What is it? Damp or phlegm?

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

Oh, damp and phlegm I have spent a long time trying to work you out!

This is my attempt to show you how I am learning about them, because out of all the hard things about Chinese medicine this is probably, for me, one of the hardest.

They can come from a similar source, a deficiency of the Spleen's function of transportation and transformation but there are many differences in how they can manifest.

I hope you find this useful, but if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me.

Love from Andrea


What is damp?

Damp is a yin pathogen that can be created in one of two ways:

  • Internally it can be created by the dysfunction of the Spleen's function of transformation and transportation.

  • Externally it can be created by the environment in which we live or work in i.e. a damp house or working in wet conditions

Its properties are heavy, dirty and sticky. Like mud on your welly boots. It also predominantly affects the lower half of the body, however, don't hold on to that too tightly as there are signs and symptoms which affect the top of the body!

So signs and symptoms you might see are:

  • the feeling of bodily heaviness

  • lack of appetite

  • feeling of congestion in / around chest

  • difficulty passing urine

  • sticky taste in the mouth

  • dirty or sticky discharges e.g. vaginal discharge. Depending on if there is cold or heat will depend on the colour.

  • muzzy head

  • the pulse will be slippery

  • the tongue will be swollen and a sticky tongue coat