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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 6463270, 6 pages
Review Article

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

Institute of Basic Theory, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No. 16 Nanxiao Road, Dongzhimennei, Beijing 100700, China

Received 23 September 2015; Revised 4 January 2016; Accepted 18 January 2016

Academic Editor: Christopher Zaslawski

Copyright © 2016 Zhiguo Zhang and Jingqing Hu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.