Watery Stoolsaccording to TCM

What is Watery Stools?

Watery stools, commonly referred to as diarrhea, involve the frequent passage of loose, liquid bowel movements. It's a symptom that can indicate a variety of conditions ranging from simple indigestion to more serious health issues like infections or chronic diseases.

The condition is characterized by an increased water content in stools, leading to a lack of form and increased volume. This symptom can lead to dehydration if not addressed promptly, making it crucial to understand its underlying causes and seek appropriate treatment.

How does TCM view Watery Stools?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches watery stools as a manifestation of imbalance within the body's internal systems. According to TCM, the Spleen and Stomach are primarily responsible for digestion and absorption.

Watery stools are seen as a sign of disharmony in these organs, often related to Deficiencies in Yang energy within the body. TCM emphasizes the importance of identifying the specific pattern of disharmony causing the symptom to effectively restore balance through tailored treatments.

Root Causes of Watery Stools in TCM

Yang Deficiency, particularly in the Spleen and Kidney, leads to a diminished capacity to transform and transport fluids, resulting in watery stools accompanied by symptoms such as chills, lethargy, and abdominal pain that improves with warmth. Addressing these underlying causes is essential for the effective treatment and prevention of recurrent episodes.

Explore below more details about what might cause Watery stools according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • Yang Deficiency
Detailed description of the cause

Yang Deficiency

Yang deficiency in TCM refers to a state where the body's Yang energy, which is responsible for warmth, activity, and function, is weakened or diminished. This pattern of disharmony often arises from chronic illness, aging, or inherent constitutional weakness. Symptoms of Yang deficiency are typically associated with cold and sluggishness, such as a feeling of coldness, cold extremities, pale complexion, low energy or fatigue, and a desire for warmth. Digestive issues like poor appetite, loose stools, and water retention can also be indicative of Yang deficiency.... see more

Yang Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Watery Stools

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang Watery stools, Chills, General cold feeling, Pale urine, Undigested food in stools, General weakness, Abdominal pain relieved by pressure and warmth, Frequent urination, Polyuria, Nocturia, White vaginal discharge... see more Ba Wei Di Huang Wan | You Gui Wan | Ban Liu Wan

TCM Herbal Formulas for Watery Stools

For treating watery stools caused by Yang Deficiency, TCM recommends warming and tonifying formulas such as Ba Wei Di Huang Wan and You Gui Wan. Ba Wei Di Huang Wan targets the root of Blood and Yin Deficiency, primarily nourishing the kidney Yin, while You Gui Wan focuses on replenishing Kidney Yang, addressing symptoms like cold limbs, fatigue, and pale urine.

These formulas work by strengthening the body's vital energy and restoring the balance necessary for healthy digestion and absorption, thereby reducing the frequency and urgency of watery stools.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address watery stools, organized by cause and by formula type.

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Yang Deficiency
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that warm yang and tonify
  • Formulas that warm and purge

All Formulas Recommended for Watery Stools Caused by Yang Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Ba Wei Di Huang Wan Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang
You Gui Wan Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang
Ban Liu Wan Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang

TCM Herbs for Watery Stools

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

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that warm the interior and/or expel cold
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency
  • Tonic herbs for yang deficiency
  • Herbs for external application

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

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) You Gui Wan
Cinnamon Bark (Rou Gui) You Gui Wan