Theory

Diagnostic Information and Acupuncture and Herbal Treatment of Liver Qi Stagnation


Liver Qi Stagnation - Basics

Chest distention, hypochondriac pain a/or distention, sighing, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, diarrhea, depression, moodiness, plum pit qi, PMS, breast tenderness, painful a/or irregular menstruation.

Normal.

Wiry.


Liver Qi Stagnation - Related Acupuncture Points

The following (20) acupuncture points may be useful for liver qi stagnation. A subset of these could potentially be useful with acupressure stimulation and/or tongren therapy methods as well.

Generally treatment would be based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting points by function alone, (see general points selection rules.)




Liver Qi Stagnation - Formulas From Our Store

The following herbal formulas are potentially useful in the process of treating liver qi stagnation. For a complete list from our store with more details see our liver qi stagnation formula section.


Liver Qi Stagnation - Questions

Need treatment options for liver qi stagnation and not finding the information you need?

Using our forums our staff and our community may offer guidance with regards to the treatment of liver qi stagnation.



Liver Qi Stagnation - Related Chinese Herbs

The following (2) chinese herbs may be useful for liver qi stagnation. When available, relevant formulas will appear below and/or in the store listings above.



The following (19) TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Liver Qi Stagnation

Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Wan

  • Pinellia, Atractylodis and Gastrodia Combination
    • Nausea with possible vomitting from combination of damp with liver qi stagnation causing rebellious qi.
    • Dizziness, migraines, and vertigo from damp and liver wind rising.
    • Heavy or oppressed sensation of the chest.
  • Treat Phlegm
  • Transform Phlegm and Extinguish Wind
  • Cautions
  • This formula should not be used to treat dizziness or vertigo due to liver yang rising patterns.

Ban Xia Hou Po Wan

  • Pinellia & Magnolia Pills
    • Plum pit qi (globus hystericus) and/or difficulty with swallowing from liver qi stagnation.
    • Coughing, hiccups, nausea and possible vomitting from rebellious qi and phlegm.
  • Regulate the Qi
  • Promote the Movement of Qi
  • Cautions
  • Use with caution in yin deficiency or with patients with signs of liver yang rising

Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Wan

  • Bupleurum, Dragon Bone, and Oyster Shell Formula
    • Palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, agitation/irritibility, and insomnia from heat due to liver yang or fire.
    • Mental disorders such as including biopolar and schizophrenia resulting from distrubed shen.
    • Symptoms of addiction recovery: cravings, anxiety, mood swings etc.
  • Calm The Spirit
  • Sedate and Calm the Spirit

Chai Hu Shu Gan Wan

  • Bupleurum Powder to Spread the Liver
    • Hypochondriac pain with possible breast tenderness.
    • Irregular menstruation and or amenorrhea, PMS symptoms that result from liver qi stagnation.
    • Irritability and or depression may also manifest as the emotional component of liver qi stagnation.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen

Da Bu Gan Wan

  • Major Liver Nutrition Pills
    • Brittle nails, yellowing of the skin (jaundice).
    • Abdominal cramping, distension or pain in the hypochrondia due to liver qi stangation
    • Fatty liver, hepatitis and other liver diseases. 
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen

Die Da Wan

  • Trauma Healing Pill
  • Useful for many types of traumatic injuries, broken bones, sprains, fractures, etc. anywhere in the body.  Also useful for fixed abdominal masses, ulcerations, sciatica, arthritis, pelvic inflammatory disease and angina among others.

    In the case of traumatic injury the tongue and pulse may hold less clinical significance, for other conditions the Pulse may be wiry and the Tongue may be darker or show darkness in specific areas.

  • Invigorate the Blood
  • Invigorate the Blood from Traumatic Injury

Gan Bing Zhi Ben Wan

  • Liver Disease Recovery Pills
    • Irritibility or easily prone to outburts or anger.
    • Liver disease such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver.
    • Jaundice - yellowing of the skin, brittle nails, pale complexion.
  • Regulate the Qi
  • Promote the Movement of Qi
  • Cautions
    • Ovoid foods and drugs that tax the liver such as coffee, alcohol, fried foods, etc.
    • Use with caution during pregnancy.

