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The Chinese Medicine Sampler & Online Diagnosis - Pathology Types

Pathology Main

Wu Xiang
The 5 Elements

The 6 External Pathogens

Internal Pathogens

The 8 Principles



5 Element pathological principles are clearcut. They are the opposite of the healthy relationships.

The Shen or Nourishing Cycle vs. Overconsuming and/or Insulting the Parent Cycle

The clockwise sequence on the circle represents the Shen cycle. The Shen cycle is often called the nourishing cycle or the mother-son cycle. Each element is mother to the next element. Water nourishes Wood, Wood fuels Fire, Fire makes Earth (ashes), Earth yields Metal, Metal produces Water (e.g. condensation).

Pathology manifests in two ways.

  • Over-consuming - The parent element is deficient part or all of the time because the child element takes so much nourishment from it.
  • Insulting - The child element is in excess and sends some of the excess to the parent element.

Shen Cycle Pathology

The Ko or Regulating Cycle vs. Overregulating or Insulting the Grandmother Cycle

The clockwise sequence depicted by the pentagon  represents the regulating or destructive cycle. Water can extinguish Fire, Fire can melt Metal, Metal can cut Wood, Wood can contain Earth and Earth can absorb Water.  The Ko cycle is often referred to as the  grandmother-son cycle. There are two types of pathology in this situation.

  • Over-regulation - The regulating/grandmother element is too harsh which causes deficiency in the grandson/child element.
  • Insulting - The grandson/child becomes excess and sends some of that excess to the grandmother/element.

Ko cycle pathology


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