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Sweating and Shang Mai San


I’m in 2 minds and somewhat uncertain about Rx Sheng Mai Yin/San for a patient who has profusely sweating and that’s the chief complaint.

I want to prescribe sheng Mai San, but this person is taking some additional substances for bodybuilding which i believe is causing the sweating. If this sweating is a toxic byproduct of the medication, then I prefer it comes out of the body.

If I prescribe Sheng Mai San for in order to stop the sweating then the toxins will remain in the body, but that’s if my theory is my right, what do others think?


As with choosing acupuncture points, herbal formulas should be selected based on the underlying pattern and not just based on the chief complaint. Does he have any signs or symptoms of yin deficiency, or spleen qi deficiency?


I would add to what @Stephen says that I wouldn’t too closely follow the debatable idea that sweating releases toxins. While it does - that is true, the whole concept of “toxicity” is rampant with misinformation in my opinion.

If he is taking bodybuilding supplements - most of those at least on some level are just simply stimulants (not toxic necessarily, or at all, but stimulants to the nervous system). They essentially push the body towards fight or flight (damaging yin along their way). No different than excessive amounts of caffeine or any number of other substances.

So I would move away from the idea that you would somehow trap toxins in the body by properly treating them. You might be enabling bad habits, yes that is true. But you would be helping them from suffering longer term damage from those bad habits which is not that infrequent of a position to be in as a practitioner of Chinese Medicine - or western medicine for that matter.

I would, however, treat what you see. So don’t use formulas for symptoms, treat the root.


Thank-you for guidance and reminders!!
I have already lectured/guided her on all aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

There a signs definitely of yin xu, no tongue coat and thirst, but spleen Xu, not so much.

Your feedback is appreciated, and I also agree, about the over hyper fixation of releasing toxins.

It’s just I’ve never seen a woman sweat like this and it made me have concerns about using any astringent formula in that it would close the pores.


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