LU-7 (liè quë, Broken Sequence) , LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) , LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court) , and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , and needle with drainage.

Yin vacuity and diminished liquid  (yïn  jïn shâo) thirst is characterized by dry throat and mouth, heat vexation and upbearing fire flush, red lips, tongue with scant liquid, and a fine pulse.

Medication:  Nourish yin and engender liquid using formulas such as Humor-Increasing Decoction (zëng  täng), Five Juices Beverage ( zhï yîn), and Adenophora/Glehnia and Ophiopogon Decoction (shä shën mài döng täng).

Acupuncture:  Use the main points for thirst described above, and add BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , and KI-2 (rán , Blazing Valley) , needling with supplementation.

Blood vacuity  (xuè ) thirst is most commonly observed after major blood loss and is attended by pale lips, bright white complexion, dizziness, pale tongue, and vacuous or scallion-stalk pulse.

Medication:  Supplement qi and boost the blood with formulas such as Tangkuei Blood-Supplementing Decoction (däng guï  xuè täng) or Eight-Gem Decoction ( zhën täng).

Acupuncture:  To the main points for thirst, add BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , BL-21 (wèi shü, Stomach Transport) , LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) , and BL-17 ( shü, Diaphragm Transport) , needling with supplementation.

Water-damp  (shuî shï) thirst is characterized by thirst with no desire to drink, i.e., a thirst that is unquenched by drinking; it indicates not a lack of fluid in the body, but failure of fluids to reach the mouth. Thirst in such cases is associated with oppression in the chest, torpid intake, abdominal distention, swollen limbs, inhibited urination, slimy tongue fur, and a soggy pulse.

Medication:  Dry dampness and disinhibit water with formulas such as Stomach-Calming Poria (Hoelen) Five Decoction (wèi líng täng) or Five-Peel Beverage (  yîn).

Acupuncture:  Add to the main points for thirst CV-9 (shuî fën, Water Divide) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , BL-22 (sän jiäo shü, Triple Burner Transport) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , and SP-9 (yïn líng quán, Yin Mound Spring) , and needle with drainage.

Phlegm-rheum  (tán yîn) thirst is associated with oppression in the chest, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and ejection of phlegm-drool.

Medication:  Warm yang and transform rheum using formulas such as Poria (Hoelen), Cinnamon Twig, Ovate Atractylodes, and Licorice Decoction (líng guì zhú gän täng).

Acupuncture:  To the main points for thirst add CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , ST-40 (fëng lóng, Bountiful Bulge) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass) , and PC-4 ( mén, Cleft Gate) , and needle with supplementation and add moxa.

Blood stasis  (xuè ) thirst is characterized by thirst but with a desire only to wash the mouth rather than to swallow fluid and is attended by withered lips, purple tongue, and a rough pulse. Treat by quickening the blood and dispelling stasis with formulas like Peach Kernel and Carthamus Four Agents Decoction (táo hóng   täng) and House of Blood Stasis-Expelling Decoction (xuè  zhú  täng).

Acupuncture:  To the main points for thirst add BL-17 ( shü, Diaphragm Transport) , SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , and LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) ; needle with even supplementation and drainage or prick to bleed with a three-edged needle.

Spleen vacuity  ( ) with impaired transportation of liquid causing thirst is characterized by desire for warm drinks and the intake of fluids in small amounts, and is attended by fatigued cumbersome limbs, clear urine, and sloppy stool.

Medication:  Fortify the spleen with formulas such as Center-Rectifying Decoction ( zhöng täng) and Seven-Ingredient Ovate Atractylodes Powder ( wèi bái zhú sân).

Acupuncture:  To the main points for thirst add CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , and SP-4 (göng sün, Yellow Emperor) , needling with supplementation and adding moxa.

Kidney yang debilitation  (shèn yáng  shuäi) thirst is characterized by physical cold and aversion to cold, shortness of breath, swollen limbs, cold aching lumbus and legs, and long voidings of clear urine or dribbling urination, sunken pulse, and pale tongue.

Medication:  Warm yang and supplement the kidney using formulas such as True Warrior Decoction (zhën  täng) or Golden Coffer Kidney Qi Pill (jïn guì shèn  wán). Thirst with frequent intake of fluids, increased food intake, and copious urine is a sign of dispersion-thirst.

Acupuncture:  To the main points for thirst add BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , GV-4 (mìng mén, Life Gate) , KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , and KI-7 ( lïu, Recover Flow) , needling with supplementation and adding moxa.

thirst with a liking for warm drinks


See thirst.

thirst with no desire to drink


See thirst.

Thirteen Ghost Points

shí sän guî xué

A group of points that originated from the Tang dynasty physician Sun Si-Miao's method for treating conditions such as mania, withdrawal, and epilepsy that were formerly attributed to demonic influence or possession. See Table .

thoracic fullness

xiöng mân

fullness in the chest.

thoracic glomus


glomus in the chest.

thoracic impediment


chest impediment.

thoracic oppression

xiòng mèn

oppression in the chest.

thoracic pain

xiöng tòng

chest pain.

thoracic yang

xiöng yáng

chest yang.

thoroughfare vessel

chöng mài


Synonym:  penetrating vessel .

One of the eight extraordinary vessels. The thoroughfare vessel has a total of five paths. The first starts in the lower abdomen and emerges in the qi street, traveling up with the foot lesser yin kidney channel and passing from the umbilicus to the chest, where it disperses between the ribs. The second path begins where the channel disperses in the chest. It runs up the throat and face, skirting the lips, and terminating in the nose. The third path emerges from the qi street in the lower abdomen at KI-11 (héng , Pubic Bone) , then descends along the medial aspect of the thigh to the popliteal fossa. Continuing down along the medial margin of the tibia, it passes behind the medial malleolus before dispersing in the sole of the foot. The fourth branch diverges from ST-30 ( chöng, Qi Thoroughfare) and descends obliquely down the lower extremity to the medial malleolus. It enters the heel, crosses the tarsal bones of the foot, and finally reaches the great toe. The fifth channel separates from the main course in the pelvic cavity and runs to the spine, which it then ascends. The thoroughfare vessel is the sea of the major channels. It has a regulating effect on all twelve regular channels, and its main function is to regulate menstruation, for which reason it is sometimes called the ``sea of blood.'' In women, uterine bleeding, miscarriage, menstrual block, menstrual irregularities, scant breast milk, lower abdominal pain, and blood ejection. In men, seminal emission, impotence, and conditions classed in Western medicine as prostatitis, urethritis, and orchitis. See uterus.


One of the five minds, associated with the spleen.

thought causes qi to bind


Excessive thought or cogitation can cause binding depression of spleen qi that affects normal splenic movement and transformation, causing glomus and fullness in the chest and stomach duct, poor appetite, abdominal distention, and thin stool.

thousand-day sore

qiän  chuäng


threaded ligation

guà xiàn 

A method of treating fistulas involving the threading of a medicated thread or fine shreds of elephant skin through the pathway of the fistula. This method makes use of the tensile strength of the thread to speed the degeneration of tissue to eventually open the fistula.

threatened miscarriage

xiän zhào líu chân

Lumbar and abdominal pain, sagging sensation, and bleeding from the vagina in pregnancy. In modern practice, a urine pregnancy test is routinely performed. See stirring fetus.

three bars of the finger

zhî sän guän

The wind, qi, and life bars. See infant's finger examination.

three causes of disease

sän yïn

Synonym:  three categories of cause .

External, internal, and neutral causes of disease. The term ``three causes'' was coined by Chen Wu-Ze in his A Unified Treatise on Diseases, Patterns, and Remedies According to the Three Causes (sän yïn   bìng zhèng fäng lùn) published in 1174. External factors are the six excesses. Internal causes are the seven affects. Neutral causes (literally ``non-external-internal'') include eating too much or too little, taxation fatigue, knocks and falls, crushing, drowning, and animal, insect, and reptile injuries.

three dispersions

sän xiäo


upper dispersion, center dispersion, and lower dispersion.

Definition:  dispersion-thirst, center dispersion, and kidney dispersion. See dispersion-thirst.

three-edged needle

sän léng zhën

A thick needle with a sharp, three-edged tip used for letting blood. A three-edged needle is the modern equivalent of the sharp-edged needle among the nine needles in ancient times. The use of presterilized, disposable lancets has replaced the three-edged needle for bloodletting in many acupuncture clinics. See bloodletting for instructions on how to use it.

three gems

sän bâo

Synonym:  three mysteries .

