Conjunctivitis according to Chinese Medicine

viral conjunctivitis redirects here

Conjunctivitis 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 conjunctivitis 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 conjunctivitis is often associated with coughing, shortness of breath and palpitations in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/phlegm-fluids-in-the-hypochondrium”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of conjunctivitis we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Shi Zao Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause conjunctivitis

In Chinese Medicine conjunctivitis is a symptom for the pattern "Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Kansui Roots (Gan Sui) is the king ingredient for Shi Zao Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/phlegm-fluids-in-the-hypochondrium

Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium

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

Tongue coating: Sticky coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

This is when Phlegm-Fluids clogs up the chest and hypochondriac regions, producing chest pain, cough and shortness of breath.

In addition to conjunctivitis, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/phlegm-fluids-in-the-hypochondrium include coughing, shortness of breath and palpitations.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/phlegm-fluids-in-the-hypochondrium is often treated with Shi Zao Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Kansui Roots - Gan Sui - as a key herb). Shi Zao Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that drive out excess water", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Purges and drives out Phlegm-Fluids".

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium here

A herbal formula that might help with conjunctivitis

Shi Zao Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Purges and drives out Phlegm-Fluids.

Why might Shi Zao Tang help with conjunctivitis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/phlegm-fluids-in-the-hypochondrium' of which viral conjunctivitis is a symptom.

Read more about Shi Zao Tang here

Acupuncture points used for conjunctivitis

The four Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat conjunctivitis

Why might Jujube Date (Da Zao) help with conjunctivitis?

Because it is a key herb in Shi Zao Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium' (a pattern with conjunctivitis as a symptom)

Jujube Dates is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach Qi. Tonifies the Blood. Calms the Shen (spirit). Moderates the actions of other herbs in formula.

Read more about Jujube Dates here

Why might Kansui Root (Gan Sui) help with conjunctivitis?

Because it is a key herb in Shi Zao Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium' (a pattern with conjunctivitis as a symptom)

Kansui Roots is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Spleen, the Kidney, the Large intestine and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves water retention and congestion of Fluids. Cools swellings and reduces inflammation when applied topically. Strong purgative, driving water and Food Stagnation out though the stool.

Read more about Kansui Roots here

Why might Peking Spurge Root (Jing Da Ji) help with conjunctivitis?

Because it is a key herb in Shi Zao Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium' (a pattern with conjunctivitis as a symptom)

Peking Spurge Roots is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Spleen, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Drains water downward and drives out Phlegm-Fluids. Reduces swellings and dispels lumps.

Read more about Peking Spurge Roots here

Why might Genkwa Flower (Yuan Hua) help with conjunctivitis?

Because it is a key herb in Shi Zao Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids in the hypochondrium' (a pattern with conjunctivitis as a symptom)

Genkwa Flowers is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Kidney, the Large intestine and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves chronic congestion of Fluids in the chest and stops cough. Drains congested Fluids through the urine and the stool. Expels parasites.

Read more about Genkwa Flowers here