Cholangitisaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Biliary & Gallbladder Disorders

Did you mean? Cholecystitis

What is Cholangitis?

Cholangitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the bile ducts. This inflammation typically results from a bacterial infection, often caused by a blockage in the bile ducts due to gallstones or tumors.

Cholangitis can lead to severe complications if not treated promptly, such as liver damage or sepsis. The condition manifests through symptoms like abdominal pain, fever, jaundice, and sometimes chills. It's a serious health issue that requires immediate medical attention to prevent further complications and maintain the health of the biliary system.

How Does TCM View Cholangitis?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cholangitis is seen through the prism of energy flow and balance within the body. TCM interprets this condition as a consequence of imbalances in the body's Qi (vital energy) and the invasion of external pathogenic factors like Dampness and Heat.

The focus of TCM is on restoring the balance and harmony of Qi, and strengthening the body's defensive mechanisms to eliminate these pathogenic influences. TCM practitioners use a holistic approach, considering the patient's overall physical and emotional state to tailor a personalized treatment plan.

Causes of Cholangitis According to TCM

In TCM, cholangitis is often linked to two primary imbalances. The first is the accumulation of Toxic-Heat in the Liver and gallbladder, leading to inflammation and infection in the bile ducts. This imbalance is often exacerbated by dietary habits, stress, or environmental factors.

The second pattern involves Qi Stagnation in the Liver, resulting in a disruption of bile flow and accumulation of toxins. TCM treatments focus on clearing Damp-Heat, promoting Qi circulation, and detoxifying the Liver and Gallbladder to alleviate symptoms and address the root causes of the condition.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Cholangitis

TCM employs a variety of formulas and herbs to treat cholangitis, tailored to the individual's specific pattern of disharmony. For clearing Heat and resolving toxicity, Liang Ge San is often used, with Forsythia Fruits (Lian Qiao) as a key ingredient. This herb is known for its properties of clearing Heat and relieving Toxicity, targeting the Heart, Lung, and Small intestine.

Additionally, to promote Qi movement and alleviate stagnation, Yue Ju Wan is recommended. It includes Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) as a crucial herb, which is beneficial for tonifying Qi Deficiency and targeting the Spleen and Stomach. These formulations are part of a comprehensive approach to restore balance and promote healing in cases of cholangitis.

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

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that clear heat and resolve toxicity
  • Formulas that promote qi movement

TCM Herbs for Cholangitis

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

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that clear heat and relieve toxicity
  • Tonic herbs for qi deficiency
  • Herbs that invigorate the blood

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

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Forsythia Fruits (Lian Qiao) Liang Ge San
Milk Thistle Seeds (Shui Fei Ji) Not applicable