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The Different Types of ‘Heatiness’ – Excessive Heat

Heatiness (Shu), TCM Treatments & Theory, Wellness


There are many factors for feeling feverish or ‘heaty’ (发热/上火) during the Spring Festival.

Getting ‘heaty’ is the layman understanding for having ‘excessive internal heat’ symptoms in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

‘Heatiness’ can be divided into Excessive Heat and Heat Deficiency.



Excessive Heat


Symptoms of excessive heat are:-

Main symptoms of excessive heat:

  • Swollen gums
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Bitterness in the mouth
  • Mouth and tongue redness
  • Frequent ulcers
  • Red and dry eyes


Secondary symptoms of excessive heat:

  • Erosion of the corners of the mouth (rashes, cracks or red, swollen patches in the corners of your mouth aka Angular cheilitis)
  • increased eye crust (also known as eye discharge, or “sleep” in your eyes, eye gunk, or eye goop), 
  • Thirsty and tongue pain, 
  • Dry nose and throat and nosebleeds occurrences
  • Constipation or dry & solid stools
  • Dark Yellow urine
  • Irritability
  • Increased appetite and easily hungry
  • Haemorrhoid attacks




To address external heat (excessive fire) we must cleanse and detoxify the heat:

To address external heat (excessive fire) we must cleanse and detoxify, and to do so, we can use Chinese ready-made medicine, such as Sanhuang pills, Niuhuang Shangqing pills and so on in the market.



Chinese herbs to detoxify heat and treat Excess Heat

The foods that make up the constituents of the above mentioned Chinese Medicine also have the same effect of heat detoxification, and you can easily include them in your daily diet, either as foods or tea. These foods that detoxify heat include: 



  • Chrysanthemum, 
  • andrographis paniculata (Chuan Xin Lian ‘穿心连’), 
  • Tomato
  • Bamboo shoots
  • white radishes
  • Winter melon soup or drink
  • Romaine Lettuce (油麦菜)
  • Spinach
  • Purple spinach aka Amaranth
  • black locust flower



Dietary care is one of the most effective and conducive methods to removing excessive heat and relieving internal heat buildup.



This post is a part of a three-part series, you can read the other parts here:

Heatiness Part 1 – What is Heatiness & What Causes Heatiness

Heatiness Part 2 – What is Excessive Heat & How to Treat it

Heatiness Part 3 – What is Heat Deficiency & How to Treat it


We hope the tips shared in this series help to explain how to diagnose and treat ‘Heatiness’ from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective. If you notice these small methods above do not improve your condition, it may be due to more complex factors not addressed in these articles. You may need to consult a TCM physician so that you can properly diagnose the root cause.