Night sweats aren’t easily explained by western medicine, as there are many conditions that can cause them. Menopause, tuberculosis, and some types of cancer are just three examples of common causes of night sweats, but sometimes there is no explanation or obvious cause.
However, Chinese medicine practitioners consider night sweats an important indicator for health. To correct the condition, they use beneficial herbs like Fu Xiao Mai and Ma Huang Gen.
Night Sweats from a Chinese Medicine Perspective
In Chinese medicine, the Yin and Yang are energies that guide bodily functions and ensure those functions remain in balance. They also restrain each other, so if either is deficient, it can lead to a variety of symptoms.
According to Chinese medical doctrine, the Yin is most active at night and the Yang is most active during the day. During sleep, the Yin calms and restores, nourishing the Yang and preparing it for another day of activity.
If the patient’s Yin energy is depleted, this process may be unreliable or frequently interrupted. This can lead to insomnia or other sleep-related symptoms like night sweats.
How Fu Xiao Mai and Ma Huang Gen Can Help Night Sweats
The goal of treatment is to fortify the Yin and restore balance with the Yang. For night sweats, specifically, practitioners typically prescribe a pair of herbs – Fu Xiao Mai and Ma Huang Gen.
Fu Xiao Mai is commonly used for sweating disorders. When taken, this cool herb reaches the heart, where it drives out excess heat.
Ma Huang Gen is another herb recommended for night sweats and uncontrolled sweating. It works a little differently, though, because it enters the lungs instead of the heart when taken. In Chinese medicine, the lungs are responsible for regulating the body’s exterior – which makes sense, as the lungs remain in constant contact with the outside world. Ma Huang Gen strengthens the lungs and supports their ability to regulate sweating.
These herbs are often incorporated into a formula called Mu Li San. Mu Li San is a well-known botanical mix that also includes Mu Li (for regulating fluid release) and Huang Qi (for stabilizing the exterior and supporting the lungs).
Together, these herbs can fortify the Yin, support the lungs and heart, and modulate the processes causing night sweats.