Phlegm is both a pathological factor and pathological product. It is normally formed inside the body during the onset of disease caused through the involvement of pathogenic factors or the seven emotions. The formation of Phlegm can then affect the Five Zang and/or Six Fu organs, leading to secondary diseases. In disease, it is commonly found to combine with the pathogenic factors of Cold or Heat.
It occurs mainly due to disturbance of body fluid metabolism and is usually classified as thick and turbid or clear. Further sub-classification lists it as either tangible, that which can be expectorated and intangible, which is not visible or audible.
Multiple Zang-Fu organs are involved in the creation of Phlegm, with the main ones being the Spleen, Lung, Kidney and Liver.
- It impedes Qi and Blood circulation
- It blocks meridians and collaterals
- Can accumulate to form Yin-type nodules
- Obstructs the ascending and descending funtions of Oi
- It mists and affects the Spirit or Mind
- Its symptoms are complicated
- Frequently changes
Symptoms and Signs:
- It can cause poor circulation, numbness of limbs or body and even hemiplegia
- Accumulation can lead to scrofula, nodules and Yin-type subcutaneous ulcers
- If it obstructs Lung Qi it can lead to stuffy chest, cough and dyspnoea
- Blockage of Stomach Qi will lead to bloating, nausea and vomiting
- Phlegm clouding Qing (Clear) Yang leads to dizziness and blurred vision
- If the Heart is obstructed it can cause a stuffy chest, palpitations, loss of consciousness and even delerium