What is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis manifests as an inflammation of the appendix, a small tube extending from the large intestine. This condition, potentially acute and necessitating prompt surgical intervention, or chronic, where symptoms are milder but persistent, is commonly identified as an appendix infection. Symptoms typically include severe abdominal pain, and without timely treatment, it can lead to critical complications.

How does TCM view Appendicitis?

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), appendicitis is seen not just as an isolated infection but as a symptom of broader imbalances within the body's Qi, or vital energy.

TCM suggests that appendicitis can arise from disharmonies such as Damp-Heat accumulation or Blood Stagnation in the Lower Burner, highlighting the importance of identifying the underlying pattern of imbalance to effectively treat the condition.

Causes of Appendicitis according to TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), appendicitis is attributed to several underlying disharmonies, with Damp-Cold in the Bladder, Blood Stagnation with Heat, and Toxic-Heat being notable patterns that might lead to this condition.

TCM posits that Damp-Cold in the Bladder can affect the body's Qi flow, contributing to the development of appendicitis by creating an environment conducive to inflammation and bacterial growth. Blood Stagnation with Heat, characterized by impeded Blood flow combined with internal Heat, can cause intense pain and swelling, indicative of appendicitis. Toxic-Heat, resulting from an accumulation of toxins and heat in the body, is also seen as a contributing factor to the inflammation and infection associated with appendicitis.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Appendicitis

To address the varied causes of appendicitis, TCM recommends several targeted herbal formulas. For conditions marked by Damp-Cold in the Bladder, formulas such as Shi Wei San and Wu Lin San are employed to expel dampness and warm the bladder, thereby alleviating the conditions conducive to appendicitis.

In cases of Blood Stagnation with Heat, Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang is utilized for its properties that invigorate blood circulation and clear heat, reducing inflammation and pain. For appendicitis stemming from Toxic-Heat, Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin, with its potent detoxifying herbs, is prescribed to clear heat and toxins from the body. Each formula is selected based on the individual's specific TCM diagnosis, aiming to restore balance and promote healing from within, demonstrating TCM's nuanced approach to treating appendicitis through the lens of underlying imbalances rather than merely addressing the symptoms.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address appendicitis, organized by formula type.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that clear internal abscesses and sores
  • Formulas that clear heat and expel dampness
  • Formulas that purge heat accumulation
  • Formulas that warm and purge
  • Formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen
  • Formulas that clear external abscesses and sores

All "formulas that clear internal abscesses and sores" recommended for appendicitis

Formula Key herbs
Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang Rhubarb (Da Huang)
Yi Yi Fu Zi Bai Jiang San Job's Tears (Yi Yi Ren)

All "formulas that clear heat and expel dampness" recommended for appendicitis

Formula Key herbs
Shi Wei San
Wu Lin San Cape Jasmine Fruits (Zhi Zi)

Acupoints for Appendicitis

See more details below about Lanwei EX-LE-7, an acupoint used to address appendicitis.

  • By Meridian
  • Extra Points: Lower Extremities (EX-LE)
Lanwei EX-LE-7

Lanwei EX-LE-7

On the Stomach Channel of the right leg, Lanwei EX-LE-7 is about 2 cun distal to Zusanli ST-36, in the most tender point of that area.

TCM Herbs for Appendicitis

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address appendicitis, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that clear heat and relieve toxicity
  • Purgative herbs that drain downward
  • Herbs that drain dampness
  • Cool herbs that transform phlegm and stop cough
  • Herbs that warm the interior and/or expel cold
  • Cool/Acrid herbs that release the exterior
  • Herbs that clear heat and purge fire and/or clear summer heat

"Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity" recommended for appendicitis

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Honeysuckle Flowers (Jin Yin Hua) Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin
Dandelions (Pu Gong Ying) Not applicable
Exsiccated Sodium Sulfate (Xuan Ming Fen) Not applicable
Oldenlandia (Bai Hua She She Cao) Not applicable

"Purgative herbs that drain downward" recommended for appendicitis

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Rhubarb (Da Huang) Da Cheng Qi Tang | Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang
Mirabilites (Mang Xiao) Not applicable