Recent Advances and Perspective of Studies on Phlegm Syndrome in Chinese Medicine

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:6463270. doi: 10.1155/2016/6463270. Epub 2016 Feb 14.


This review paper summarized the current situation of studies on the essence of phlegm syndrome and relation between phlegm syndrome, diseases, and therapeutics based on published English articles. In studies on the essence of phlegm syndrome, omic technologies were used to explore the molecular basis of phlegm syndrome; in studies on relation between phlegm syndrome and diseases, discovery of markers of phlegm syndrome in diseases becomes a hotspot; the distribution of phlegm syndromes in some common chronic diseases was found; in the therapy of phlegm syndrome, two therapeutic models, treatment with CM formula and treatment with a combination of CM formula and Western medicine, were used most frequently. It is certainly that using one omic technology is not able to deal with the complexity of phlegm syndrome and that the use of a combination of multiple omic methods will be a trend in future studies. Meanwhile, for rapidly increasing clinical research quality of phlegm syndrome, a series of agreed criteria, such as syndrome diagnostic criteria and efficacy criteria clinical studies of phlegm syndrome, needed to be established urgently, and there was an urgent need of standardizing syndrome names in English.

Publication types

  • Review