Contusionaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Injuries, Cuts & Traumatic Wounds

Sub-symptom(s): Cerebral Contusion

What is Contusion?

A contusion, commonly known as a bruise, is a type of hematoma of tissue where capillaries and sometimes venules are damaged by trauma, allowing blood to seep, hemorrhage, or extravasate into the surrounding interstitial tissues. Typically, contusions are characterized by skin discoloration, pain, and swelling.

They are generally caused by blunt force trauma, which crushes underlying muscle fibers and connective tissue without breaking the skin. Sub-symptoms like cerebral contusion can occur in more severe cases, involving deeper bruising and potential complications.

How does TCM view Contusion?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perceives contusions as injuries to the body's Qi (vital energy) and Blood. These injuries are seen as disruptions to the harmonious flow of these elements, leading to stagnation and accumulation of Blood outside the vessels, visible as bruises.

TCM emphasizes restoring the balance and smooth flow of Qi and Blood to heal the contusion. It views such injuries as disturbances in the body's energetic system, requiring a holistic approach to treatment that addresses both the physical trauma and its impact on the body's energy pathways.

Causes of Contusion According to TCM

In TCM, contusions are primarily attributed to direct physical trauma that disrupts the circulation of Qi and Blood. This disruption can lead to Qi And Blood Stagnation, where the flow of energy and blood is impeded, resulting in pain, swelling, and discoloration.

Additionally, a contusion may introduce elements of Toxic-Heat, particularly in cases of severe trauma or where the injury becomes inflamed. This can complicate the healing process, necessitating treatments that address both the stagnation and the heat or inflammation present in the area of the contusion.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Contusion

TCM recommends various formulas and herbs for treating contusions, with a focus on resolving stagnation and clearing any Toxic-Heat. One effective external formula is Er Qing Gao, containing Natural Indigo (Qing Dai), known for its Salty and Cold properties, ideal for addressing Toxic-Heat patterns.

Additionally, Qi Li San is a formula used internally to invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation, helping to alleviate pain and reduce bruising by promoting the smooth flow of Qi and Blood in the affected area. The choice of formula depends on the specific pattern of disharmony observed in the patient, and treatment is tailored to their unique needs.

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

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation
  • External formulas for external disorders

All "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation" recommended for contusion

Formula Key herbs
Qi Li San
Tao He Cheng Qi Tang Peach Kernels (Tao Ren), Rhubarb (Da Huang)

TCM Herbs for Contusion

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

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that invigorate the blood
  • Herbs that clear heat and relieve toxicity
  • Herbs that cool the blood
  • Purgative herbs that drain downward

"Herbs that invigorate the Blood" recommended for contusion

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Peach Kernels (Tao Ren) Tao He Cheng Qi Tang
Diverse Wormwood Herbs (Liu Ji Nu) Not applicable
Ground Beetles (Tu Bie Chong) Not applicable
Rosewood (Jiang Xiang) Not applicable