Fatty Liveraccording to TCM

What is Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver, also known as hepatic steatosis, is a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver cells. This buildup can interfere with the liver's normal functions, potentially leading to inflammation, liver damage, and other complications. Fatty liver can be classified into two types: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD), depending on the underlying cause. Common risk factors include obesity, high alcohol consumption, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels.

How does TCM view Fatty Liver?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views fatty liver as a manifestation of underlying imbalances within the body, referred to as "patterns." These patterns, such as Liver Yang Rising or Liver and Gallbladder Fire, are crucial for understanding the root cause of symptoms.

Identifying the correct pattern is essential because TCM treatment aims to restore harmony and balance in the body, rather than merely alleviating symptoms. This holistic approach ensures a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.

Causes of Fatty Liver According to TCM

In TCM, one common cause of fatty liver is Liver Yang Rising. This pattern often presents with symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and irritability, which reflect the hyperactivity of liver energy.

Another potential cause is Liver and Gallbladder Fire, characterized by symptoms such as a bitter taste in the mouth, red eyes, and hypochondriac pain. The presence of excess Heat in the Liver and Gallbladder can lead to inflammation and disrupt the Liver's ability to process fats, resulting in fatty liver. These patterns highlight the importance of understanding the underlying imbalances to provide effective treatment.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Fatty Liver

Treating fatty liver in TCM involves using specific herbal formulas tailored to the patient's pattern of disharmony. For Liver Yang Rising and Liver and Gallbladder Fire, Da Chai Hu Tang is often recommended. This formula includes Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu), a bitter and cool herb, to release the exterior and purge the interior, addressing the excessive heat and hyperactivity in the liver and gallbladder.

The choice of formula and herbs depends on the individual’s specific pattern, ensuring a personalized and effective treatment approach. By addressing the root cause, TCM aims to restore balance and promote overall liver health.

See more details below about Da Chai Hu Tang, a herbal formula used to address fatty liver.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that release the exterior and purge the interior

TCM Herbs for Fatty Liver

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

  • By Herb Category
  • Cool/Acrid herbs that release the exterior
  • Purgative herbs that drain downward