Gan Mai Da Zao Wan

  • Licorice, Wheat, and Jujube Formula
    • Anxiety/depression/manic issues with a tendency towards losing self-control (crying fits, excessive yawning, etc.) that result from the combination of heart yin deficiency and liver qi stagnation.
    • Insomnia, possibly with vivid dreaming and heart palpitations.
    • Post-partum depression and milder symptoms of menopause.
  • Calm The Spirit
  • Nourish the Heart and Calm the Spirit

Ge Xia Zhu Yu Wan

  • Drive Out Blood Stasis Below The Diaphragm Decoction
    • For blood stasis below the diaphgram - abdominal masses, liver and spleen masses/swelling, colitis.
    • A range of liver disorders are possibly applicable - cirrhosis, hepatic hemangioma, hepatitis, jaundice.
    • Spleen disorders - splenomegaly.
    • Pleural adhesions.
    • A range of menstrual disorders - fibroids, endometriosis, dysmenorrhea (although Shao Fu Zhu Yu Wan may be more appropriate as that targets more the lower jiao).
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease.
    • May be used to help expel ectopic pregnancy.
  • Invigorate the Blood
  • Invigorate the Blood and Dispel Blood Stasis
  • Cautions
  • Pregnancy
    • Avoid during pregnancy.
    • Use only under direction during menstruation.
    • Use only under direction if you are taking blood thinners.
    • Generally not for long term use.

Jia Wei Gui Pi Wan

  • Augmented Restore The Spleen Decoction
    • A combination of jia wei xiao yao wan and gui pi wan - similar effects but with more spleen qi and blood tonification.
    • A range of stress related issues - essentially mixes of stagnation with underlying deficiencies.
    • Potential uses with immune / idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and other bruising/bleeding issues with appropriate diagnostic factors.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen

Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan

  • Free and Easy Wanderer Pills
    • Derived from the base formula, xiao yao wan, an important formula for liver qi stagnation with herbs added to clear heat.
    • Liver qi stagnation - menstrual issues, painful cycles, irregular cycles, breast distention, PMS, acne.
    • A range of mild to moderate psychological issues arising from liver qi stagnation such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, insomnia, anger issues, etc.
    • Physical symptoms from liver qi stagnation such as headaches, tightness in the chest, cold hands and feet, various eye issues.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen

Pian Tou Tong Wan

Ren Shen Shou Wu Wan

  • Ginseng Fo-Ti Pills
    • Hair loss, dry hair, greying hair as a result of dimished jing/essence.
    • Low sperm count, low libedo, and infertility.
  • Tonify
  • Tonify the Qi and Blood

Shu Gan Wan

  • Liver Comfort Pills
    • Abdominal and/or Hypochondriac pain, cramps or spasms resulting from liver qi stagnation.
    • Alternating chills and fever.
    • Nausea, bloating, acid reflux, alternating stools, or IBS like symptoms caused by the liver invading the spleen.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen
  • Cautions
    • Use with caution with pregnancy.

Si Ni San Wan

  • Frigid Extremities Powder Pills
    • Coldness in the limbs with simultaneous heat in the body.
    • Irritibility, possibly with fullness in the chest or epigastrium. 
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen
  • Cautions
    • Not for cold extremities from yang or Blood deficiency.
    • Use with caution or avoid in very weak patients who cannot sustain the movement that this formula creates.

