Symptom family: Hernia-Related Conditions

Sub-symptom(s): Inguinal Hernia

What is Hernia?

A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called the fascia. The most common types of hernia are found in the abdomen, specifically as inguinal hernias, where the intestine or bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall or into the inguinal canal in the groin.

Though hernias can occur at different parts of the body, they share a commonality in their formation—a combination of pressure and an opening or weakness of muscle or fascia.

How does TCM view Hernia?

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), hernia is viewed through a lens that differs markedly from Western medicine. TCM interprets hernia as a symptom of underlying imbalances or disharmonies within the body's Qi (vital energy), Blood, and organ systems.

Instead of focusing solely on the physical manifestation, TCM seeks to identify and correct the root causes of these imbalances, emphasizing the importance of diagnosing specific patterns of disharmony before commencing treatment. This holistic approach underscores TCM's belief in the interconnection between body, mind, and environment in health and disease.

Causes of Hernia According to TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hernia is often associated with specific internal imbalances, with Interior Cold being a primary pattern linked to its occurrence. Interior Cold refers to a condition where cold energy accumulates inside the body, leading to a slowing down of the physical and energetic processes. This can manifest as a hernia when the cold weakens the body's structures, particularly in the lower abdomen, causing organs to protrude through weakened points.

The concept underscores TCM's view of hernia not just as a physical protrusion but as a symptom of deeper, energetic disharmony. By identifying and treating the root cause—Interior Cold—TCM aims to restore the body's natural balance and strength, preventing further weakening and protrusion of organs.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Hernia

For hernia cases characterized by Interior Cold, TCM emphasizes warming the interior and strengthening the body's energy to counteract the cold's weakening effects. A prime example of a formula used in such cases is Dang Gui Sheng Jiang Yang Rou Tang.

This formula embodies the TCM principle of using warmth to counteract Cold, incorporating ingredients like mutton, which is known for its warm and sweet properties. By tonifying Qi and Blood and warming the body's interior, it directly addresses the underlying Interior Cold pattern believed to contribute to hernia formation. This tailored approach, focusing on the specific imbalances within each individual, highlights the holistic and personalized nature of TCM treatment strategies.

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

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that tonify qi and blood
  • Formulas that warm and purge
  • Formulas that promote qi movement

Acupoints for Hernia

See more details below about Duyin EX-LE-11, an acupoint used to address hernia.

  • By Meridian
  • Extra Points: Lower Extremities (EX-LE)
Duyin EX-LE-11

Duyin EX-LE-11

On the plantar aspect of the 2nd toe, at the midpoint of the transverse crease of the distal interphalangeal joint.

TCM Herbs for Hernia

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

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that warm the interior and/or expel cold

"Herbs that warm the Interior and/or expel Cold" recommended for hernia

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Muttons (Yang Rou) Dang Gui Sheng Jiang Yang Rou Tang
Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) Da Huang Fu Zi Tang
Fennel Seeds (Xiao Hui Xiang) Nuan Gan Jian
Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui) Nuan Gan Jian