Colitis according to Chinese Medicine

Home > List of conditions > Colitis

In Chinese Medicine, colitis can be associated with two so-called "patterns of disharmony". Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted. It is not equivalent to the Western concept of "disease", as a matter of fact here colitis can be caused by two different patterns.

To understand whether someone's colitis might be caused by a given pattern, one needs to look for signs and symptoms associated with the pattern beyond what one might typically experience from colitis alone. For instance when colitis is caused by the pattern Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner, patients also experience symptoms such as epigastric focal distention, abdominal fullness, dry heaves or vomiting and borborygmi with diarrhea. Similarly, patients with Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a red tip tongue with yellow coating.

We've listed below a description of the two patterns associated with colitis so that you can start to get an understanding of the various possibilities according to Chinese Medicine.

Once identified, patterns are often treated using herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. Here we detail below five formulas that can help treat the various patterns associated with colitis, depending on which pattern fits your profile.

The two "patterns of disharmony" associated with colitis

The Triple Burner is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Triple Burner in Chinese Medicine

Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red tip

Recommended herbal formula: Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang

Symptoms: Poor appetite Abdominal fullness Dry heaves or vomiting Borborygmi with diarrhea Epigastric focal distention

Colitis might be due to Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as epigastric focal distention, abdominal fullness, dry heaves or vomiting and borborygmi with diarrhea. Similarly, patients with Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a red tip tongue with yellow coating.

Read more about Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner here

The Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen in Chinese Medicine

Heart and Spleen Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Recommended herbal formula: Gui Pi Tang

Symptoms: Fatigue Anxiety Insomnia Menorrhagia Palpitations Forgetfulness Poor appetite Pale complexion Abnormal uterine bleeding

Colitis might be due to Heart and Spleen Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as forgetfulness, palpitations, insomnia and fatigue. Similarly, patients with Heart and Spleen Deficiency typically exhibit fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.

Read more about Heart and Spleen Deficiency here

The five herbal formulas that might help with colitis

Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Reverses the flow of Rebellious Stomach Qi. Relieves both Heat and Cold Stagnation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Why might Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang help with colitis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner, a pattern sometimes associated with colitis. If it looks like you might suffer from Phlegm-Heat in the Middle Burner, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang here

Gui Pi Tang

Source date: 1529 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood. Tonifies Heart and Spleen.

Why might Gui Pi Tang help with colitis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Heart and Spleen Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with colitis. If it looks like you might suffer from Heart and Spleen Deficiency, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Gui Pi Tang here

Wan Dai Tang

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies the Middle Burner. Removes Dampness. Stops vaginal discharge. Strengthens the Spleen.

Why might Wan Dai Tang help with colitis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat , a pattern sometimes associated with colitis. If it looks like you might suffer from , this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Wan Dai Tang here

Ping Wei San

Source date: 1051 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Dries Dampness. Improves the Spleen's transportive function. Promotes the movement of Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Ping Wei San help with colitis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat , a pattern sometimes associated with colitis. If it looks like you might suffer from , this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Ping Wei San here

Si Ni San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Regulates Liver and Spleen. Eliminates Internal Heat.

Why might Si Ni San help with colitis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat , a pattern sometimes associated with colitis. If it looks like you might suffer from , this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Si Ni San here