Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach

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Pattern factsheet

Related conditions: Morning sickness

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Belching Dry mouth Depression Dry throat Acid reflux and six other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thick coating

Tongue color: Red

Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach is a pattern of disharmony in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine views the human body as a complex system that tends toward harmony. A pattern of disharmony is a disorder that prevents that harmony from occurring.

Patterns give rise to symptoms that may at first glance seem unrelated from a Western standpoint but that actually make a lot of sense when one understands Chinese Medicine theory. For instance here Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach gives rise to such diverse symptoms as belching, abdominal distension, epigastric distension and depression (as well as seven others).

To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach patients tend to exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a red tongue with thick coating.

Patterns aren't exactly the Chinese Medicine equivalent to Western diseases, they're rather the underlying causes behind diseases or health conditions. Here Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach is thought to sometimes induce conditions such as morning sickness.

Diagnosing Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach

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

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thick coating

Tongue color: Red

Possible symptoms: Belching Dry mouth Depression Dry throat Acid reflux Irritability Poor appetite Vomiting of food Abdominal distension Epigastric distension Desire for sour foods

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 Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach will tend to exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a red tongue with thick coating.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach might experience symptoms like belching, abdominal distension, epigastric distension and depression (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach

Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Regulates the flow of Qi, treats esophageal spasm. Clears Phlegm.

Formula summary

Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) and Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu) as principal ingredients. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement.

Besides Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach, Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is also used to treat Phlegm or Qi-Phlegm.

Read more about Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang

Zuo Jin Wan

Source date: 1481 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Clears Liver Heat. Directs Rebellious Qi downward. Stops vomiting.

Formula summary

Zuo Jin Wan is a 2-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Goldthread Rhizomes (Huang Lian) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1481 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat.

Read more about Zuo Jin Wan

Special highlight: the link between morning sickness and Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) is the key herb for Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang, a formula used for morning sickness caused by Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach

Typical symptoms for morning sickness caused by Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach: Belching Dry mouth Depression Dry throat Acid reflux Irritability Poor appetite Vomiting of food Abdominal distension Epigastric distension Desire for sour foods

Recommended herbal formulas: Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang, Zuo Jin Wan

Compared to Stomach Deficiency, morning sickness due to Liver Qi Stagnation is much more severe. Affected women may vomit food and drinks right after ingesting them. The frequent vomiting can last beyond the first 3 months of pregnancy. It is more common among women who have pre-existing Liver Qi issues. Emotional stress such as anger, resentment or frustration are the main reasons for Liver issues. 

Like with Stomach Deficiency, Blood and Qi disharmony in the Penetrating Vessel is the...Read more about morning sickness

Most important herbs used to treat Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Stomach