Hypertension according to Chinese Medicine

climacteric hypertension, essential hypertension, high blood pressure and rapid pulse redirect here

Hypertension 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 hypertension 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 hypertension is often associated with dizziness, night sweats and insomnia in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause hypertension.

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

We’ve also selected below the five medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat hypertension.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause hypertension

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

Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu), Wiry (Xian), Fine (Xi), Floating (Fu)

Tongue color: Red

Liver Yang Rising can create Interior Wind if the condition is not treated for a long time. It can be divided to three categories based on the cause of the pattern: Liver Yin Deficiency, Liver and Kidney Yin Deficiency or Liver Blood Deficiency.

In addition to hypertension, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising include dizziness, night sweats and insomnia.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising is often treated with Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Liu Wei Di Huang Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system)".

Read more about Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising here

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

Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to hypertension, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-blood-deficiency include dizziness, insomnia and blurred vision.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-blood-deficiency is often treated with E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Donkey-Hide Gelatin - E Jiao - as a key herb). E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that pacify and extinguish internal wind", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nourishes Yin".

Read more about Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency here

Five herbal formulas that might help with hypertension

E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang

Source date: the Qing dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Yin. Nourishes Blood. Calms the Liver. Extinguishes Wind.

Why might E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang help with hypertension?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising' of which hypertension is a symptom.

Read more about E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang here

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1119 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).

Why might Liu Wei Di Huang Wan help with hypertension?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising' of which hypertension is a symptom.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan here

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1350 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin. Improves vision.

Why might Qi Ju Di Huang Wan help with hypertension?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising' of which hypertension is a symptom.

Read more about Qi Ju Di Huang Wan here

Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang

Source date: 1918 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Sedates the Liver. Axtinguishes Wind. Nourishes the Yin. Anchors the yang.

Why might Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang help with hypertension?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising' of which hypertension is a symptom.

Read more about Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang here

Bu Gan Tang

Source date: 1742 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and regulates the Blood. Nourishes the Liver Yin.

Why might Bu Gan Tang help with hypertension?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-blood-deficiency' of which hypertension is a symptom.

Read more about Bu Gan Tang here

Acupuncture points used for hypertension

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat hypertension

Why might Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with hypertension?

Because Mudan Peony Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat hypertension as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan or Wen Jing Tang for instance.

Mudan Peony Bark is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis.

Read more about Mudan Peony Bark here

Why might Red Peony Root (Chi Shao) help with hypertension?

Because Red Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat hypertension as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan or Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang for instance.

Red Peony Roots is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Liver.

Its main actions are: Moves Blood, relieves pain and reduces swelling. Cools the Blood and the Liver.

Read more about Red Peony Roots here

Why might Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi) help with hypertension?

Because Cinnamon Twig is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat hypertension as a symptom, like Wen Jing Tang or Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan for instance.

Cinnamon Twigs is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Lung and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Adjusts the nutritive Ying and defensive Wei Qi. Relieves the Exterior through sweating. Warms and disperses Cold. Removes obstruction of Yang. Promotes the circulation of Yang Qi in the chest. Regulates and moves blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Twigs here

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with hypertension?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat hypertension as a symptom, like Wen Jing Tang or Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang for instance.

Dong Quai is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation.

Read more about Dong Quai here

Why might Peach Kernel (Tao Ren) help with hypertension?

Because Peach Kernel is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat hypertension as a symptom, like Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang or Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan for instance.

Peach Kernels is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Large intestine and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Moves Blood and breaks up Stasis. Moistens the Intestines. Relieves coughing.

Read more about Peach Kernels here