Rebellious Qi

At a glance

Preliminary reading: What is a pattern? The concept of Qi

Key attributes

Chinese name: 气逆      Pinyin name: Qì Nì

Pattern nature: Full

Pattern hierarchy: General pattern with specific forms like Rebellious Liver Qi or Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen

Causes

Common causes: 1. External Evils, 2. Eating habits, 3. Emotional stress

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Nausea Asthma Belching Vomiting Coughing and one other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Normal (light red), Red sides

Treatment

Treatment principle: Circulate and descend Qi for the Lungs, Stomach and Liver

Common formulas: Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang and two other formulas

Pathology

Rebellious Qi is an Excess/Full condition and it is another form of Qi Stagnation. In this case, Qi flows in the wrong direction from the normal physiological one for a given Organ or Channel. 

The Organs whose Qi should descend are Stomach, Lungs, Heart, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Kidneys and Bladder. The Rebellious Qi travels upwards and it mostly happens to the Stomach and the Lungs. When the normal downward flow of Stomach Qi is disrupted, nausea, vomiting, belching or hiccupping results. In case of Rebellious Lung Qi, there are the typical symptoms of coughing and asthma.

Rebellious ascending Kidney Qi can also happen and it causes asthma as well. Ascending Heart Qi gives rise to anxiety, restlessness and insomnia. 

When the Spleen Qi is rebellious, it goes downwards instead of ascending. It leads to diarrhea and prolapse.  

The Liver is a special Organ as its normal physiological Qi goes in all directions, especially upwards. It is because one of its main function is to ensure the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body, in all Organs and in all directions.

Rebellious Liver Qi mostly refers to excessive Qi ascending and it causes symptoms like headache, dizziness, irritability or even faint. It is often caused by emotional stress

In normal times Liver Qi travels horizontally to assists the the Stomach and the Spleen's digestive functions. However, when excessive Liver Qi invades the Stomach, it causes nausea, belching and vomiting. It is one of the precursor patterns for Stomach Qi rebelling upwards

Excessive Liver can also invades the Spleen and gives rise to symptoms like diarrhoea or alternating constipation and diarrhea.

Sometimes Blood may also travel with rebellious Qi upwards and cause vomiting of blood. 

Use Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang for Rebellious Lung Qi. Use Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang or Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang for Rebellious Stomach Qi. Use Chai Hu Shu Gan Tang or Si Ni Tang for Rebellious Liver Qi

Causes

External Evils : It is mainly the cause of Rebellions Qi of the Lungs. Due to external Evils (Wind, Cold, Heat, Dryness etc) invading the Lung, the normal descending of Lung Qi is disturbed, hence the symptoms of coughing or asthma. External Evils can also hurt the Stomach and cause Stomach Qi Rebellions.  

Eating habits: Unhealthy eating habit can give rise to Stomach Qi rebelling upwards. It includes overeating but it can also be due to eating too quickly, eating in a hurry or eating while worried or stressed.

Emotional stress : When the emotional stresses such as Anger, Joy, Sadness, Worry, Pensiveness, Fear, Shock , are very intensive over a short period of time, it can cause Rebellious Qi. For example, Anger, frustration, worry and resentment can largely disturb the Liver's Qi regulation functions and cause Rebellious Liver Qi.

Diagnosing Rebellious Qi

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Normal (light red), Red sides

Main symptoms: Nausea Asthma Belching Vomiting Coughing Hiccuping

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the nausea, vomiting, belching and coughing.

Treating Rebellious Qi

Treatment principle

Circulate and descend Qi for the Lungs, Stomach and Liver 

Herbal formulas used to treat Rebellious 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. Invented in 1602, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote Qi movement.

Besides Rebellious 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

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. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi.

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

Read more about Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang

Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Directs rebellious Qi downward. Arrests wheezing. Stops coughing. Warms and transforms Phlegm-Cold.

Formula summary

Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 650 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi.

Besides Rebellious Qi, Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang is also used to treat Kidneys failing to receive Qi or Rebellious Lung Qi.

Read more about Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang

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. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that harmonize Liver-Spleen.

Besides Rebellious Qi, Si Ni San is also used to treat Phlegm in Kidneys or Gallbladder or Rebellious Liver Qi.

Read more about Si Ni San

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. Invented in Essentials from the Golden Cabinet, it belongs to the category of formulas for a rebellious Qi.

Besides Rebellious Qi, Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang is also used to treat Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Stomach.

Read more about Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang