Rebellious Liver Qi

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 肝气逆

Pinyin name: Gān Qì Nì

Associated TCM concepts: Qi Liver

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Belching Hiccuping Irritability Frequent sighing Breast distention and four other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: In light cases the tongue-body color may not change. In severe cases the sides will be Red.

In normal times Liver Qi travels horizontally to assists the the Stomach and the Spleen's digestive functions. When it rebels its movement becomes excessive and that causes Stomach Qi to ascend instead of descend, causing belching, nausea and vomiting.

This differs from Liver Qi Stagnation which gives rise to very pronounced emotional symptoms like irritability or anger. Here the emotional symptoms are milder but the digestive ones much more pronounced. This is because, far from being slowed down like in Liver Qi Stagnation, the movement of Liver-Qi is actually accentuated.

In Women breast distention is a common symptom because of the connection between the Liver and the breasts: when it rebels Liver Qi flows upward to the breasts instead of the contrary.

Diagnosing Rebellious Liver Qi

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

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: In light cases the tongue-body color may not change. In severe cases the sides will be Red.

Possible symptoms: Belching Hiccuping Irritability Frequent sighing Breast distention Nausea or vomiting Epigastric distension Hypochondrial distention Churning feeling in the stomach

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 Rebellious Liver Qi will tend to exhibit wiry (Xian) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Rebellious Liver Qi might experience symptoms like hypochondrial distention, epigastric distension, hiccuping and frequent sighing (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Rebellious Liver Qi

Chai Hu Shu Gan San

Source date: 1602

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Disperses Stagnant Liver Qi and Blood. Alleviates pain. Harmonizes Blood.

Formula summary

Chai Hu Shu Gan San is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1602, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement.

Besides Rebellious Liver Qi, Chai Hu Shu Gan San is also used to treat Liver Blood Stagnation or Heart Vessel obstructed.

Read more about Chai Hu Shu Gan San

Si Ni San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

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

Formula summary

Si Ni San is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Bupleurum Roots (Chai Hu) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that harmonize Liver-Spleen.

Read more about Si Ni San

Diet recommendations

Try to stay clear from emotional stress.

Try forming good eating habits such as eating while sitting, taking the time to eat and avoid working while eating (or doing any other stressful activity).

Most important herbs used to treat Rebellious Liver Qi