Essence, qi, and spirit.

three grades

sän pîn

Three categories of medicinals of The Divine Husbandman's Herbal Foundation Canon (shén nóng bên câo jïng) Top-grade medicals are those that are nontoxic and can be taken for long periods of time without harming the body. Medium-grade medicinals are those that are nontoxic or not greatly toxic and can treat disease and supplement vacuity. Low grade medicinals are ones that are toxic or harsh in their effects, cannot be taken over long periods, and are used to dispel heat and cold evil qi or to break accumulations and gatherings. The classification system of The Divine Husbandman's Herbal Foundation Canon (shén nóng bên câo jïng) is now considered to lack precision and consistency, some medicinals marked as top grade, for example, being toxic.

three hairs

sän máo

The region just proximal to the base of the nail of the great toe, at which a number of hairs are often found growing. Not to be confused with tuft of hair.

Three Kingdoms

sän guó

The name of a dynastic period ( 220--280).

three mysteries


three gems.

three positions and nine indicators

sän  jîu hòu


From Elementary Questions ( wèn) An ancient pulse-taking scheme. The three positions are three areas on the head, upper limbs, and lower limbs, each area having three pulse points (indicators), which in most cases can be located by the acupuncture point located at the site. See the list below. Possibly owing to a change in mores, the less invasive practice of feeling only the wrist pulse replaced the system of taking the pulse at multiple points, which was probably no longer practiced by the Later Han (1st century ).

Definition:  From The Classic of Difficult Issues (nàn jïng) An ancient pulse-taking scheme. In the context of the wrist pulse, the inch, bar, cubit positions are the three positions, and the superficial level, mid-level, and deep level of each of these are the nine indicators.

Three Positions and Nine Indicators
  • TB-21 (êr mén, Ear Gate)
  • ST-4 ( cäng, Earth Granary)
  • ST-5 ( yíng, Great Reception)
  • wrist pulse
  • HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate)
  • LI-4 ( , Union Valley)
  • LR-10 (  , Foot Five Li) LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) in men and in women
  • SP-11 ( mén, Winnower Gate)
  • ST-42 (chöng yáng, Surging Yang)
  • KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine)

three postpartum crises

chân hòu sän 

Three severe or critical conditions observed after giving birth: postpartum vomiting, postpartum night sweating, and postpartum diarrhea.

three postpartum desertions

chân hòu sän tuö

Qi desertion, blood desertion, and desertion of the spirit after childbirth. Qi desertion is characterized by shortness of breath, blood desertion by flooding and spotting, and desertion of the spirit by raving and hallucination.

three postpartum diseases

chân hòu sän bìng

postpartum tetany, postpartum depression and veiling, and postpartum defecation difficulty.

three postpartum surges

chân hòu sän chöng

Upward surge of wasted blood from undischarged lochia into the heart, lung, and stomach. See wasted blood surging into the heart; wasted blood surging into the lung; wasted blood surging into the stomach.

three worm diseases

sän chóng bìng

From The Origin and Indicators of Disease (zhü bìng yuán hòu lùn) A generic term for longworm disease, redworm disease, and pinworm disease.

three yang channels of the foot

 sän yáng jïng

Of the twelve channels, the three that run on the anterior, lateral, and posterior face of the leg, i.e., the foot yang brightness stomach channel, the foot lesser yang gallbladder channel, and foot greater yang bladder channel. These channels run from the head down the neck, back, and legs to the feet.

three yang channels of the hand

shôu sän yáng jïng

Of the twelve channels, the three to run over the lateral aspect of the arm. They are the hand yang brightness large intestine channel, the hand greater yang small intestine channel, and the hand lesser yang triple burner channel.

three yin channels of the foot

 sän yïn jïng

Of the twelve channels, the three that pass along the medial aspect of the leg. They are the foot greater yin spleen channel, the foot lesser yin kidney channel, and the foot reverting yin liver channel. They all start from the foot, and ascend the leg and abdomen to the chest.

three yin channels of the hand

shôu sän yïn jïng

Of the twelve channels, the three that pass along the medial aspect of the arm. They are the hand greater yin lung channel, the hand lesser yin heart channel, and the hand reverting yin pericardium channel. The all start from the chest and run out to the hands.


yän hóu

The cavity passing through the neck comprising the pharynx (upper part) and larynx (lower part). A red sore hot swollen throat or throat nodes (tonsils) indicate stomach or lung heat flaming upward; if yellowish white putrefaction speckles are also present, the cause is intense toxic heat. A dry red sore throat generally with slight swelling indicates effulgent yin vacuity fire. A pale red sore throat without the presence of heat or swelling may indicate vacuity fire floating upward. A slightly red sore swollen throat with grayish white putrefaction speckles or patches that are not easily removed may be diphtheria, which is attributable to scorching of lung-stomach yin liquid by dryness-heat. Diseases affecting the throat include: baby moth; throat wind; throat impediment; throat lichen; welling-abscess of the throat; diphtheria.

throat-entwining wind

chán hóu fëng in which the neck that is rigid as if entwined by a snake.

Throat-entwining wind is attributed to accumulated heat in the bowels and viscera and wind-phlegm welling upward. There is redness, soreness, and swelling inside and outside the throat pass, with local numbness and itching that may spread as far as the anterior chest. The neck is rigid as if entwined by a snake. The swelling spreads deep down into the throat to the epiglottis and larynx, causing hasty labored breathing, phlegm rale, qi tightness in the chest and diaphragm, green-blue finger nails, vigorous heat~effusion in the hearts of the palms, hypertonicity of the jaw, and difficulty in swallowing fluids. In severe cases, blockage of the throat can threaten death by asphyxiation.

Western Medical Concept:  abscess*!parapharyngeal submaxillaritis*!suppurative parapharyngeal abscess; suppurative submaxillaritis.

Medication:  Resolve toxin and discharge heat; disperse swelling and disinhibit the throat. Use Scourge-Clearing Toxin-Vanquishing Beverage (qïng wën bài  yîn). Modern methods may be necessary to maintain respiration.

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on LI, LU, and ST. Select LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) , LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) , ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court) , CV-22 (tiän , Celestial Chimney) , LU-10 ( , Fish Border) , ST-40 (fëng lóng, Bountiful Bulge) , CV-24 (chéng jiäng, Sauce Receptacle) , and ST-6 (jiá chë, Cheek Carriage) ; needle with drainage, and prick LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang) , and LI-1 (shäng yáng, Shang Yang) to bleed. See throat wind.

throat impediment



A generic name for swelling and soreness of the throat. Throat impediment is attributed generally either to externally contracted wind-heat or to yin vacuity.

Medication:  Wind-heat is treated with Lonicera and Forsythia Powder (yín qiào sân) plus Isatidis Radix (bân lán gën), Belamcandae Rhizoma (shè gän), and Scrophulariae Radix (xuán shën), whereas yin vacuity can be treated with Six-Ingredient Rehmannia Pill (lìu wèi  huáng wán).

Acupuncture:  For wind-heat, base treatment mainly on LU and LI. Select GB-20 (fëng chí, Wind Pool) , LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) , GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , TB-1 (guän chöng, Passage Hub) , and LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) ; needle with drainage. Prick LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang) to bleed. For yin vacuity, base treatment mainly on KI and LU. Select KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) , KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea) , and LU-10 ( , Fish Border) ; needle with even supplementation and drainage. For dry throat, add TB-2 ( mén, Humor Gate) . For pronounced sore swollen throat, prick LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang) to bleed.

Definition:  Critical swelling and soreness of the throat in which the throat becomes severely occluded.

throat lichen

hóu xiân in the throat;

so called because it appears as a moss or lichen growing in the throat. Throat lichen is attributable either to liver-kidney depletion or to stomach heat fuming the lung. It starts with a dry itchy, slightly sore throat that appears dark and gloomy in complexion, and is covered with red threads, like the veins of a Chinese flowering crabapple leaf . Subsequently, the affected area begins to putrefy and take on the appearance of being coated with moss or lichen. Other signs include pain on swallowing that is mild in the morning, more pronounced in the evening, and most severe at night, and a hoarse voice.

Western Medical Concept:  membranous pharyngitis. membranous pharyngitis* pharyngitis*!membranous

Liver-kidney depletion  (gän shèn  kuï) causes throat lichen when it causes ascendant hyperactivity of the ministerial fire that in turn causes wear on lung yin.

