The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Chinese name: 血滞
Pinyin name: Xuè Zhì
Associated TCM concepts: Blood
Blood Stagnation - also often referred to as "Blood Stasis" - is where the Blood flow is heavily restricted in all or parts of the body. It is one of the most important diagnostic conditions in Chinese Medicine because it is frequently the cause of intractable pain syndromes anywhere in the body.
It differs from Qi Stagnation: pain associated with stagnant Qi tends to move and change locations and intensity of sensation, while Stagnant Blood results in a fixed stabbing pain. Also when a stagnant Qi doesn't lead to skin symptoms, Blood Stagnation often leads to signs on the skin such as purple blotches or bruises, purple lips and nails.
The causes for Blood stagnation can include:
Blood Stagnation is a condition of toxicity which the main distinguishing symptom is pain that is fixed in one place, and is of a boring or stabbing character. Most commonly the pain is located in the lower abdominal area. To determine this, lie on your back with legs flexed, then rather gently at first, palpate the lower abdomen below the umbilicus, especially the left and right sides. If there is severe Blood Stagnation, you will usually feel pain upon palpation. Milder Stagnation may result in lumps or swelling in the area.
Other symptoms of Blood Stagnation can include traumatic swelling, blotchy skin, increase in skin capillaries, red spots and varicosities, coarseness of the skin and discoloration, itchy scalp, shoulder stiffness, dizziness and numbness. The tongue may exhibit a purplish cast especially noticeable on the sides, and there may be a tendency to bleed. There may be a feeling of abdominal fullness, even when there isn't any, especially in women before menses.
Please keep in mind that a Western Medicine condition can be caused by several Chinese Medicine patterns of disharmony and vice versa. As such a patient suffering from one of the conditions below will not necessarily be suffering from Blood Stagnation, it is just one pattern that's commonly associated with the condition. Click on a condition to learn what other patterns it's associated with.
Blood (Xue) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Blood in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), wiry (Xian) or firm (Lao)
Tongue color: Reddish-Purple
Possible symptoms: Lumps Dark face Purple lips Purple nails Restlessness Stabbing pain Painful period Scanty periods Abdominal pain Abdominal masses Hesitant periods Premenstrual pain Dark colored blood Frequent bleeding episodes Dark clots in menstrual blood Abdominal distention and fullness
Diagnosing a pattern in Chinese Medicine is no easy feat and should be left to professional practitioners.
In particular one has to know how to differentiate between different types of pulses and tongue coatings, shapes and colors. Here patients with Blood Stagnation will tend to exhibit choppy (Se), wiry (Xian) or firm (Lao) pulses as well as a reddish-purple tongue.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Blood Stagnation might experience symptoms like stabbing pain, abdominal masses, purple nails and painful period (full list here above).
Source date: 846 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.
Si Wu Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) and White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) as principal ingredients. Invented in 846 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Blood.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Promotes Blood and lymphatic circulation, thus eleminates Blood Stagnation. Softens and resolves hard lumps such as cysts and fibroids.
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) and Poria-Cocos Mushrooms (Fu Ling) as principal ingredients. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation.
Source date: 1830 AD
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Key actions: Expels Cold and warm the menstruation Blood. Stops pain. Invigorates Blood. Dispels Blood stagnation.
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Szechuan Lovage Roots (Chuan Xiong) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1830 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that invigorate Blood and dispel Blood Stagnation.
Blood Stagnation in the Uterus can be caused by traumas and abdominal surgery, especially due to the adhesions formed after repeated operations. Another cause is when emotional stress leads to Liver Qi stagnation which itself can lead to Liver Blood Stagnation if the situation becomes chronic.
Blood Stagnation can also be caused by internal Cold in the Uterus. It is a common reason for young school girls who have scanty period because they do sport outdoor on cold and damp days and don't wear...Read more about scanty menstruation
Typical symptoms for abnormal uterine bleeding caused by Blood Stagnation: Dark face Hesitant periods Premenstrual pain Dark colored blood Dark clots in menstrual blood Abdominal distention and fullness
The Blood Stagnation type of abnormal uterine bleeding is characterized by dark clots and dark menstruation color. The periods are unpredictable as they seem to stop but then start again trickling for a while or even with a flood. There is often premenstrual pain as well.
The pathology is that the stagnant Blood accumulates in the Uterus and the vessels. Therefore the newly-created Blood has no place to go and spills out. Women just went through childbirth often experience Blood Stagnation and...Read more about abnormal uterine bleeding