Small Intestine Qi Pain

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 小肠气痛

Pinyin name: Xiǎo Cháng Qì Tòng

Associated TCM concepts: Small Intestine Qi


Common symptoms: Borborygmi Flatulence Testicular pain Abdominal distension Lower abdominal twisting pain and two other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: White coating

The "Qi pain" involved in this pattern is due to Qi Stagnation in the Small Intestine.

It is usually associated with Liver Qi Stagnation invading the Spleen (giving rise to Spleen Qi Deficiency).

The symptoms, such as the twisting abdominal pain with distension, are due to Qi Stagnation preventing the smooth flow of Liver Qi and the transformation of Fluids by the Small Intestine.

Diagnosing Small Intestine Qi Pain

The Small Intestine is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Small Intestine 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 Small Intestine Qi Pain will tend to exhibit deep (Chen) or wiry (Xian) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Small Intestine Qi Pain might experience symptoms like lower abdominal twisting pain, abdominal distension, dislike of pressure on the abdomen and borborygmi (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Small Intestine Qi Pain

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 Small Intestine Qi Pain, 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

Diet recommendations

Stay clear from cold and raw foods, eat only cooked foods.

Most important herbs used to treat Small Intestine Qi Pain