Churning feeling in the stomach

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Churning feeling in the stomach 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 churning feeling in the stomach 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 churning feeling in the stomach is often associated with hypochondrial distention, epigastric distension and frequent sighing in the pattern “Rebellious Liver Qi”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of churning feeling in the stomach we’ve identified two herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the three medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat churning feeling in the stomach.

Rebellious Liver Qi, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause churning feeling in the stomach

In Chinese Medicine churning feeling in the stomach is a symptom for the pattern "Rebellious Liver Qi". 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

Rebellious Liver Qi

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

In addition to churning feeling in the stomach, other symptoms associated with Rebellious Liver Qi include hypochondrial distention, epigastric distension and frequent sighing.

Rebellious Liver Qi is often treated with Chai Hu Shu Gan San, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Chai Hu Shu Gan San belongs to the category of "formulas that promote qi movement", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Disperses Stagnant Liver Qi and Blood".

Read more about Rebellious Liver Qi here

Two herbal formulas that might help with churning feeling in the stomach

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.

Why might Chai Hu Shu Gan San help with churning feeling in the stomach?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Rebellious Liver Qi' of which churning feeling in the stomach is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Rebellious Liver Qi include hypochondrial distention, epigastric distension and frequent sighing.

Read more about Chai Hu Shu Gan San here

Si Ni San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Regulates Liver and Spleen. Eliminates Internal Heat.

Why might Si Ni San help with churning feeling in the stomach?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Rebellious Liver Qi' of which churning feeling in the stomach is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Rebellious Liver Qi include hypochondrial distention, epigastric distension and frequent sighing.

Read more about Si Ni San here

The three Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat churning feeling in the stomach

Why might Bupleurum Root (Chai Hu) help with churning feeling in the stomach?

Because Bupleurum Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat churning feeling in the stomach as a symptom, like Chai Hu Shu Gan San or Si Ni San for instance.

Bupleurum Roots is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Harmonizes exterior and interior. Smoothes the Liver and upraises the Yang.

Read more about Bupleurum Roots here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with churning feeling in the stomach?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat churning feeling in the stomach as a symptom, like Si Ni San or Chai Hu Shu Gan San for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs.

Read more about Liquorice here

Why might White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with churning feeling in the stomach?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat churning feeling in the stomach as a symptom, like Si Ni San or Chai Hu Shu Gan San for instance.

White Peony Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Spleen and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain.

Read more about White Peony Roots here

Other symptoms often associated with churning feeling in the stomach

Hypochondrial distention Epigastric distension Frequent sighing Belching Irritability Breast distention