Medication:  Enrich yin and downbear fire with Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia Pill (zhï bâi  huáng wán) prepared as a decoction, or Four Agents Decoction (  täng) plus Ligustri Fructus (nüê zhën ), Scrophulariae Radix (xuán shën), and Ginseng Radix (rén shën), etc.

Stomach heat fuming the lung  (wèi huô xün fèi) results from excessive consumption of rich fatty fried foods and liquor that causes the accumulation of heat in the stomach.

Medication:  Clear heat and resolve toxin with Universal Aid Toxin-Dispersing Beverage (  xiäo  yîn) or Diaphragm-Cooling Powder (liáng  sân).

throat-locking wind

suô hóu fëng with clenched jaw.

Throat-locking wind is caused by brewing lung-stomach heat with subsequent contraction of wind evil, which settles in the throat. There is soreness inside and outside the throat pass, with a red swelling as large as a hen's egg. There is oppression in the chest, short hasty breathing, difficulty in speaking and swallowing, jaw clenched tight as a lock, bad breath, constipation, and great heat~effusion and aversion to cold.

Western Medical Concept:  abscess*!peritonsillar abscess*!retropharyngeal peritonsillar abscess; retropharyngeal abscess.

Medication:  Course wind and clear heat; resolve toxin and disperse swelling. Use Throat-Clearing Diaphragm-Disinhibiting Decoction (qïng yän   täng) or allow Six Spirits Pill (lìu shén wán) to dissolve in the mouth. When pus has formed, lance to drain, and insufflate Borneol and Borax Powder (bïng péng sân).

throat moth

hóu é

baby moth.

throat node


The slightly protruding flesh between the front pharyngeal pillars (palatoglossal arch) and the rear pharyngeal pillars (palatopharyngeal arch).

Western Medical Concept:  tonsils*!pharyngeal (pharyngeal) tonsils. Swelling of the throat nodes is called nipple moth, equivalent to tonsillitis in Western medicine.

throat pass

hóu guän

The constricted aperture between the mouth and throat at which the uvula is located.

Western Medical Concept:  isthmus faucium* isthmus faucium.

throat wind

hóu fëng

A severe sudden soreness and swelling of the throat with labored breathing, discomfort in swallowing, phlegm-drool congestion, difficulty talking, and, in severe cases, there may be clenching of the jaw and stupor. Throat wind is caused by wind-heat with preexisting heat in the lung and stomach, with wind and fire fanning each other and binding to produce the sore throat.

Western Medical Concept:  quinsy* abscess*!peritonsillar abscess*!retropharyngeal epiglottitis*!acute acute epiglottitis* croup*!diphtheritic peritonsillar abscess (quinsy); retropharyngeal abscess; acute epiglottitis, diphtheritic croup. Successive generations of physicians have distinguished different forms of the disease and used different names for them. Distinction is made between acute throat wind, putrefying throat wind, throat-locking wind, and throat-entwining wind.

Acute throat wind  ( hòu fëng) (also called constricting throat wind) is characterized by sudden swelling of the throat.

Putrefying throat wind  (làn hóu fëng) is marked by putrefaction and ulceration.

Throat-locking wind  (suô hóu fëng) is characterized by clenched jaw.

Throat-entwining wind  (chán hóu fëng) is characterized by rigidity of the neck as though it were entwined by a snake. See these entries.

throughflux diarrhea


Diarrhea after eating, with nontransformation of food.

Medication:  Warm the center with formulas such as Aconite Pill (  wán) containing Aconiti Tuber Laterale ( ), Mume Fructus ( méi), Zingiberis Rhizoma Exsiccatum (gän jiäng), and Coptidis Rhizoma (huáng lián).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on CV, ST, and back transport points. Select CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , LR-13 (zhäng mén, Camphorwood Gate) , ST-25 (tiän shü, Celestial Pivot) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , CV-9 (shuî fën, Water Divide) , and CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) . Needle with supplementation and use large amounts of moxa.

Definition:  soggy diarrhea.

Definition:  spleen diarrhea. dong4, hole, cave; pass through; xie4, drain.}

thumb body-inch

 zhî tóng shën cùn

From A Thousand Gold Pieces Prescriptions (qiän jïn yào fäng) The distance between the transverse creases on the inside of the thumb as a standard method of calculating one body-inch. See body-inch.

thumb-tack intradermal needle

qìn dïng xíng  nèi zhën

Synonym:  drawing-

pin intradermal needle .

A small needle about 2--3 mm long, continuous with and perpendicular to a circle of wire that forms the head. Thumb-tack needles are mostly used in ear acupuncture or facial acupuncture, and are implanted into the skin using tweezers and then held in position with tape. See needle implantation.

thunder head wind

léi tóu fëng

A disease characterized by lumps and swellings of the head and face, sometimes accompanied by abhorrence of cold and vigorous heat~effusion or by headache, and with a sound of thunder in the head. Thunder head wind is attributed to wind evil assailing from outside or to phlegm-heat engendering wind.

Medication:  Treat by clearing, diffusing, upbearing, and dissipating, using Clearing Invigoration Decoction (qïng zhèn täng). When due to phlegm-heat, it can be treated with Phlegm-Expelling Pill ( tán wán). If there is abhorrence of cold and vigorous heat~effusion, Schizonepeta and Ledebouriella Toxin-Vanquishing Powder (jïng fáng bài  sân) can be used. See headache.

thunderous rumbling in the intestines

cháng zhöng léi míng

Severe rumbling intestines.

thunder rampart

léi kuò

See eight ramparts.


tiän guî

heavenly tenth.

tidal heat~effusion


Heat~effusion, sometimes only felt subjectively, occurring at regular intervals, usually in the afternoon or evening postmeridian tidal heat~effusion(). Tidal heat~effusion may form part of both vacuity and repletion patterns.

Yang brightness yang2 ming2 bowel repletion  (yáng míng  shí) can cause tidal heat~effusion at the stage of the disease when heat has abated somewhat but not fully. The yang brightness tidal heat~effusion is a specific form of postmeridian (p.m.) tidal heat~effusion that is called late afternoon tidal heat~ because it occurs at roughly 3--5 p.m. It differs from other tidal heat~effusion occurring in other patterns by being a heightening of an otherwise constant heat~effusion. It is associated with streaming sweat on the hands and feet, hard fullness and pain in the abdomen, constipation (sometimes heat bind with circumfluence), vexation and agitation, parched yellow tongue fur, and a sunken replete pulse. In severe cases, there may be clouded spirit and delirious raving.

Medication:  Use Major Qi-Coordinating Decoction ( chéng  täng), Minor Qi-Coordinating Decoction (xiâo chéng  täng), or Stomach-Regulating Qi-Coordinating Decoction (tiáo wèi chéng  täng).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on ST, LI, and GV. Select ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , LI-11 ( chí, Pool at the Bend) , LI-6 (piän , Veering Passageway) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , BL-25 ( cháng shü, Large Intestine Transport) , GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) , and PC-5 (jiän shî, Intermediary Courier) ; needle with drainage.

Yin vacuity blood depletion  (yïn  xuè kuï) causes postmeridian (p.m.) tidal heat~effusion, i.e., a tidal heat~effusion in the afternoon, evening, or night. This is accompanied by heat in the heart of the palms and soles, heart vexation, insomnia, heart palpitations, night sweating, emaciation and haggard appearance, a red tongue with scant fur, and a fine rapid pulse.

Medication:  Enrich yin, nourish the blood, and clear heat. Use Bone-Clearing Powder (qïng  sân) plus Angelicae Sinensis Radix (däng guï) and Paeoniae Radix Alba (bái sháo yào).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on the three yin channels of the foot, HT, and GV. Select KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea) , KI-2 (rán , Blazing Valley) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , HT-8 (shào , Lesser Mansion) , HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) , LU-10 ( , Fish Border) , GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) , and PC-5 (jiän shî, Intermediary Courier) ; needle with even supplementation and drainage.

Spleen-stomach qi vacuity  ( wèi  ) causes morning tidal heat~effusion that abates in the afternoon (or sometimes postmeridian tidal heat~effusion), accompanied by shortage of qi, laziness to speak, lassitude of spirit, limp limbs, spontaneous sweating, bright white facial complexion, pale soft tongue, and a fine, vacuous, weak pulse.

