Neuropathic Headacheaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Headaches

Parent symptom: Headaches

What is Neuropathic Headache?

Neuropathic headaches arise from nerve-related issues, characterized by a persistent, often debilitating pain that stems from nerve damage or dysfunction. These headaches differ from standard headaches due to their underlying neurogenic causes, which can make them particularly resistant to conventional pain relief methods.

How does TCM view Neuropathic Headache

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) interprets neuropathic headache as a signal of internal disharmony, specifically an imbalance in Qi flow and disruption caused by external pathogenic factors or a Deficiency within the body's organ systems.

TCM seeks to identify the specific pattern of imbalance, such as Exterior Wind or a Deficiency in Stomach Yang, to effectively tailor a treatment that addresses the root cause and not just the symptom.

Cause of Neuropathic Headache According to TCM

According to TCM, a neuropathic headache can be the result of Exterior Wind invading the Channels, leading to symptoms such as pain that migrates or is triggered by windy conditions.

On the other hand, a Stomach Yang Deficiency with Empty Cold pattern may present as a cold sensation in the Stomach area with pain, reflecting a deeper Deficiency and a propensity for Cold to penetrate the body, disrupting the normal flow of Qi and Blood.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Neuropathic Headache

In addressing neuropathic headaches, TCM relies on herbal formulas aligned with the diagnosed pattern. For Exterior Wind, a formula like Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San, which includes Szechuan Lovage Roots, is used to expel Wind and alleviate headache symptoms.

When the pattern is identified as Stomach Yang Deficiency and Cold, a warming formula such as Wu Zhu Yu Tang, featuring Evodia Fruits, is employed to restore the Deficient Yang and dispel Cold, thereby treating the root of the headache.

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

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that dredge and disperse external wind
  • Formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold

TCM Herbs for Neuropathic Headache

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

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

"Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior" recommended for neuropathic headache

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Angelica Roots (Bai Zhi) Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San
Notopterygium Roots (Qiang Huo) Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San