Chronic Colitisaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Inflammatory Bowel Disorders

Parent symptom: Colitis

What is Chronic Colitis?

Chronic colitis represents a long-term inflammation of the colon, a condition that persists over time, distinguishing itself from acute colitis by its duration and, often, its fluctuating intensity. This ailment can manifest through a variety of symptoms, including persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, and the urgent need for bowel movements, leading to significant discomfort and impacting the quality of life.

Chronic colitis can take various forms, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, each with its unique challenges and treatment approaches. Understanding the nature of chronic colitis is crucial for managing its symptoms and improving patient outcomes.

How does TCM view Chronic Colitis?

In the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chronic colitis is viewed not just as an isolated issue within the digestive tract but as a symptom of broader disharmony within the body. TCM interprets this condition through the lens of Qi (energy) imbalance, Blood Stagnation, and the disharmony of organs like the Spleen, Liver, and Kidney.

Emotional stress, dietary imbalances, and external environmental factors are considered significant contributors to the development of chronic colitis. TCM aims to restore balance and harmony within the body, addressing both the root causes and the symptoms of the condition through a holistic approach.

Causes of Chronic Colitis according to TCM

TCM identifies several underlying patterns that may contribute to chronic colitis, including Blood Stagnation, where the flow of Blood is impeded, leading to pain and inflammation, and Yang Deficiency, where a lack of warming energy results in cold accumulating in the body, causing symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain.

By identifying the specific pattern of disharmony in each patient, TCM practitioners can tailor treatments to address the underlying causes effectively.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Chronic Colitis

For treating chronic colitis, TCM relies on a variety of herbal formulas designed to target the specific patterns of disharmony identified in the patient. Di Dang Tang, enriched with leeches (Shui Zhi), is utilized for its properties to invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation, addressing one of the core causes of chronic colitis according to TCM.

Si Ni Tang, with Prepared aconite (Zhi Fu Zi), is recommended for cases involving devastated Yang, aiming to revive the body’s essential warming energy. These formulas exemplify the TCM approach to treating chronic colitis, focusing on restoring balance and addressing the root causes of the disease.

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

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation
  • Formulas that release the exterior and warm the interior
  • Formulas that rescue devastated yang

TCM Herbs for Chronic Colitis

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

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that invigorate the blood
  • Warm/Acrid herbs that release the exterior
  • Tonic herbs for qi deficiency
  • Herbs that warm the interior and/or expel cold

"Herbs that invigorate the Blood" recommended for chronic colitis

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Leeches (Shui Zhi) Di Dang Tang
Tabanus Horseflies (Meng Chong) Di Dang Tang