Medication:  Eliminate heat with warmth and sweetness. Use Center-Supplementing Qi-Boosting Decoction ( zhöng   täng).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on back transport points, CV, and GV. Select BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , BL-21 (wèi shü, Stomach Transport) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , and GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) ; needle with supplementation.

Summerheat-heat damaging qi  (shû  shäng ) in children gives rise to a summer infixation with tidal heat~effusion in children. It may take the form of heat~effusion in the morning that cools in the evening or heat~effusion in the evening that cools in the morning. This is associated with thirst with intake of fluid, vexation and agitation, torpid intake, lassitude of spirit, slimy tongue fur, and fine rapid pulse.

Medication:  Clear summerheat and boost qi with Wang's Summerheat-Clearing Qi-Boosting Decoction (wáng shì qïng shû   täng).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on PC, ST, LI, and GV. Select PC-6 (nèi guän, Inner Pass) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , and GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) ; needle with drainage, and supplement CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , and BL-21 (wèi shü, Stomach Transport) .

Static blood  ( xuè) lying depressed in the inner body causes postmeridian tidal heat~effusion with dry throat and mouth, washing the mouth with water but no desire to swallow it, concretion lump in the abdomen or a painful area on the body, a green-blue or purple tongue possibly bearing stasis macules, and a rough fine pulse. In severe cases, patients may have encrusted skin and dull black eyes.

Medication:  Quicken the blood, transform stasis, and clear heat. Use House of Blood Stasis-Expelling Decoction (xuè  zhú  täng) plus Rhei Rhizoma ( huáng) and Moutan Radicis Cortex ( dän ).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment mainly on SP, LR, and KI. Select BL-17 ( shü, Diaphragm Transport) , SP-10 (xuè hâi, Sea of Blood) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , SP-6 (sän yïn jiäo, Three Yin Intersection) , KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea) , KI-2 (rán , Blazing Valley) , and LR-2 (xíng jiän, Moving Between) ; needle with drainage.

tidal reddening of the cheeks

liâng quán cháo hóng

See reddening of the cheeks.


See eye tie; heart tie; lung tie.

ties of the five viscera home to the heart

 zàng  jië shû  xïn Moving Between ( xué  mén)}

states, ``The ties of the five viscera connect with the heart; the heart connects with the ties of the five viscera. The tie of the heart is connected with the ties of the five viscera. It transports blood percolates marrow. Hence, disease among the five viscera first affects the heart '' The word ``tie'' may refer to blood vessels.

tiger's mouth


The region between the first and second metacarpal bones, where LI-4 ( , Union Valley) is located.

tiger's-whiskers clove sore


A clove sore at the corners of the mouth. See human center clove sore.

tight pulse

jîn mài

A stringlike pulse that has marked forcefulness. ``Stringlike'' denotes a quality, whereas ``tight'' denotes a quality and a strength. A tight pulse is always stringlike, whereas a stringlike pulse is not necessarily tight. A tight pulse is associated with cold and pain.


See numbness and tingling.


êr míng

Synonym:  sound of cicadas in the ear .

Unreal ringing, buzzing, or rushing sounds heard in the ears. Distinction is made between repletion and vacuity. Repletion patterns are attributed to ascendant counterflow of liver fire or phlegm fire. Vacuity patterns are attributed to depletion of kidney yin or center qi fall. In repletion patterns, tinnitus is of rapid onset and is characterized by the sound of frogs or of the tide. In vacuity patterns, it is like the sound of cicadas or a flute or pipe.

Liver fire  (gän huô) tinnitus is attended by headache, red eyes, dry mouth with bitter taste, vexation and agitation, irascibility, constipation, yellow tongue fur, and a rapid stringlike pulse.

Medication:  Clear and discharge liver fire using formulas such as Gentian Liver-Draining Decoction (lóng dân xiè gän täng).

Acupuncture:  For treatment of repletion patterns, base treatment mainly on TB, GB, and SI, selecting TB-17 ( fëng, Wind Screen) , TB-3 (zhöng zhû, Central Islet) , GB-2 (tïng huì, Auditory Convergence) , SI-19 (tïng göng, Auditory Palace) , and GB-43 (xiá , Pinched Ravine) as the main points. For liver fire, combine these with LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , LR-2 (xíng jiän, Moving Between) , GB-34 (yáng líng quán, Yang Mound Spring) , and KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) ; needle with drainage.

Phlegm-fire  (phlegm fire) tinnitus is accompanied by oppression in the chest, copious phlegm, inhibited stool and urination, yellow slimy tongue fur, and a rapid stringlike pulse.

Medication:  Treat with Gallbladder-Warming Decoction (wën dân täng) plus Coptidis Rhizoma (huáng lián) and Trichosanthis Fructus (guä lóu).

Acupuncture:  Use the basic points for repletion combined with ST-40 (fëng lóng, Bountiful Bulge) , CV-17 (shän zhöng, Chest Center) , ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , and LU-5 (chî , Cubit Marsh) ; needle with drainage.

Kidney vacuity  (shèn ) tinnitus, observed in vacuity patients and the elderly, takes the form of a fine thread-like sound that occurs frequently and is accompanied by limp aching lumbus and knees, enuresis, seminal emission, and a fine weak pulse that is forceless at the cubit .

Medication:  Enrich yin and supplement the kidney with Six-Ingredient Rehmannia Pill (lìu wèi  huáng wán), and if there is also hyperactivity of yang with dizziness, Magnetitum ( shí), Testudinis Plastrum (guï bân), Schisandrae Fructus ( wèi ), and Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix (níu ) should be added to subdue yang.

Acupuncture:  For treatment of vacuity patterns, base treatment mainly on TB and SI, selecting TB-17 ( fëng, Wind Screen) , SI-19 (tïng göng, Auditory Palace) , TB-3 (zhöng zhû, Central Islet) , and TB-21 (êr mén, Ear Gate) as the main points. To address the kidney yin vacuity, further needle with supplementation at BL-23 (shèn shü, Kidney Transport) , CV-4 (guän yuán, Pass Head) , and KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) . For kidney vacuity with yang hyperactivity, supplement KI-6 (zhào hâi, Shining Sea) , KI-2 (rán , Blazing Valley) , and KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) ; drain LR-3 (tài chöng, Supreme Surge) , LR-2 (xíng jiän, Moving Between) , and HT-7 (shén mén, Spirit Gate) .

Qi vacuity  ( ) tinnitus is accompanied by fatigued limbs, reduced food intake, and sloppy stool.

Medication:  Supplement the center and boost qi with Center-Supplementing Qi-Boosting Decoction ( zhöng   täng) plus Cuscutae Semen (  ).

Acupuncture:  Use the basic points for vacuity patterns combined with GV-20 (bâi huì, Hundred Convergences) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , CV-12 (zhöng wân, Center Stomach Duct) , and KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) ; needle with supplementation and add moxa if appropriate. See also deafness.

tinted vision

shì zhän yôu 

The sensation of a shadow in front of the eyes, which in severe cases may be green-blue or reddish yellow in color. It may precede clear-eye blindness. Tinted vision is attributed either to insufficiency of the liver and kidney or to phlegm-fire or damp-heat.



See root and tip.



Synonym:  biaoju ;

Synonym:  whitlow ;

Synonym:  flare-tip abscess .

A sore suddenly arising in the flesh, as big as a bean or as small as a millet seed, and, in severe cases, as big as a plum, with a root, starting as a red spot and subsequently turning black. A tip-abscess is associated with pain, and with a pain response in the heart. It can affect any part of the body, but most commonly occurs on the ventral aspect of the finger tips.

toad-egg menses


The passing of moles (fleshy masses) bearing the appearance of toad eggs during menstruation; occurs when the period is overdue and the patient suffers from drumlike distention of the abdomen. The patient may be comatose.

Western Medical Concept:  mole*!hydatiform hydatiform mole* hydatic mole* mole*!hydatic grape mole* hydatiform mole (hydatic mole, grape mole).

Medication:  Treat by dual supplementation of qi and blood with Perfect Major Supplementation Decoction (shí quán   täng).

toad head scourge


Massive head scourge with swelling around the neck spreading over the head, giving the appearance of a frog or toad. See massive head scourge.

toad skin


encrusted skin.

tofu tongue fur


See bean curd tongue fur.



Synonym:  orifice of the heart ;

Synonym:  magic root .

