Liver Yang Rising

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 肝阳上亢

Pinyin name: Gān Yáng Shàng Kàng

Associated TCM concepts: Liver Liver Yin Deficiency Yang

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Anger Tinnitus Deafness Insomnia Headaches and nine other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Red

Long term Deficiency of Liver Yin, Liver Blood or Kidney Yin can cause Liver Yang rising upwards. This pattern is also called "Arrogant Liver Yang". If left unchecked it can also lead to Liver Wind Agitating Internally

The symptoms mentioned here are fairly similar to these of Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire. However, the latter is purely an Excess pattern. The Fire dries up the Body Fluids and cause some clear sign of Dryness such as constipation, red eyes and face or scanty dark urine.

Liver Yang Rising, on the other hand, is both Excess (the Yang rising) and Empty (Deficient Yin) at the same time, therefore the treatment should be focusing on subduing Rising Yang as well as nourishing Liver Yin and Blood.

Many factors can result in this pattern, such as excessive exercise or sexual activity, prolonged physical exertion, eating in a hurry, chronic menorrhagia and long term emotional stress like anger, resentment and frustration.

Diagnosing Liver Yang Rising

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

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 Liver Yang Rising will tend to exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a red tongue.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Liver Yang Rising might experience symptoms like headaches, dizziness, tinnitus and deafness (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Liver Yang Rising

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1119 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).

Formula summary

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1119 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.

Besides Liver Yang Rising, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan is also used to treat Blood Deficiency or Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1350 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin. Improves vision.

Formula summary

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1350 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.

Besides Liver Yang Rising, Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is also used to treat Liver Yin Deficiency or Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising.

Read more about Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Diet recommendations

Eat a simple diet of legumes, grains, , cooked vegetables and greens. Avoid foods which are raw and cold, fried and greasy, hot and spicy and any caffeinated drinks including coffee, black tea, cocoa colas. Also avoid chips of all kinds, turkey and red meats, chocolate, nuts and nut butters, avocados, cheese and dairy, alcohol, drugs  and stimulants. The foods that decongest and help the Liver include vegetables, bitter foods and dark leafy greens, such as kale, collards, dandelion, mustard, beet and mustard greens. Lemons also clear Heat and congestion from the Liver.

As for exercise, gentle stretches are helpful, such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. You should avoid strenuous exercise and exertion.