Chinese medicine, tongue burning

This is a response to the words:  “Chinese medicine, tongue burning”

As mentioned previously, a sensation of a burning tongue is related to menopause, and it is a 虚火 “xu huo” or “virtual fire” related to “internal changes from internal dampness to internal dryness”, i.e., changing from having monthly menstrual discharge to a lack of monthly menstrual discharge due to hormonal changes related to a woman’s age.  In rare cases, menopausal hormonal change does not occur and menstruation continues into the mid fifties.

For menopause, Chinese doctors do not usually advise cooling teas because they bring on depression.  However, Chinese and Japanese women who eat a lot of tofu throughout their lives do not seem to be affected by menopausal symptoms as much as Western women, including hot flashes, burning lips, and mood swings.  Foods rich in calcium and alkalinity reduce one’s sensitivity to pain and “burning sensations”.  This is easily demonstrated by the fact that after eating extremely spicy and hot foods and feeling that the “mouth is burning”, one can drink cold milk to “dampen” the burning sensation in the mouth.   If one drinks a soft drink after eating extremely spicy and hot foods, the soft drink would actually make the “burning sensation” more pronounced.  The salt on the rim of the wine goblet used to consume tequilla serves the same purpose.  It takes away the “sting”.

Therefore, instead of taking medicinal remedies for menopause, perhaps a megadose of calcium rich foods like bananas, plantain, a larger intake of tofu at every meal just might alleviate some of the “burning tongue” sensation.


About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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4 Responses to Chinese medicine, tongue burning

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