The soft fleshy process of the floor of the mouth used in chewing, swallowing, and tasting food. The Magic Pivot (líng shü) says, ``Heart qi flows through to the tongue; when the heart is harmony it can taste the five flavors.'' The Magic Pivot (líng shü) states, ``The tongue is the moving part of the voice.'' Parts of the tongue include: tip of the tongue; root of the tongue; tongue margins; center of the tongue. Examination of the tongue constitutes a major element of diagnosis. See tongue examination.

tongue blister

shé shëng pào

Synonym:  wind gan of the mouth .

A vesicle on the upper or lower surface of the tongue. Tongue blisters are attributed to spleen-kidney vacuity heat flaming upward or accumulated spleen-heart heat.

Spleen-kidney vacuity heat flaming upward  ( shèn  huô shàng yán) gives rise to red, white or yellow tongue blisters of different sizes, configured in strings of five or six. The pulse is vacuous and forceless.

Medication:  Nourish yin and clear heat. Use formulas such as Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia Pill (zhï bâi  huáng wán) plus Atractylodis Ovatae Rhizoma (bái zhú) and Dioscoreae Rhizoma (shän yào). Willow Flower Powder (lîu huä sân) can be applied as an insufflation.

Accumulated spleen-heart heat  (xïn   ) causes blisters forming configured strings of five or six on the upper surface of the tongue, that are painful, burst, and ulcerate. These are associated with a forceful surging pulse.

Medication:  Clear the heart and cool the diaphragm. Use formulas such as Diaphragm-Cooling Powder (liáng  sân) for oral medication combined with an insufflation such as Tin-Like Powder ( lèi sân).

tongue body

shé zhí

The tongue itself, in contradistinction to the tongue fur (coating). Examination of the tongue body focuses on the form, bearing, and color of the tongue. Tongue form: Attention is paid to possible enlargement, shrinkage, red speckles and prickles, fissures, and mirror surface. Enlargement: A swollen tongue, with dental impressions on the margin, is known as an enlarged tongue, and indicates qi vacuity or the presence of water-damp. An enlarged tongue that is pale in color, with a white, glossy fur, indicates qi vacuity. With a slimy tongue fur, enlargement generally indicates damp or damp-heat. In Western medicine, tongue enlargement may be seen in myxedema* nephritis*!chronic chronic nephritis* chronic gastritis* gastritis*!chronic myxedema, chronic nephritis, and chronic gastritis, and is thought to be due to hyperplasia of the connective tissue, tissue edema, or blood and lymphatic drainage disturbances. Enlargement is markedly different from a painful, swollen, red tongue, which characterizes an intense heat evil or heart fire flaming upward. Shrinkage: A thin, shrunken tongue indicates a yin liquid vacuity or a dual vacuity of yin and qi. A shrunken tongue due to damage to yin humor by exuberant heat is crimson in color and dry. In dual vacuity of qi and yin, the tongue is pale in color. The results of modern clinical observation show that shrinkage generally occurs in the latter stages of externally contracted heat (febrile) diseases, in conditions described in Western medicine as pulmonary tuberculosis, and in advanced-stage carcinoma. It is explained as atrophy of the lingual muscle and epithelium due to malnutrition. tuberculosis*!pulmonary pulmonary tuberculosis* Red speckles and prickles: Red speckles and prickles appear on the tip or margins of the tongue and indicate exuberant heat. They occur in various external heat diseases, particularly yang brightness repletion heat patterns, and in conjunction with maculopapular eruptions. Speckles, prickles, and pain in the tongue may also occur in patients suffering from insomnia or constipation or in those working late at night. According to Western medicine, speckles and prickles are due to an increase in the size or number of fungiform papillae. Fissures: Fissures vary in depth and position. Occurring in conjunction with a dry tongue, they indicate fluid vacuity. They may also occur in exuberant heat patterns, in conjunction with a crimson tongue. Fissures are seen by Western medicine to be the result of mucosal atrophy, chiefly associated with chronic glossitis, and in 0.5 unrelated to disease. Mirror tongue: A completely smooth tongue, free of liquid and fur, is sometimes referred to as a ``mirror tongue'' and indicates severe yin humor depletion. A smooth red or crimson tongue indicates damage to yin by intense heat. If pale in color, a smooth tongue indicates damage to both qi and yin. According to the results of recent clinical observation, the mirror tongue mostly occurs in the latter stages of glossitis, but may also be seen in vitamin B deficiency, anemia, and the latter stages of certain diseases. It is attributable to shrinkage of the filiform and fungiform papillae. vitamin B deficiency* Tongue bearing: Morbid deviations from normal tongue bearing include stiffness, limpness, trembling, deviation, contraction, and worrying. Stiffness: If the tongue moves sluggishly, inhibiting speech, it is called a stiff tongue. This occurs in a number of serious diseases, such as heat entering the pericardium, phlegm confounding the orifices of the heart, phlegm obstructing the network vessels, and liver wind stirring in the inner body. Other signs are therefore decisive in determining the nature of the disease. In Western medicine, a stiff tongue generally indicates diseases of the central nervous system. Limpness: A tongue that is soft and floppy, moves with difficulty, and cannot be extended is known as a limp tongue. When limpness is due to intense heat or to yin humor depletion, the tongue is also red or crimson, and dry. In qi and blood depletion, it is limp and pale. In Western medicine, a limp tongue is seen as a sign of neurological diseases or lesions affecting the lingual muscle. neurological disease* Trembling: If the tongue trembles when it moves, the cause is ascendant hyperactivity of liver yang, internal wind stirred by exuberant heat, or qi vacuity. In the first two cases, the tongue is red or crimson, whereas in qi vacuity the tongue is pale. The results of modern clinical observation shows that trembling of the tongue occurs in high fever, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, and a number of neurological disorders. hyperthyroidism* hypertension* Deviation: In cases of wind stroke due to internal liver wind or phlegm obstructing the network vessels, the tongue often inclines to one side. Modern clinical observation associates a deviated tongue with disorders of the hypoglossal nerve or intracranial lesions. Contraction: Contraction of the tongue preventing extension is a critical sign in most cases. The cause is either damage to yin by extreme heat or fulminant yang qi desertion. A short frenulum due to congenital factors may also prevent extension. Worrying: Habitual extension of the tongue and licking of the lips is known as a worrying tongue. It is a sign of heat in the heart and spleen, and heralds the stirring of wind. It also occurs in mentally retarded children. Tongue color: The normal color of the tongue is a pale red. In tongue diagnosis, the term ``pale'' denotes any color paler than normal, whereas ``red'' denotes a color deeper than normal. If considerably deeper in color, the term ``crimson'' is used. A ``blue-green-purple'' tongue is a red tongue with a blue, or in pronounced cases, indigo hue. Changes in the color of the body of the tongue reflect the state of blood and qi and the severity of disease. In Western medicine, changes in the tongue color are explained by changes in blood chemistry, in the viscosity of the blood, and by hyperplasia or atrophy of the epithelial cells of the glossal mucosa. Pale Tongue: A pale tongue indicates vacuity qi and blood. A pale tongue that is enlarged and well-moistened, accompanying cold signs indicates yang qi vacuity. In Western medicine, a pale tongue is associated with the latter stages of schistosomiasis, chronic nephritis, cancer, and various forms of anemia, and is seen as the result of a reduction of red corpuscles, disturbance of protein metabolism, and tissue edema. schistosomiasis* nephritis*!chronic chronic nephritis* anemia* cancer Red tongue: A red tongue indicates heat, due to either vacuity or to repletion. A deep red tongue with a yellow fur indicates repletion heat (more at crimson below); a fresh tender-red (a pastel red) indicates vacuity heat. A red shrunken tongue indicates effulgent yin vacuity fire, and a red tongue with prickles indicates heat in the construction aspect. A dry red tongue indicates damage to stomach liquid, and a tongue that is red at the tip indicates heart fire flaming upward; and a tongue the is red at the margins indicates depressed liver-gallbladder heat. Crimson tongue: A crimson tongue is also associated with heat, but the added depth of color indicates that the heat is located in the construction or blood aspect. Red and crimson coloring of the tongue, according to modern clinical observation, is associated with heat~effusion due to infection, burns, post-operative conditions, advanced carcinoma, hyperthyroidism, ascites due to cirrhosis of the liver, and tuberculosis. carcinoma* hyperthyroidism* ascites* cirrhosis of the liver* tuberculosis It is thought to be due to inflammation of the tongue causing dilation of the capillary vessels of the glossal mucosa. Purple tongue: Purple coloration indicates an impaired flow of blood and qi leading to congealing blood stasis. This is a part of either heat or cold patterns. A generalized blue-green-purple coloration indicates severe blood stasis. Purple macules indicate less severe or localized blood stasis. A glossy blue-green-purple tongue characterizes cold patterns caused by failure of yang qi to warm and move the blood. A reddish purple, dry tongue indicates binding blood stasis due to penetration of heat to the blood aspect. According to the results of modern clinical observation, a purple tongue is observed in cirrhosis of the liver, heart diseases, asthma, cholecystitis, ulcers, and gynecological diseases. asthma* cholecystitis* It is associated with hemostasis of the blood in the orifice vein and superior vena cava. Correspondences between tongue surface sections and the organs: Though subject to argument, some correspondence between parts of the tongue surface and the viscera is accepted. It is generally thought that the root of the tongue is related to the kidney, which in a sense is the root of the body. The center of the tongue's surface is said to reflect the condition of the spleen and stomach, which are at the body's center. The tip of the tongue reveals the condition of the heart. Agreement ends here. Some texts state that the condition of the liver and gallbladder is reflected on the sides of the tongue, and that the lung is reflected at the tip. In other sources, the left side of the tongue is assigned to the lung, and right side to the liver. A few other variations may also be found. In view of these inconsistencies, organ correspondences should always be correlated with data from the other examinations. See Table .

