Blood Heat, as well as being quite a nuisance itself, causes other syndromes too.
What’s the background for this?
First, to see what is meant by Blood, click here. As you’ll read, Blood is the basis for our consciousness, meaning that, in Chinese medicine theory, where ‘who you think you are’ resides is in your Blood.
If someone has a major haemorrhage, or a terrible accident that puts him into shock, his Blood is severely exhausted and disturbed, and you may see his personality literally ‘going to pieces’.
But what if you’re all ‘there’, with no blood loss?
Conversely, if your personality is ‘all there’ but very disturbed, as described below, your Blood can be deranged. That derangement takes various forms, one of which is commonly from Blood-Heat.
Normally the Blood nourishes your body. It carries away unwanted matter, replacing it with new, healthier tissues. So far, so good, and much the same goes for the Western concept of blood.
When, however, something heats Blood, it tries to lose that Heat.
The most efficient way that your body clears Heat is by perspiration through your skin. With Blood Heat, however, this process is stymied and instead your body has to clear or contain Heat in other ways.
Other Ways to Clear Blood Heat
- rashes on your skin, showing that the process has got stuck. As this worsens, your skin gets itchy and hot as well.
- heavier bleeding than normal, for example by nosebleed or during the menses. The periods may also start earlier than normal. This bleeding is a way for your body to carry heat out from your system. Unfortunately, this heavy bleeding can drain your energy.
- making you seek means to cool yourself, for example by drinking more fluids. Then you urinate more, carrying some of the heat away. Unfortunately, drinking lots doesn’t usually solve the problem, and for some people can be a drain on their Kidney energy.
- enhanced bowel movements but, usually, since the Heat is in the Blood, this means not so much that you get purging, but that there is blood or spots of blood in your stools.
- As the problem goes deeper, it affects your Mind and you get mental restlessness, great anxiety, outbursts of temper, impatience and if it goes deeper still, you can get manic behaviour. Often there are ulcers in the mouth, quite often on the tongue.
- The tongue itself is often red, and may have spots on the tip
- The pulse is fast.
What sorts of conditions might be due to Blood Heat?
- On or just under the skin, acne, dermatitis, eczema and red rashes: itching
- Bursting through the skin: boils and ulcers
- Drying out and thickening the skin: psoriasis
- Over-heating of the intestines: haemorrhoids and, potentially more extreme conditions like ulcerative colitis, with gum ulcers and/or toothache. (The Large Intestine channel has a direct connection with the large intestine organ but the channel itself terminates on the face under the eye, having reached there from the jaw and side of the nose, so takes in the gums and teeth.)
- Bleeding can occur from Blood Heat in conditions such as nosebleed, coughing up blood, vomiting up blood, heavy periods, bleeding between periods, blood in the urine or stools, bleeding gums. The hotter the Blood Heat, the redder the blood lost, the faster it flows and the more profusely. (However, please note that bleeding can be due to other syndromes in Chinese medicine, such as Blood Stasis, Qi deficiency and even Yin deficiency, but in these conditions the Blood is less urgent and, except for Qi deficiency when bleeding can go on heavily for some time, usually less in quantity.)
- If the stools are blacker than usual, this may be from blood-loss further up the intestines. This might be from an intestinal ulcer or from cancer. You should certainly get it checked.
- You should also read the following page which explains what happens as disease penetrates through the different defences of your body. At the deepest level of the Four Levels you get a very dangerous form of Heat in the Blood.