The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Flatulence 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 flatulence 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 flatulence is often associated with abdominal distension, irritability and abdominal pain in the pattern “Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause flatulence.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of flatulence we’ve identified two herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.
We’ve also selected below the four medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat flatulence.
In Chinese Medicine flatulence is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.
The Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo), Wiry (Xian)
Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen is often treated with Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Bupleurum Roots - Chai Hu - as a key herb). Xiao Yao San belongs to the category of "formulas that harmonize liver-spleen", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen".
The Small Intestine is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Small Intestine in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Wiry (Xian)
Small Intestine Qi Pain 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".
Source date: 1107 AD
Number of ingredients: 6 herbs
Key actions: Harmonizes the function of Liver and Spleen. Relieves Liver Qi stagnation. Nourishes the Blood.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Rebellious Liver Qi invading the Spleen' of which flatulence is a symptom.
Source date: 1602
Number of ingredients: 7 herbs
Key actions: Disperses Stagnant Liver Qi and Blood. Alleviates pain. Harmonizes Blood.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Small Intestine Qi Pain' of which flatulence is a symptom.
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.
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.
Its main actions are: Harmonizes exterior and interior. Smoothes the Liver and upraises the Yang.
Because it is a key herb in Da Cheng Qi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with flatulence as a symptom)
Its main actions are: Drains Excess Heat and eliminates Dampness, especially when in the Bright Yang stage according to the Six Stages Theory. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding. Invigorates Blood, breaks up Stasis and relieves pain. Clears Heat and toxins from Excess. Applied topically for Hot sores and Blood Stasis.