Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

Home > Patterns of disharmony > Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 肝气逆侵胃

Pinyin name: Gān Qì Nì Qīn Wèi

Associated TCM concepts: Liver Qi Stomach

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Belching Hiccuping Weak Limbs Irritability Epigastric pain and seven other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: Normal-coloured or slightly Red on the sides

Liver Qi is said to be rebellious when its horizontal movement is accentuated. This interferes with the descending of Stomach Qi, making it ascend instead. Hence the symptoms of belching, nausea and vomiting.

Rebellious Liver Qi also impairs the Stomach's function of rotting and ripening of food, resulting in distension in the epigastrium and sour regurgitation.

There are typically two types of presentations for this pattern.

The first is when the Excess of the Liver is more important. It is said that the Liver's overactivity invades the Stomach. In this presentation the symptoms related to Rebellious Liver Qi are more pronounced: distension, pain and irritability.

In the second presentation the Stomach is weak and ‘allows’ itself to be invaded by the Liver, even when the Liver Excess is relatively mild. In this scenario the Stomach-related symptoms are more important.

Those two presentations are the reason why the tongue can either be Red on the sides (first presentation) or normal coloured (second presentation).

Diagnosing Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach

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 Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach will tend to exhibit weak (Ruo) or wiry (Xian) pulses.

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

Herbal formulas used to treat Rebellious Liver Qi 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 Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach, Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang is also used to treat Stomach Qi Stagnation or Heart Qi Stagnation.

Read more about Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang

Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Regulates the downward flow of Stomach Qi. Expectorant, treats hiccups.

Formula summary

Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Inula Flowers (Xuan Fu Hua) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi.

Besides Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach, Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang is also used to treat Rebellious Qi or Phlegm-Fluids In the Stomach and Small intestine.

Read more about Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang

Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang

Source date: 1706 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Augments the Qi. Warms the Middle Burner. Directs Rebellious Qi downward. Stops hiccup.

Formula summary

Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Cloves (Ding Xiang) and Persimmon Calyxes (Shi Di) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1706 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi.

Besides Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach, Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang is also used to treat Stomach Qi rebelling upwards.

Read more about Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang

Si Mo Tang

Source date: 1253 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Promotes the movement of Qi. Directs rebellious Qi downward. Expands the chest and dissipates clumping.

Formula summary

Si Mo Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Lindera Roots (Wu Yao) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1253 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement.

Read more about Si Mo Tang

Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang

Source date: Essentials from the Golden Cabinet

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Directs rebellious Qi downward. Stops hiccup. Augments Qi. Clears heat.

Formula summary

Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi) and Bamboo Shavings (Zhu Ru) as principal ingredients. Invented in Essentials from the Golden Cabinet, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi.

Read more about Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang

Diet recommendations

Adopting good eating habits are very important to prevent this pattern. Eat at regular intervals and take the time to eat. Avoid working or other stressful activities while eating.

To calm the Liver work with the emotions of anger, frustration and resentment by finding constructive outlets to express and release them. Above all, do not repress or stuff your emotions. Avoid excessive physical activity, such as sex or exercise. Regularity of habits helps to regulate Liver Qi.