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.



Liver Qi Stagnation - Related Acupuncture Points

The following (19) 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 (18) 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.
    • This formula is useful for treating symptoms of addiction recovery.
  • 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

Gan Mai Da Zao Wan

  • Licorice, Wheat, and Jujube Formula
  • Used for anxiety/depression/manic issues with a tendency towards losing self-control (crying fits, excessive yawning, etc.).  This set of symptoms is known as restless organ disorder in TCM.  General symptoms are disorientation, crying spells, depression, fitful sleep, excessive yawning, anxiety, possible night sweats and other yin deficient signs.  May be used for menopause or similar post-partum issues.

    The Pulse will be thin and rapid and the Tongue will be red with a sparse tongue coating.

  • Calm The Spirit
  • Nourish the Heart and Calm the Spirit

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

Ren Shen Shou Wu Wan

Si Ni San Wan

  • Frigid Extremities Powder Pills
  • Used for liver qi stagnation and counterflow qi to the limbs (i.e. cold limbs with hot/stagnant trunk).  Principle signs would be those of liver qi stagnation (depression, mood swings, PMS, grinding of the teeth), hypochondriac pain and/or abdominal pain.

    The tongue will generally be purple/red - darker and the pulse will be wiry or possibly mixed to indicate heat trapped within and stagnation to the extremities.  

  • 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 Yao Wan

  • Free and Easy Wanderer
    • Depression, anxiety, Headache, vertigo, hypochondriac pain, fatigue, poor appetite, bitter taste in the mouth.  In women - PMS, breast distention, irregular menstruation, fertility issues.
    • The Pulse will be wiry and deficient and the Tongue will be pale-red/purplish.
  • Harmonize
  • Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen

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

ConditionsOther Possible Patterns
Amenorrhea (Absence of Menstruation)¤ Spleen Qi Deficiency ¤ Kidney Qi Deficiency ¤ Liver Blood Stagnation ¤ Liver Cold Stagnation ¤ Blood Stagnation 
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 
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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