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.
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).
The Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo) or wiry (Xian)
Tongue description: Normal-coloured or slightly Red on the sides
Possible symptoms: Belching Hiccuping Weak Limbs Irritability Epigastric pain Frequent sighing Hypochondrial pain Sour regurgitation Nausea or vomiting Epigastric distension Hypochondrial distention A feeling of oppression in the epigastrium
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).
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Regulates the flow of Qi, treats esophageal spasm. Clears Phlegm.
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.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 7 herbs
Key actions: Regulates the downward flow of Stomach Qi. Expectorant, treats hiccups.
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.
Source date: 1706 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Key actions: Augments the Qi. Warms the Middle Burner. Directs Rebellious Qi downward. Stops hiccup.
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.
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.