tongue coating

shé täi

tongue fur.

tongue examination

shé zhên

Inspection of the tongue and its fur (coating). The tongue examination provides some of the most important data for pattern identification. It can reveal the state of qi and blood, advance and regression of disease, the degree of heat and cold, and the depth of evil penetration. Changes in the appearance of the tongue are particularly pronounced in externally contracted heat (febrile) diseases and diseases of the stomach and spleen. However, in clinical practice, serious illnesses are not necessarily reflected in major changes in the appearance of the tongue. Furthermore, normal healthy individuals may show abnormal changes in the appearance of the tongue. Therefore, the data provided by the tongue examination must be carefully weighed against other signs and signs, the pulse, and the patient's history, before an accurate diagnosis can be made. Distinction is made between the tongue body and tongue fur. Examination of the body of the tongue involves observing color, form, and movement. Examination of the tongue fur involves observing color and nature. The body of the tongue is of greatest significance in judging the strength of right qi. It may also provide an indication of the severity of the condition, as in the case of a pale tongue, which indicates blood and qi vacuity, or a crimson tongue, which indicates yin vacuity or penetration of evil heat to the construction aspect. The tongue fur, though primarily an indicator of the severity of a disease, is sometimes a useful measure of the strength of right qi. This is true in the case of a thick slimy fur, which indicates exuberant damp turbidity, or a peeling fur, which indicates stomach qi vacuity or damage to yin humor. The moistness of the tongue sheds light on the state of the fluids. For these reasons, the tongue examination is of special importance in externally contracted heat (febrile) diseases. When examining the tongue, the following four points should be kept in mind: Light: The tongue examination should be conducted in adequately lit surroundings, with light shining directly into the mouth. Inadequate lighting may obscure color differences, such as the difference between yellow and white, or red and purple. Stained fur: Some foods and medicines affect the color of the fur, and potentially the diagnosis. Milk and soybean milk stain the tongue fur white; coffee, tea, and tobacco leave brown stains; egg yolk, oranges, Coptidis Rhizoma (huáng lián), and Asini Corii Gelatinum (ë jiäo) leave yellow stains. Staining normally affects only the surface of the fur, and is washed away by saliva. If in doubt, the physician should ask the patient if anything that may have caused staining has been eaten. The bearing of the tongue on extension: The patient should ensure that the tongue is relaxed and flat when extended. Forced or tense protraction may deepen the color of the tongue. Miscellaneous factors: Consumption of rough foodstuffs or chewing gum may remove the tongue fur and deepen the color of the tongue body. Patients with missing teeth may tend to chew food on one side of the mouth, which may cause irregularities in fur distribution. In wind stroke patients, reduced mobility of the tongue may cause an increase in tongue fur. In patients tending to breathe through the mouth owing to nasal congestion or other factors, the surface of the tongue may be abnormally dry. Such changes in the tongue and tongue fur should not be taken to reflect internal morbidity. See tongue body and tongue fur.

tongue fur

shê täi

Synonym:  tongue coating .

The normally whitish substances partially covering the upper side of the tongue. Healthy people have a thin layer of fur on their tongue, which is due to upward steaming of stomach qi. Tongue furs are categorized as glossy, dry, thick, thin, clean, slimy, grimy, and peeling. It is important to observe how moist and how thick the tongue fur is, whether it is clean, slimy or grimy, and whether or not there are signs of peeling. Moistness: A healthy tongue is kept moist naturally by saliva. A tongue covered with a transparent or semitransparent film of fluid is described as having a glossy fur, and indicates damp-phlegm or cold-damp. Exuberant damp due to spleen vacuity is characterized by a slimy glossy fur in association with spleen-stomach signs of oppression in the chest, nausea, and diarrhea. Yang vacuity water flood is marked by a glossy white tongue fur, as well as signs of cold limbs and puffy swelling. A dry fur generally indicates heat. A tongue that is so dry that it looks rough, and feels dry or even prickly to the touch, is described as being ``rough.'' It is mainly seen in external heat diseases and indicates damage to humor by exuberant heat. However, failure of fluids to reach the upper body in patients suffering from center phlegm-damp obstruction may also cause a dry fur. In such cases, the dryness is less severe; some degree of sliminess is present and the patient experiences thirst without any urge to drink. Western medical research shows that the moistness of the tongue depends on saliva secretion, viscosity, and evaporation speed. Dryness of the surface of the tongue is the most pronounced sign of dehydration. Thickness: The tongue fur is regarded as thin if the underlying tongue surface shows through faintly, whereas a thick fur is one that blots out the tongue surface completely. The thickness of the tongue fur is an index of evil exuberance, progression, and regression. A thick fur indicates a strong evil, whereas a thin fur indicates a weak evil. If the fur thickens the condition is advancing; if the fur thins, it is said to be transforming, and the condition is improving. Modern research shows that the thickness of the tongue fur is associated with the length of the filiform papillae. If the papillae are long, the tongue fur is thick; if short, the fur is thin. Clean, slimy, and grimy furs: An extremely fine fur with a grainy appearance is described as clean fur, and is a normal healthy fur. If the fur is thicker, appears as a layer of mucus covering the tongue, and no longer has its normal grainy appearance, it is described as slimy fur. If the mucus layer looks dirty, the terms grimy fur, slimy fur, or turbid slimy fur are used. A slimy fur indicates damp, phlegm, and food accumulations. These evils are said to be extremely strong when the slimy coating is ``generalized,'' that is, covering the entire tongue. A slimy fur that covers only the center or the root of the tongue indicates a chronic condition, and does not transform (i.e., disappear) easily. A grimy slimy fur indicates, on the one hand, the presence of turbid evils such as turbid damp and turbid phlegm, and on the other, stomach qi vacuity. In stomach qi vacuity, attention must be paid to safeguarding stomach qi when dispelling the evil. According to the findings of modern research, slimy tongue furs are attributed to an increase in the number of filiform papillae and their branches, and the collection of mucus, putrid matter, and sloughed epithelial cells between the papillae. Peeling: A patchy fur interspersed with mirror-like, furless areas is known as peeling fur. This generally indicates insufficiency of yin humor and vacuous stomach qi. A peeling fur that is nontransforming and slimy fur indicates nontransformed phlegm-damp and damage to yin humor and stomach qi, and suggests that the pattern is complex. A thick slimy fur that suddenly peels away completely indicates major damage to right qi. White: The clinical significance of a white tongue fur is fourfold. A clean moist thin white fur is normal and healthy, but may also appear at the onset of sickness indicating that the evil has not yet entered the interior and right qi remains undamaged. A glossy white fur indicates cold; thin glossy white fur indicates external wind-cold or internal cold. A thick glossy white fur indicates cold-damp or cold-phlegm. A dry white fur indicates transformation of cold evil into heat. A thin, extremely dry white fur indicates insufficiency of fluids; thick dry fur indicates transformation of dampness into dryness. A white mealy fur with a red tongue body indicates impeded damp and deep-lying heat, which is treated by first transforming the damp to allow the heat to escape rather than with the excessive use of cool medicinals. A thick slimy white fur indicates phlegm damp, and is usually accompanied by a slimy sensation in the mouth, oppression in the chest, and torpid intake. Modern research suggests that a white tongue fur is essentially normal, and that a thick white fur is mainly associated with hypertrophy of the corneal layer of the filiform papillae for unknown reasons. See also oral putrefaction and bean curd tongue fur. Yellow fur: A yellow fur usually signifies heat. Because heat patterns vary in severity and may involve different evils, different forms of yellow fur are distinguished. A thin dry yellow fur indicates damage to liquid by heat evil, posing the need to safeguard liquid. A slimy yellow fur usually indicates damp-heat. An ``old yellow'' (i.e., dark yellow) fur and a ``burnt yellow'' (i.e., blackish yellow) fur indicate binding of repletion heat. A mixed white and yellow fur indicates the initial stages of the transformation of cold into heat that is associated with evils entering the interior. Modern research suggests that yellow fur is associated with the infectious stage of inflammatory conditions and is mainly attributable to hypoplasia of the filiform papillae, coloring by bacteria, and localized manifestation of an inflammatory disease. Black fur: A black fur may occur in cold, heat, repletion, and vacuity patterns, but most commonly indicates an exuberant evil. A rough, dry, black fur, somewhat parched in appearance, together with a red or crimson tongue body, indicates damp-heat transforming into dryness or damage to yin by intense heat. Usually, a thick slimy black fur indicates a phlegm-damp complication. A glossy black fur signifies either gastric or kidney vacuity. A slimy yellow fur with a grayish black coating generally indicates an exuberant damp-heat evil. A mixed gray and white fur or a gray thin slimy glossy fur generally indicates cold-damp. Modern research shows that black fur is most often seen in acute pyogenic infections, such as toxemia, gangrenous appendicitis, peritonitis, and cholecystitis. However, it may also occur in diseases such as chronic bronchitis and uremia. It mostly corresponds to what Western medicine calls a black hairy fur. Opinions differ as to the exact causes of black fur. Explanations include: growth of bacteria after long administration of antibiotics, absorption by the tongue fur of iron present in blood from minor bleeding in the oral cavity, and high fever and loss of fluid.

