By Hyunchang Cho, L.Ac., Ph.D
This month, I will explain how to decide to find formulas that use Wu Zhu Yu and some guides for find symptoms that lead to use the herb.
★ Wu Zhu Wu
Symptom Indicator Score +++
Frequency of Use +++
① Easily feels cold more often than others (cold intolerance) ☞Body Temperature Score: Above 5
② Parts of the body (i.e., hands or feet) are cold and freezingly cold in severe cases.
③ Cold pain in the lower abdomen (Cold Hernia).
⑤ Chest fullness
⑥ Headache or menstrual cramps that accompany nausea and vomiting.
⑦ Low stamina
⑧ Yin personality
Tip ⑨ You can consider Wu Zhu Yu after ruling out Gui Zhi and Fu Zi. Cold intolerance and coldness of the limbs accompanied by cold pain in the lower abdomen are highly indicative of Wu Zhu Yu.
- Pharmacological Hypothesis of Wu Zhu Yu
Wu Zhu Yu seems to increase core body temperature, especially in the lower abdomen. By doing so, Wu Zhu Yu can increase temperatures of the surface, extremities, digestive and urogenital systems, thus promoting overall warmth of the body.
(1) Wu Zhu Yu treats symptoms of cold pain in the lower abdomen (Cold Hernia) that manifest as stomach pain, mild diarrhea, lower back and leg pains, menstrual cramps, vaginal discharge, and infertility, which are caused by decreased core body temperature.
(2) Wu Zhu Yu promotes blood circulation in the extremities, increasing warmth and treating cold intolerance and coldness of hands and feet.
(3) Wu Zhu Yu promotes cardiac blood circulation, treating chest discomfort such as chest fullness.
(4) Wu Zhu Yu promotes blood circulation in the head, increasing warmth and treating cold headaches.
(5) Wu Zhu Yu promotes blood circulation in the GI tract, increasing warmth and treating nausea and vomiting.
Homeostasis of the body temperature is one of the most important functions of our body to stay alive and healthy. Only mammals have succeeded in achieving this in the course of evolution. Body temperature can be divided into surface and core temperatures. Core body temperature is more important than surface body temperature. Surface body temperature assists in maintaining homeostasis of core body temperature.
Gui Zhi’s cold intolerance appears in giving up the surface body temperature to maintain the core body temperature. Our body would contract peripheral vessels in order to increase blood flow to the core.
Some women will experience body aches before menstruation, saying their whole body is aching and sore, along with chills. This is because, after ovulation, the core temperature of the urogenital system must be slightly increased (0.3 to 0.5℃) to achieve an ideal state for ovulation, fertilization, and pregnancy. However, a person with less body heat will have difficulties in doing so. The body would be forced to give up on maintaining the surface temperature to increase the core temperature. More blood flow to the core area would mean less blood flow to the surface area, with peripheral vasoconstriction causing Gui Zhi’s symptoms of body aches and chills. The right choice of Gui Zhi formula would relieve such symptoms.
- DPHF Chart
Body type: thin to obese
Stamina: very weak ☞They seem tired.
They tend to speak softly and calmly and are relaxed, enduring, introverted, static, reserved, quiet, tidy, dark, depressed, gentle, naïve, defensive, feminine types, with slow and tender demeanors.
☞They have Yin personality and body type. They are mostly either a So-Yin type or a Tae-Yin type according to the Sasang constitutional typology.
Wu Zhu Yu is widely used for gynecological disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, skin disorders, psychiatric disorders.
-Menstrual cramps, Cold vaginal discharge, irregular menstruation, menopause, sterility, Postpartum Wind, and such.
-Musculoskeletal pain that accompanies aversion to cold (whole-body) and coldness of the limbs.
-Others: headaches, nausea, vomiting, coldness of hands and feet, cold pain in the lower abdomen, and such.