Five kind of “fires” in Chinese medicine

Both water and fire are very common and important substances in nature, as the “尚書” (one of the Five Classics of ancient Chinese literature) said: ” Water and fire are the food and drink of the people. ” Water and fire have their own characteristics. Water is calm, cold in nature, and tends to moisturize And closed storage; fire is active, warm in nature, rising up and warm.

The “water” and “fire” mentioned in the “water and fire theory” of traditional Chinese medicine are analogized with the characteristics of water and fire in nature to explain the life activities and pathological phenomena of the human body, and to guide clinical syndrome differentiation and treatment. It runs through the theory of every aspect of the traditional Chinese medicine system.


What is “Fire” in Chinese Medicine 

From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine theory, “Getting Fire” is considered to be the result of the imbalance of yin and yang in the human body. The heat syndrome of yang excess and yin decline will appear if someone is  attacked by external Pathogens, or as the result of  overactive body functions.

The manifestations of having Fire is generally on the head and face: emanating as a cough,  sore throat, red eyes, hot nasal cavity, dry mouth, sores at the corners of the mouth, ulcers, acne, nosebleeds, toothache, insomnia and lucid dreams.

All parts of the human body are connected, so each part of the body has different levels of expression.

There are five kinds of fire in Chinese medicine : Heart Fire, Stomach fire, Liver Fire, Lung Fire, Kidney Fire,

Based on the introduction below, assess your symptoms and connect it to its fire type.


* Emotions could cause Liver Fire:

The cause of Liver fire is mainly emotional.
The cause of Liver fire is mainly emotional.

The cause of Liver fire is mainly emotional. After getting liver fire, people display  common characteristics such as an inability to suppress anger, grumpiness, easy loss of temper. For people with such a nature , they are seen to suffer from “exuberant Liver fire”.

Surveys have shown that women are more likely to get liver fire than men, especially older women, and the duration of the liver fire is longer. This is believed to be something to do with women’s delicate and sensitive minds.

In addition, seasonal conditions cause Liver heat and be a cause of anger. For example, in spring, the wind-heat easily invades the liver, leading to getting inner Fire; in summer and winter, the heat and cold also invade respectively.

Liver fire is divided into two types: full fire and empty fire. Caused by emotions, it is generally empty fire. The main symptoms are: less and red tongue coating, dizziness and tinnitus, dry throat without the want to drink water. The manifestations of full fire are: red face, red eyes, bitter mouth and dry throat, always wanting to drink water.


* Stomach Fire is mainly caused in three ways:

  • One is anger (the liver fire offending the stomach). Fire caused by emotions can easily cause disharmony between the liver and stomach, i.e. so many people have stomach pains when they get angry.
  • The second condition is one where external heat  invades the stomach. Excessive heat is called “XIE邪淫”, and this kind of fire is more likely to be had in summer, especially in humid weather.
  • The third is to eat too spicy, hot, moist food . Eating too much big fish and meat like mutton will produce damp heat.
Many people have stomach pains when they get angry

The symptoms of stomach fire is mainly swollen and painful gums. In addition, with stomach fire, people tend to eat more. There is a saying in the classic Chinese text  “Huangdi Neijing – 黃帝內經” more than 2000 years ago : “Heat can eliminate grains”, which means that if there is stomach fire, people will always feel hungry. Epigastric pain is also a major symptom of upper stomach fire, and it cannot be pressed with hands, the more one presses, the more painful it becomes. Symptoms of  stomach fire can also be identified by: a yellow tongue coating, bad breath, dry mouth, desire to drink cold water, swollen gums, dry stools, yellow urine; asthenia fire has less tongue coating, dry mouth (without thirst), thready and weak pulse .


* It’s easy to get Heart Fire if you eat too much spicy food:

Spicy food can lead to one getting Heart fire

Chinese medicine pays attention to emotions like joy, anger and sadness. Sudden good news can sometimes cause internal Fire  due to extreme joy leading to loss of emotional control and can even lead to myocardial infarction (heart attack); Contrary to that worry and intense emotional stimulation may also cause internal Fire too.
In addition, hot weather and excessive consumption of hot food, such as chili, cinnamon, mustard, coriander, pepper, etc., can lead  to one getting Heart fire. Some people consume too many warm tonics such as ginseng, which can also, if taken in excess, cause heart fire too.

The signs for diagnosing heart fire is sore mouth and tongue. The prominent manifestation of full heart fire is flushed complexion and always feeling hot on the body. In addition, people will also be prone to feeling upset, insomnia, thirst, ulceration of the tongue, red tip of the tongue, and yellow tongue coating.

Excessive heart fire caused by yin deficiency has different symptoms, mainly palpitations, feeling that the heartbeat is very uncomfortable, night sweats, red cheekbones, red tongue and less fluid.


* Heavy cough is usually a sign of Lung Fire:

Heavy cough is usually a sign of Lung Fire

In traditional Chinese medicine, lung fire is also called lung heat, which is most likely  caused by rain or cold. People with better physique and more yang energy are more likely to stagnate in the body after being infected with wind and cold, resulting in getting angry.

After getting a lung fire, the most prominent symptom is loud coughing. People with excess fire tend to also have shortness of breath, heavy breathing, thick and yellow internal Fire that maybe bloodshot, the voice hoarse, night sweats, and people will become thinner and thinner.


*Kidney Fire is empty fire

Hair loss could be a sign of Kidney fire

Kidney fire is generally caused by kidney yin deficiency, so there is no full fire, and all of them are empty fire. The main manifestations are dizziness and tinnitus, insomnia and forgetfulness, hair loss, back pain, dry throat and mouth, men are prone to nocturnal emissions (regular visits to the toilet to empty the bladder) , and women with too much kindey fire may get amenorrhea (periods stop). dry throat and mouth, If one wants to reduce kidney fire, it is best to nourish yin energy and invigorate the kidney first.



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