How to Support Lingering Coughs, Phlegm and Dampness with Chinese Medicine

by DAO Labs |

How to Support Lingering Coughs, Phlegm and Dampness with Chinese Medicine

Like many health and wellness conditions, Traditional Chinese Medicine theory provides both insights and solutions to experiences that might otherwise be considered challenging to understand or explain from a pure modern conventional approach.  The recent discussions surrounding the long term need for lung and respiratory support is a classic example - Acupuncturists and Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine can rely on an ancient theory they practice regularly to provide support in a way that's unique to this practice. 

The need for lung support, for short term to chronic situations, continues to make headlines.  From helping with symptoms associated with coughs, to phlegm clearing situations and general respiratory strength, like many conditions, Chinese medicine and herbal therapies can offer solutions.  Why?  The “patterns” (a Chinese medicine term) surrounding the need for lung strength often represent a classic “branch-root” observation to Acupuncturists and Doctors of Chinese Medicine - specifically the “branch” when coughing strikes. 

Lung Support: A Chinese Medicine “Branch Presentation”

As noted by DAO Labs Chief Doctor of Chinese Medicine Dr. Eric Karchmer, who is currently in Taiwan studying Chinese Medicine applications under a Fulbright Scholarship, Chinese herbal medicine can be particularly helpful in treating symptoms, such as coughs, phlegm, and shortness of breath, particularly with the patients he has been observing while abroad.  The reason?  Herbal medicine - acupuncture as well - can help rectify the imbalances in Lung Qi to resolve these problems.

Zhi Sou San

“We’re seeing a lot of cases of brain fog and the need for lung support,” noted Dr. Karchmer.  “From a Chinese medicine perspective, the brain fog (which you can learn more about here) in conjunction with symptoms like coughing and phlegm, are classic a “root-branch” pattern. Both represent branch symptoms caused by disturbances to the deeper flows of Qi,” he added.  

Herbal Recommendations to Support the Lungs

To treat the Lung Qi irregularities that many are experiencing, Dr. Karchmer recommends the classic Chinese herbal medicine formula Zhi Sou San, which literally translates to “Stop Cough Formula”.  Variations of this formula can be helpful as well depending on the unique circumstances of the person, but this classic formula is one that he has used with both patients and family members alike - with positive results.

Other Ways to Support the Lungs

Coughing isn’t fun, but it can be addressed through the power of Chinese medicine.  Aren’t sure where to get started? 

    • Consider a Virtual Consultation with one of our Acupuncturists. They can answer questions, provide at-home care (such as acu-pressure points, diet adjustments, and other behavioral changes that can help with brain fog) and can also recommend an Acupuncturist in your community for further care.
    • Consider Breathe Clear herbal tablets, DAO Labs formula based on the classic formula Zhi Sou San (“stop cough formula”) that can be used for lung and respiratory strength. 
    • We love the three acupressure points pictured above
      • CV 22
      • Ding Chuan (extra meridian points next to DU 14) - great for wheezing
      • LU 6
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