tongue is the sprout of the heart

shé wéi xïn miáo

Synonym:  heart opens at the tongue .

tongue margins

shé biän

The lateral edges of the tongue. The tongue margins can reflect the state of the liver and gallbladder. For example, red tongue margins indicate liver-gallbladder heat; speckles on the tongue margins indicate static blood amassment.

tongue mushroom

shé jùn

tongue rock.

tongue rock

shé yán

Synonym:  tongue mushroom .

A growth on the tongue like a bean or mushroom, with a big head and thin stalk. Tongue rock is attributed to seven-affect binding depression creating heat in the heart and spleen channels that transforms into fire and toxin. If enduring heat damages yin, it is red and ulcerated without skin, with continuous pain that is more severe in the evening than in the morning.

Western Medical Concept:  tumor of the tongue* tumor of the tongue.

Medication:  In the early states, drain heart-spleen channel fire using Red-Abducting Powder (dâo chì sân) plus Coptidis Rhizoma (huáng lián) and Rhei Rhizoma ( huáng). For damage to yin by enduring heat, treat by nourishing yin and clearing heat. Use Throat-Clearing Dryness-Moistening Decoction (qïng yän rùn zào täng) plus Rhinocerotis Cornu ( jiâo) and Coptidis Rhizoma (huáng lián).

tongue spirit

shé shén

The general vitality of the tongue manifest in its luxuriance or witheredness. A luxuriant tongue is fresh red in color and is able to move freely; it indicates sufficiency of liquid and humor, and a good chance of recovery from illness. A withered tongue is dull, dark, dry and withered; it indicates exhaustion of liquid and humor and a critical condition. Cao Bing-Zhang in his Guide to Tongue Diagnosis (biàn shé zhî nán) states, ``If it (the tongue) is luxuriant and moist, liquid is sufficient; if dry and withered, liquid is lacking. Luxuriance indicates presence of spirit. As to spirit, it means agility and a fresh bright red. If it is present, the patient lives; if it is not, the patient dies. Brightness and glossiness with the color of blood is a sign of life; dryness and dullness without the color of blood is a sign boding death.''



One of the hard bony appendages of the jaw, used for chewing food. In the infant, milk teeth (deciduous teeth) grow at the age of 6--7 months, and fall out at the age of 6--7 years; they are replaced by the permanent teeth in a process known as change of teeth. The teeth are located on the lesser yin kidney channel. The teeth are the surplus of the bone, which is associated with the kidney kidney engenders bone and marrow(.) When the kidney is replete, the teeth are healthy and firm; kidney vacuity may be characterized by loosening of the teeth or desiccated teeth. The foot yang brightness channel enters the upper teeth, while the hand yang brightness channel enters the lower teeth. Tooth decay, for example, is often explained in terms of yang brightness heat. Among the seven gates, the teeth are the door gate. Diseases of or affecting the teeth and gums include: slowness to teethe; toothache; tooth decay; dry teeth; desiccated teeth; parched teeth; grinding of the teeth; teeth. See also gum.



Pain felt in the teeth. Toothache is most commonly caused by tooth decay, a rotting away of the teeth, that the ancient Chinese ascribed to the work of ``worms.'' Where decay is absent, Chinese medicine attributes toothache to wind-fire, wind-cold, stomach heat, kidney vacuity, or qi vacuity.

Wind-fire  (fëng huô) (wind-heat) toothache is relieved by cold and is associated with painful swelling of the gums. It is exacerbated by exposure to heat or by eating hot spicy foods. Pain may relieved by coolness. The swelling may make eating difficult, and in some cases the cheeks are swollen and hot. Other signs include thirst, a red-tipped tongue with thin white fur or dry yellow fur, and rapid floating pulse.

Medication:  Course wind, clear heat, and relieve pain. Use variations of Lonicera and Forsythia Powder (yín qiào sân). Apply Mint and Refined Mirabilite Powder (  xuán míng sân).

Acupuncture:  Base treatment for toothache mainly on ST and LI. Main points: ST-7 (xià guän, Below the Joint) , LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , and ST-6 (jiá chë, Cheek Carriage) . For wind-fire, add GB-20 (fëng chí, Wind Pool) , TB-5 (wài guän, Outer Pass) , and GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) ; needle with drainage. If heat is exuberant, prick LU-11 (shào shäng, Lesser Shang) and LI-1 (shäng yáng, Shang Yang) to bleed.

Wind-cold  (fëng hán) toothache is characterized by a pulling pain and is exacerbated by cold and relieved by the application of warmth. Other signs include periodic aversion to cold, absence of thirst, a thin white tongue fur, and a tight floating or a slow or moderate pulse.

Medication:  Course wind, dissipate cold, and relieve pain. Use Perilla Leaf Decoction (  täng). Apply Asarum Powder ( xïn sân).

Acupuncture:  Add to the main points GB-20 (fëng chí, Wind Pool) , TB-5 (wài guän, Outer Pass) , and LU-7 (liè quë, Broken Sequence) ; needle with drainage and add moxa.

Stomach heat  (wèi ) toothache is toothache attributable to stomach fire ascending the hand and foot yang brightness channels, which pass through the lower and upper jaws respectively. It is characterized by severe pain associated with bad breath, thirst, constipation, yellow tongue fur, and a stringlike pulse.

Medication:  Clear and discharge stomach fire with Sweet Dew Beverage (gän  yîn) or Stomach-Clearing Decoction (qïng wèi täng).

Acupuncture:  Add to the main points ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court) and ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) ; needle with drainage.

Kidney vacuity  (shèn ) toothache is vacuity fire toothache resulting from insufficiency of kidney yin with vacuity fire flaming upward. Kidney vacuity toothache is explained by the governing of the bone, and the teeth are the surplus of the bone. It is characterized by dull intermittent pain, absence of bad breath, a red-tipped tongue, and a fine pulse. In some cases, loosening of the teeth is also observed.

Medication:  Supplement kidney yin and drain liver fire using formulas such as Supplemented Six-Ingredient Rehmannia Pill (jiä wèi lìu wèi  huáng wán).

