Bloodshot eyes according to Chinese Medicine

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Bloodshot eyes can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like bloodshot eyes here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.

A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here bloodshot eyes is often associated with dizziness, breathlessness and asthma in the pattern “Liver Fire insulting the Lungs”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of bloodshot eyes we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Long Dan Xie Gan Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Liver Fire insulting the Lungs, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause bloodshot eyes

In Chinese Medicine bloodshot eyes is a symptom for the pattern "Liver Fire insulting the Lungs". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Liver Fire insulting the Lungs

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

In addition to bloodshot eyes, other symptoms associated with Liver Fire insulting the Lungs include dizziness, breathlessness and asthma.

Liver Fire insulting the Lungs is often treated with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Chinese Gentian - Long Dan Cao - as a key herb). Long Dan Xie Gan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder".

Read more about Liver Fire insulting the Lungs here

A herbal formula that might help with bloodshot eyes

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.

Why might Long Dan Xie Gan Tang help with bloodshot eyes?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Fire insulting the Lungs' of which bloodshot eyes is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Fire Insulting The Lungs include dizziness, breathlessness and asthma.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat bloodshot eyes

Why might Chinese Gentian (Long Dan Cao) help with bloodshot eyes?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat bloodshot eyes and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat bloodshot eyes as a symptom (such as Long Dan Xie Gan Tang for instance).

Chinese Gentian is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians. Clears Liver-Fire. Clears Liver-Wind.

Read more about Chinese Gentian here

Why might Pagoda Tree Pod (Huai Jiao) help with bloodshot eyes?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat bloodshot eyes as can be seen on Pagoda Tree Pod's page.

Pagoda Tree Pods is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Large intestine and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat, cools the Blood, moistens the Intestines and stops bleeding. Clears and drains Liver Fire, nourishes the Liver, brightens the eyes and reduces blood pressure.

Read more about Pagoda Tree Pods here

Why might Abalone Shell (Shi Jue Ming) help with bloodshot eyes?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat bloodshot eyes as can be seen on Abalone Shell's page.

Abalone Shells is a Cold herb that tastes Salty. It targets the Kidney, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and calms ascending Liver Yang. Clears Liver Heat that is obstructing the vision.

Read more about Abalone Shells here

Why might Buddleia Flower (Mi Meng Hua) help with bloodshot eyes?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat bloodshot eyes as can be seen on Buddleia Flower's page.

Buddleia Flowers is a Cool herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Liver.

Its main actions are: Clears Liver Heat and brightens the eyes.

Read more about Buddleia Flowers here

Why might Puncture Vine Fruit (Ji Li) help with bloodshot eyes?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat bloodshot eyes as can be seen on Puncture Vine Fruit's page.

Puncture Vine Fruits is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Calms Liver-Yang. Clears Wind-Heat and clears the eyes. Invigorates Liver Qi by removing Stagnation. Relieves itchiness.

Read more about Puncture Vine Fruits here