Introduction to TCM

Basics of TCM

  • Yin-Yang | Five Elements

Zang-Fu Theories

  • Zang Organs | Fu Organs

Classification of Antineoplastic Herbal Medicines

Characteristics of Herbal Medicines


  • By Auscultation & Olfaction
  • By Inspection


Theories of Channels (Meridians) and Collaterals

Reference: A Modern View of the Immune System

Differentiation of Syndromes

  • 8 Principles
  • 6 Channels 4 Stages
  • Syndromes of Zang-Fu Organs


  • Exogenous | Pestilential
  • Pathogenic Factors
  • Emotional

Materia Medica

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Differentiating Syndromes of the Spleen

Spleen failure to carry out transportation and transformation syndromes

Anorexia, abdominal distension after meals, lassitude, sallow complexion, feeble breathing, loose stool, pale tongue proper with white thing coating, retarded and weak pulse.

Spleen xu causes a failure of transportation and transformation, and insufficiency of qi and blood, so the above symptoms appear.

Sinking of spleen qi syndromes

Prolapse of the uterus, gastroptosis, nephroptosis, chronic diarrhea, feeble breathing, yellowish complexion, pale tongue proper with white coating, and xu type pulse.

Spleen qi should ascend, however, spleen xu causes the qi to sink. If the spleen qi is too weak to elevate the zang-fu organs, then the prolapse of internal organs and symptoms showing spleen qi insufficiency occur.

Spleen blood control failure syndromes

Excessive menstruation, uterine bleeding, hemotochezia, bloody urine, purpura, pale complexion, lassitude, pale tongue proper, and a thready weak pulse.

The spleen control blood. If it is unable to carry out this function, then the extravasation of blood occurs, plus the bleeding symptoms mentioned above. Bleeding affects the function of transportation of qi and blood, resulting in a pale complexion, lassitude, a pale tongue proper, and a thready weak pulse, which are signs of qi and blood xu (deficiency).

Pathogenic damp invasion of the spleen syndromes

Distension and fullness of the epigastrium and abdomen, anorexia, stickiness in the mouth, heaviness of the head, absence of thirst, swelling of the face, eyes, and four extremities, loose stool, dysuria, excessive and this leukorrhea, white and sticky tongue coating, and soft thready pulse.

The spleen is adverse to dampness, therefore excessive dampness is liable to affect spleen yang leading to a dysfunction of transportation and transformation, resulting in the symptoms of distension and fullness of the epigastrium and abdomen, and anorexia. Pathogenic damp, which is sticky and stagnant in nature, easily blocks the flow of yang qi, causing a sensation of heaviness of the head. If dampness and fluid pour into the skin and muscles, swelling of the face, eyes, and extremities occurs. If the spleen fails to remove the damp, the stool becomes loose and the urine abnormal. A white and sticky tongue coating and a soft thready pulse are signs of excessive pathogenic damp.

Spleen yang xu syndromes

Dull pain of the epigastrium and abdomen ameliorated by warmth, chills with cold extremities, poor appetite, loose stool, pale tongue proper with white coating, and deep, slow pulse.

Spleen yang deficiency causes the stagnation of cold in the middle jiao, obstructing the functions of qi. Warmth can remove the obstruction, so the pain of the epigastrium and abdomen is ameliorated. Deficiency of spleen yang leads to a dysfunction of transportation and transformation, thus the failure of spleen yang to warm the body surface and extremities, and the occurrence of anorenxia, and loose stool. A pale tongue proper with a white coating and a deep slow pulse are signs of xu cold.

Spleen and stomach damp heat syndromes

Yellow-orange complexion, distension and fullness of the epigastrium and abdomen, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, aversion to greasy food, heaviness of the body, yellowish urine, loose stool profuse and yellowish leukorrhea, yellowish and sticky tongue coating, soft and rapid pulse.

Damp heat accumulates in the skin causing a yellow-orange complexion. It also blocks the middle jiao causing symptoms of distension and fullness of the epigastrium and abdomen, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and version to greasy food. Excessive damp causes heaviness and tiredness of the body. Damp heat descending leads to profuse yellowish leukorrhea. Deep yellow urine, loose stool, yellowish and sticky tongue coating, and soft pulse are signs of excessive damp heat.

Related Subjects

Read more on description of the main syndromes of other zang-fu organs: Heart, Liver, Lung, Kidney, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Urinary Bladder, Stomach, and Gall Bladder.

Traditional Chinese Medicine pages by Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

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With over 3000 years of experience, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has remain one of the many fascinating areas in ancient Chinese culture. First known to be documented in the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Medicine, TCM is believed to have been practised in as early as 475 to 221 B.C. The field of working knowledge of TCM stretches from anything related to general healthcare practice to the philosophy of the mind, the logic of life, religion, and even to as far as cosmology and astronumerology. This is why in order to thoroughly understand the concepts behind TCM, one must be comprehensive in learning and embracing the Chinese culture as a whole.

Just as Douglas Hoff put it when he explained about accupuncture, "The systems of TCM uses the concepts of elements and meridians and are completely immersed in the Asian cosmology which takes shape through the religions." The meridian-brain mechanism, the fundamental working concept of acupuncture, in which the pain block from the message that the needle or burning cone of herbs gives to the point of stimulus, was only found centuries later by the West through science and technology.


Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA Thank you for visiting this TCM and acupuncture information website. If you have previously been to this website, you might have noticed that some of the pages on ancient historical ideas and holistic thinkings related to Chinese metaphysics are temporarily taken offline. This is because I will be revamping the whole website and be moving those information into a new \"Ancient Chinese Culture\" section so as to reflect a more current perspective on the interpretation of some of the fundamental concepts as well as to include some of the latest information in the area. But if you have just found this website for the very first time, I welcome you again and wish you could find what you require and, hopefully, you could also be benefitted from reading the articles I published on this website.

Please be patient and do come and check out this website frequently as it's being revamped.

Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

March 28, 2020.


This website is published, edited and designed by Raymond Cheng, and reflects only and only his personal views and opinions in his individual capacity. The information available at this website is not intended directly or by implication to either diagnose or treat any medical, emotional, or psychological condition or disorder. It is also not intended to create a physician-patient relationship between you and I or between you and Wyith Institute™ and The Office of Dr Raymond K K Cheng. The information here is not a substitute for advice and treatment provided by your physician or by another healthcare professional. It is always recommended that consultation with local healthcare providers be obtained for any of your specific health or medical concerns. Furthermore, any products that can be purchased (yet you can see I don't have much to sell here) through advertisers' banners or through links to other websites are not either explicitly or implicitly given any warranty or endorsement by me, my colleagues, Wyith Institute™ or any of its associated businesses.