Xiao Chai Hu Tang Wan

  • Minor Bupleurum Decoction
    • Shao Yang Syndrome (or "lesser yang stage") - alternating fever and chills, hypochondriac pain, irritability, bitter taste in mouth, poor appetite, nausea.  Often used for illnesses (chronic or short-term) such as the flu, etc. that have "cleared" but not completely.  People will describe not feeling quite right or having a range of low level symptoms for months or longer after a particular illness.  Instead of fever and chills alternating they may manifest with cold extremities and warm interior or other variations.
    • A range of liver related conditions including malaria, jaundice, hepatitis, liver cancer, meniere's disease, general protection from medicines that may harm the liver, etc. among issues with other digestive organs - pancreatitis, stomatitis, gastritis.
    • Liver/speen disharmonies resulting in broader issues such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, menstrual irregularities (PMS, cramping, etc.).
    • Other general immune issues such as the common cold, flu, tonsillitis, general seasonal allergies with the right underlying factors.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen
  • Cautions
    • Use with caution with yin and/or blood deficiencies.
    • Avoid cold, raw, and spicy foods while taking xiao chai hu tang.

Xiao Yao Wan

  • Free and Easy Wanderer
    • Depression, anxiety, loss of motivation - resulting from liver qi stagnation.
    • Fatigue, bloating, changes in appetite from the combination of spleen qi deficiency with liver qi stagnation.
    • PMS, breast distention, irregular menstruation and in some cases infertility.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen
  • Cautions
    • Use with caution during pregnancy.

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Wan

  • Blood Stasis Relief Pills
    • Qi and Blood stagnation - pain, cardiovascular issues, physical organ issues.
    • Coronary artery disease, angina and other cardiovascular issues.
    • Hepatitis and other liver function issues.
    • Migraines, headaches, neuralgia from most causes.
    • A range of menstrual issues including dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids - particularly with pain and/or bleeding.
    • Certain diagnostic types of psychological illness, schizophrenia, bipolar, chronic depression, etc.
  • Invigorate the Blood
  • Invigorate the Blood and Dispel Blood Stasis
  • Cautions
  • Pregnancy
    • Avoid during pregnancy.
    • Avoid with heavy menstrual bleeding.
    • Use only under direction if you are taking blood thinners.
    • Generally not for long term use.

Yi Guan Jian Wan

  • Linking Decoction
    • GI issues from yin deficiency (liver and kidney) with liver qi stagnation leading to stomach yin issues - gastritis, ulcers, reflux, bloating.
    • The underlying factors lead to dryness of the blood, that coupled with liver qi stagnation and yin deficiency may lead to PMS, inosmnia, etc.
    • With the right underlying factors useful for a range of liver conditions - hepatitis, fatty liver.
    • Essential hypertension, preeclampsia.
  • Tonify
  • Tonify the Yin

Liver Qi Stagnation - Conditions and Possibilities

The Chinese Medicine treatment of liver qi stagnation generally involves being certain that this pattern is the proper diagnosis. Each pattern may have multiple conditions and each condition may arise from one or more patterns (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).

The following 40 conditions may arise from liver qi stagnation . Each condition is listed with other possible patterns to expand diagnostic possibilities.

