Gastroenteritis according to Chinese Medicine

acute gastroenteritis, stomach flu and toxic gastroenteritis redirect here

Gastroenteritis 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 gastroenteritis 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 gastroenteritis is often associated with fever and painful urinary dribbling in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-heat-in-the-bladder”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of gastroenteritis we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Ba Zheng San can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Damp-Heat in the Bladder, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause gastroenteritis

In Chinese Medicine gastroenteritis is a symptom for the pattern "Damp-Heat in the Bladder". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Damp-Heat in the Bladder

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

In addition to gastroenteritis, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-heat-in-the-bladder include fever and painful urinary dribbling.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-heat-in-the-bladder is often treated with Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula made of 9 herbs (including Chinese Pink Herbs - Qu Mai - as a key herb). Ba Zheng San belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat and expel dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire".

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Bladder here

A herbal formula that might help with gastroenteritis

Ba Zheng San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire. Promotes urination. Unblocks painful urinary dribbling.

Why might Ba Zheng San help with gastroenteritis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/damp-heat-in-the-bladder' of which gastroenteritis is a symptom.

Read more about Ba Zheng San here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat gastroenteritis

Why might Knotgrass (Bian Xu) help with gastroenteritis?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' (a pattern with gastroenteritis as a symptom)

Knotgrass is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Bladder.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat and encourages urination. Drains Dampness and stops itching. Kills parasites.

Read more about Knotgrass here

Why might Chinese Pink Herb (Qu Mai) help with gastroenteritis?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' (a pattern with gastroenteritis as a symptom)

Chinese Pink Herbs is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Bladder, the Heart and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and expels Damp-Heat. Dissolves Blood Stasis and assists blocked menstruation.

Read more about Chinese Pink Herbs here

Why might Akebia Stem (Mu Tong) help with gastroenteritis?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' (a pattern with gastroenteritis as a symptom)

Akebia Stems is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Heart, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and clears Heat. Clears Heat and inflammation of the Heart. Promotes lactation. Moves and smoothes the flow of Blood. Used for painful obstruction associated with either Dampness, Blood Stagnation, Wind or Heat.

Read more about Akebia Stems here

Why might Talc (Hua Shi) help with gastroenteritis?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' (a pattern with gastroenteritis as a symptom)

Talc is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Bladder and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination. Expels Damp-Heat from the Urinary Bladder. Dispels Summer Heat. Dries Dampness when applied topically.

Read more about Talc here

Why might Plantain Seed (Che Qian Zi) help with gastroenteritis?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Zheng San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Bladder' (a pattern with gastroenteritis as a symptom)

Plantain Seeds is a Cool herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver, the Lung and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and clears Heat. Stops diarrhea by expelling water through urination. Brightens the eyes, used in combination either for Deficiency or Heat. Reduces inflammation of infections. Arrests cough and expectorates Phlegm.

Read more about Plantain Seeds here