Acupuncture:  Needle with even supplementation and drainage or with supplementation at KI-3 (tài , Great Ravine) and KI-1 (yông quán, Gushing Spring) ; needle with drainage at LR-2 (xíng jiän, Moving Between) and the main points.

Qi vacuity  ( ) usually arises from taxation damage. It is a dull continuous toothache without markedly swollen gums or with swollen gums that are not markedly red. Other signs include bright white facial complexion, shortage of qi, laziness to speak, faint low voice, fatigue and lack of strength, spontaneous sweating, heart palpitations, dizzy head, tinnitus, frequent voidings of clear urine, pale enlarged tongue with thin white tongue fur, and a weak vacuous or vacuous large pulse.

Medication:  Supplement qi and relieve pain. Use Center-Supplementing Qi-Boosting Decoction ( zhöng   täng) plus Rehmanniae Radix Conquita (shú  huáng), Moutan Radicis Cortex ( dän ), Poria ( líng), and Paeoniae Radix Alba (bái sháo yào).

Acupuncture:  Add to the main points ST-36 ( sän , Leg Three Li) , CV-6 ( hâi, Sea of Qi) , BL-20 ( shü, Spleen Transport) , and BL-21 (wèi shü, Stomach Transport) ; needle with supplementation and add moxa.

Tooth decay  ( chí) is observed in people who usually eat fat meat, fine grain, and strong flavors or sweet sugary things that get lodged between the teeth and fail to be removed by cleaning. Holes appear in the teeth with local blackening. The holes harbor food, further exacerbating the decay. Cold, hot, sour, and sweet foods can exacerbate the pain, as can inhalation of air.

Medication:  Clear heat and relieve pain. Grind Zanthoxyli Pericarpium (huä jiäo) and Calx (shí huï) to a powder and blend with honey into pills. Apply by forcing pill material into the cavities. Other guidelines for the treatment of toothache are commonly applied.

Acupuncture:  Since the hand yang brightness large intestine channel runs through the lower teeth, aching among the lower teeth can be treated mainly by large intestine channel points. Since the foot yang brightness stomach channel passes through the upper teeth, aching among the upper teeth can be treated by stomach channel points. In addition, The Magic Pivot (líng shü) states, ``Toothache without aversion to cold drinks is treated through the foot yang brightness ; with aversion to cold drinks, it is treated through the hand yang brightness .'' For toothache without discomfort when taking cold drinks, use ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court) and ST-7 (xià guän, Below the Joint) as the main points; if there is discomfort, use LI-4 ( , Union Valley) . See tooth decay.

tooth bed


cheek carriage bone.

tooth carriage


cheek carriage bone.

tooth decay


Rotting of the teeth characterized by the cavities and toothache. Tooth decay is attributed to a lack of oral hygiene or to wind, phlegm, dampness and heat steaming in the hand and foot yang brightness channels, which enter the lower and upper teeth respectively.

Medication:  Clear heat and relieve pain using Stomach-Clearing Powder (qïng wèi sân), Jade Lady Brew ( nüê jiän), or Coptis Gallbladder-Warming Decoction (huáng lián wën dân täng). Attention should be paid to oral hygiene. Wash mouth regularly with a decoction of Lonicerae Flos (jïn yín huä), Forsythiae Fructus (lián qiáo), Menthae Herba ( ), and Glycyrrhizae Radix Cruda (shëng gän câo).

Acupuncture:  Elementary Questions ( wèn) states, ``For toothache, needle the hand yang brightness.'' Base treatment mainly on LI and ST. Select LI-4 ( , Union Valley) , LI-5 (yáng , Yang Ravine) , ST-6 (jiá chë, Cheek Carriage) , ST-44 (nèi tíng, Inner Court) , and ST-7 (xià guän, Below the Joint) ; needle with drainage. To course wind, add GV-14 ( zhuï, Great Hammer) and TB-5 (wài guän, Outer Pass) . See toothache.

topical eye medication

diân yân


A liquid, powder, or paste preparation (eye drops, eye powder, eye paste) applied to the eye or surrounding flesh.

Definition:  The application of a such a preparation.

topically applied paste

wài  gäo 

See medicinal paste; plaster.

topsy-turvy speech

 yán diän dâo

Speaking in garbled order. Observed in phlegm reversal headache.

torpid intake


Synonym:  torpid stomach .

Impairment of the stomach's governing of intake (see stomach governs intake). Torpid intake is attributable to spleen-stomach vacuity or to damp-heat obstruction and is characterized by indigestion and poor appetite, and in some cases by a sensation of bloating. See poor appetite.

torpid stomach

wèi däi

torpid intake.

torpid stomach intake

wèi  däi zhì

See torpid intake.

tortoise back

guï bèi

Synonym:  hunchback .

A deformity in infants in which the spine curves outward giving the back the appearance of a tortoise's shell; hence the name. Turtle back is attributed to congenital insufficiency and/or poor nourishment after birth manifesting in spleen qi vacuity depriving the bones and governing of nourishment.

tortoise's-back phlegm

guï bèi tán

Flowing phlegm of the back. See flowing phlegm.

tortoise's head

guï tóu

yin head.

tortoise's head welling-abscess

guï tóu yöng

A condition in which the yin head (glans penis) becomes swollen and purple.

Medication:  Apply powdered Amydae Carapax Calcinatus (duàn bië jiâ) blended with Galli Albumen (  bái).

to treat disease, it is necessary to seek its root

zhì bìng  qíu  bên

From Elementary Questions ( wèn) The first principle of treatment, whereby the cause or essential nature of disease rather than its manifestations are addressed. Treating disease by the root, or radical treatment, applies to most diseases and is divided into two forms: straight treatment and paradoxical treatment. Treating a disease by the tip, or signs treatment, represents an exception to this principle that applies under clearly defined conditions. See principle of treatment.

to treat wind, first treat the blood; when the blood moves, wind naturally disappears

zhì fëng xiän zhì xue4, xuè xíng fëng  mie4 <

to treat wind> To nourish the blood is to enhance the elimination of wind. See dispelling wind and nourishing the blood.


The quality of a medicinal that makes it cause illness or discomfort.

toxic qi


pestilential qi.



Any substance that that is harmful to the body when eaten or entering the body through a wound or through the skin, such as lacquer toxin or pitch toxin. The toxin of animals is called venom. See also toxicity.

Definition:  Any virulent evil qi, e.g., toxic qi, which denotes scourge epidemic qi; occasionally, a disease caused by such, e.g., seasonal toxin.

Definition:  Evil qi that causes painful reddening and swelling, suppuration, or weeping discharge. See heat toxin; damp toxin.

Definition:  A label for certain conditions of external medicine, e.g., cinnabar toxin; innominate toxin swelling; bend-center toxin sore; bian toxin sore; fetal toxin.

toxin swelling


Swelling due to the presence of toxin (heat toxin, damp toxin). See toxin.

tracking wind and expelling cold

söu fëng zhú hán

A method of treatment used to address wind evil with cold evil and damp phlegm and static blood in the network vessels manifesting as pain in the sinews and bones of limbs. Minor Network-Quickening Elixir (xiâo huó luò dän) is a representative wind-tracking cold-expelling formula.



See transformation.


huà (

transform). Change, usually of a gentle or gradual nature in relative contrast to transmutation, sudden or major change. Transformation implies progressive (productive) and regressive (destructive) change, and in the former case is frequently rendered as formation. Hence, fire formation refers to the natural transformation of evils or yang qi into fire (progressive change), whereas transforming phlegm refers to a method of treatment to eliminate phlegm (i.e., regressive change). Transformation often specifically refers to digestion (which in modern medicine is called xiao1 hua4), e.g., nontransformation of food.

transformation into fire

huà huô

A pathological change that results in a fire pattern. Excessive exuberance of the yang qi of the body, externally contracted evils (or stagnant qi, blood, phlegm, or food), seven-affect internal damage, and depletion of yin humor may all cause transformation into fire. Extreme heat transforming into fire, as a result of excessive exuberance of the yang qi of the body. Under normal circumstances, yang qi nourishes the spirit and emolliates the sinews, warms the bowels and viscera and the whole body, and drives all physiological activity. Under such normal circumstances, yang qi is what is called the lesser fire. But when yang qi becomes overexuberant, qi, blood, fluids, and essence are damaged. When this happens, yang qi becomes a damaging force that is known as vigorous fire. Dan Xi described this as ``Exuberant qi is fire.'' Elementary Questions