ConditionsOther Possible Patterns
Acrocyanosis¤ Kidney Yin Deficiency 
Amenorrhea (Absence of Menstruation)¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Kidney Qi Deficiency ¤ Liver Blood Stagnation ¤ Liver Cold Stagnation ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Arrhythmia¤ Heart Yin Deficiency 
Asthma¤ Liver Fire ¤ Lung Wind Invasion - Wind Heat ¤ Lung Wind Invasion - Wind Cold ¤ Lung Dampness - Phlegm Cold ¤ Lung Dampness - Phlegm Heat ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Kidney Qi Deficiency ¤ Liver Yin Deficiency 
Atherosclerosis¤ Kidney Qi Deficiency ¤ Phlegm Stagnation ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Chest Pain¤ Phlegm Fire ¤ Liver Cold Stagnation ¤ Phlegm Stagnation ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Chronic Cholecystitis¤ Liver Fire ¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Liver Blood Stagnation 
Depression¤ Liver Fire ¤ Heart Yin Deficiency ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Kidney Yin Deficiency ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Dysmenorrhea (Menstrual Pain/Cramps)¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Endometriosis¤ Blood Stagnation 
Fever¤ Liver Fire ¤ Lung Wind Invasion - Wind Heat ¤ Stomach Fire ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Forgetfulness¤ Heart Qi Deficiency ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Kidney Jing Deficiency ¤ Phlegm Stagnation 
Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)¤ Liver Fire ¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Liver Blood Stagnation 
Gastritis¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Stomach Dampness ¤ Stomach Yin Deficiency ¤ Stomach Qi Deficiency ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Goiter¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Phlegm Stagnation 
Headache¤ Liver Yang Rising ¤ Liver Wind ¤ Lung Wind Invasion - Wind Heat ¤ Lung Wind Invasion - Wind Cold ¤ Kidney Qi Deficiency ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Hepatitis (B or C)¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Liver Yin Deficiency 
Hepato-Cirrhosis¤ Spleen Yang Deficiency ¤ Stomach Dampness ¤ Kidney Yang Deficiency ¤ Kidney Yin Deficiency ¤ Liver Yin Deficiency ¤ Liver Blood Stagnation 
Herpes¤ Liver Wind ¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Liver Attacking the Spleen 
Hyperlipidemia¤ Spleen Yang Deficiency ¤ Stomach Fire ¤ Kidney Yang Deficiency ¤ Kidney Yin Deficiency ¤ Liver Yin Deficiency ¤ Stomach Blood Stagnation ¤ Stomach Qi Deficiency ¤ Phlegm Stagnation 
Hyperthyroidism¤ Liver Fire ¤ Liver Yang Rising ¤ Heart Yin Deficiency ¤ Kidney Yin Deficiency ¤ Liver Yin Deficiency ¤ Phlegm Stagnation 
Hypochondriac Pain¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Liver Yin Deficiency ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Impotence (Erectile Dysfunction)¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Heart Qi Deficiency ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency 
Indigestion¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Stomach Food Stagnation ¤ Stomach Qi Deficiency ¤ Liver Attacking the Spleen 
Infertility¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Kidney Yang Deficiency ¤ Kidney Yin Deficiency ¤ Kidney Jing Deficiency ¤ Stomach Qi Deficiency ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Irregular Menstruation¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)¤ Large Intestine Damp Heat ¤ Large Intestine Dryness ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Spleen Yang Deficiency ¤ Kidney Yang Deficiency ¤ Large Intestine Cold 
Leukorrhea¤ Liver Fire ¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Liver Yin Deficiency 
Liver Cancer - Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Kidney Yin Deficiency ¤ Liver Yin Deficiency ¤ Liver Blood Stagnation ¤ Heat in the Blood 
Meniere's Disease¤ Liver Yang Rising ¤ Liver Wind ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency 
Mumps¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Liver Wind ¤ Liver Fire ¤ Lung Wind Invasion - Wind Heat 
Neurasthenia¤ Liver Fire ¤ Heart Qi Deficiency ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency 
Neuritis¤ Liver Wind ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Neurosis
Pancreatitis¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Spleen and Stomach Damp Heat ¤ Liver Yin Deficiency ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Pneumothorax¤ Lung Wind Invasion - Wind Cold ¤ Lung Dampness - Phlegm Heat ¤ Lung Qi Deficiency ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Liver Blood Stagnation ¤ Phlegm Stagnation 
Raynaud's Disease¤ Liver and Gallbladder Damp Heat ¤ Liver Blood Stagnation ¤ Blood Stagnation 
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)¤ Heart Qi Deficiency ¤ Heart Blood Deficiency ¤ Heart Yin Deficiency ¤ Lung Qi Deficiency ¤ Lung Yin Deficiency ¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Spleen Yang Deficiency ¤ Stomach Yin Deficiency ¤ Kidney Yang Deficiency ¤ Stomach Qi Deficiency 
Trauma¤ Blood Stagnation ¤ Shen Disturbance 
Ulcerative Colitis¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Spleen Yang Deficiency ¤ Spleen and Stomach Damp Heat ¤ Kidney Yang Deficiency ¤ Blood Stagnation 



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