There are several types and causes for dizziness. In this article we will discuss a specific type of dizziness which is Ok when sitting or lying down but feeling dizzy when getting up.
In classical Chinese Medicine we call this Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang syndrome. Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang is a classical formula from Shang Han Lun. The problem comes from dampness accumulated in the digestive system. You can imagine the dampness as dead water which the body does not process or circulate but rather a waste staying in the system. We also call this phlegm damp in Chinese medicine. With the phlegm damp obstructing the channels it is difficult for the blood circulating to the brain to provide sufficient oxygen. Therefore dizziness happens.
I had a patient complaining about tiredness, anxiety, feeling dizzy when she woke up in the morning, racing heart beat. The patient’s tongue is pale with a thick white coating. Pulse is tight at Cun position but deep in other positions. From her tongue and her pulse it is quite clear that she has a lot of dampness in her system. The hospital checks pointed out that she has insufficient oxygen going to the brain. The dampness could come from Yang energy declining with age and it could also come from excessive consumption of cold food and drinks. When the Spleen and heart Yang energy is low, the ability to process water in the system is weakened and therefore dampness happens. When the dampness moves upwards towards the heart people can feel racing heart beat. More serious cases it can cause heart attacks. As we explained earlier this damp phlegm under the heart could also cause dizziness when getting up from lying or sitting down. I prescribed Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang, a herbal formula specifically for this condition. There is immediate improvement when the patient started taking the herbs. After 2-3 weeks the racing heart beat stopped and no dizziness in the morning. The energy and anxiety are greatly improved too. The patient also complained about heat on the feet. That is also disappeared with the other symptoms.
Let us have a look at the ingredients of the formula:
- Fuling (Poria): Strengthens the Spleen, drains Dampness, harmonizes the digestive system and transforms Phlegm.
- Guizhi (Cinnamon twigs) : Warms the Yang, disperses Cold and helps to resolve congested fluids and descend rebellious Qi.
- Baizhu (White atractylodes) : Strengthens the functions of the Spleen and dries Damp..
- Gancao (Licorice root) : Strengthens the digestive system and harmonize with the other herbs
I prescribed the raw herbs mixture to the patient. The herbal decoration tastes fine to her. Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang treats a wide range of conditions including digestive disorders, heart conditions, respiratory disorders etc. Please find a qualified herbalist if you consider using Chinese herbs.
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