Biliary Colicaccording to TCM

What is Biliary Colic?

Biliary colic, a condition characterized by severe pain in the upper abdomen, typically occurs when gallstones obstruct the bile duct. This obstruction leads to spasmodic contractions of the gallbladder, resulting in intense discomfort.

The pain, often sudden and sharp, may last for several hours and is usually accompanied by nausea, sometimes leading to vomiting. Due to its acute nature, biliary colic often requires prompt medical attention.

How does TCM view Biliary Colic?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views biliary colic through a holistic lens, focusing on the balance and flow of the body's energy, or Qi. Contrasting with Western medicine, which primarily focuses on the physical aspects of gallstone blockage, TCM considers biliary colic as a symptom arising from underlying disharmonies within the body.

In TCM, identifying the specific pattern of disharmony is crucial, as the same symptom could be caused by various imbalances, necessitating individualized treatment strategies.

Causes of Biliary Colic According to TCM

In TCM, the causes of biliary colic are associated with specific disharmonies, particularly related to the functioning of the digestive and energy systems. For instance, an imbalance in the spleen's ability to transform and transport body Fluids might lead to the formation of Dampness, which can contribute to the development of gallstones and subsequent biliary colic.

Another TCM perspective involves the Stagnation or blockage of Qi in the gallbladder and surrounding areas, which can cause pain and discomfort. These imbalances reflect a disruption in the natural harmony of the body's systems, which TCM aims to correct.

TCM Herbs for Biliary Colic

In addressing biliary colic, TCM often employs herbs that are specifically chosen based on the individual's disharmony pattern. A key herb used in such cases is Styrax (Su He Xiang), categorized as an Herb that opens the Orifices.

This herb, known for its pungent, sweet, and warm properties, targets the Spleen and Heart, and is particularly effective in treating conditions characterized by what TCM describes as Damp-Cold Phlegm. The use of herbs like Styrax in TCM is a targeted approach, aimed not only at alleviating the immediate symptom of pain but also at resolving the deeper disharmonies within the body.

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that open the orifices