Excessive sweating, known as Hyperhidrosis, is often embarrassing, but usually harmless. It often begins with the hormonal changes at puberty, and becomes less of a problem as the sufferer grows up, but occasionally it can last a lifetime. Good hygiene is important, but if the problem is really serious, an operation can be carried out to reduce the number of sweat glands in the armpit by removing some of the skin.
Abnormally profuse sweating, called spontaneous sweating, is regarded in Chinese Medicine as a deficiency of the Qi, and in particular the Wei Qi (Defensive Qi). Excessive sweating may occur in old people, or in a patient who is recovering from illness and is still very weak. Night sweats, according to Chinese Medicine theory are due to Yin deficiency.
The treatment in the first type will be to tonify the Qi, while in the second type the Yin must be nourished. For Yin deficiency, Bai Shao Yao (Radix Paeoniae Alba), Huang Bai (Cortex Phellodendri) and Mai Men Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis) are commonly used. For Qi deficiency, Huang Qi (Radix Astragali) and Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae) are used.
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