Nosebleed according to Chinese Medicine

bloody nose and epistaxis redirect here

Nosebleed 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 nosebleed 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 nosebleed is often associated with tinnitus, dizziness and irritability in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-fire-blazing”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause nosebleed.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of nosebleed 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 nosebleed.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause nosebleed

In Chinese Medicine nosebleed is a symptom for 3 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 Fire Blazing

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian), Full (Shi)

In addition to nosebleed, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-fire-blazing include tinnitus, dizziness and irritability.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-fire-blazing is often treated with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Chinese Gentian - Long Dan Cao - as a key herb). Long Dan Xie Gan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder".

Read more about Liver Fire Blazing here

Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao) is the king ingredient for Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood

Heat in the Blood

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue color: Red

Heat in the Blood (or Blood-Heat) refers to a condition whereby Heat, as a so-called "Pernicious Influence", entered the Blood. This invasion tends to accelerate Blood flow (leading to a faster pulse) and to manifest itself in various types of bleeding as well as other symptoms.

In addition to nosebleed, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood include bloody sputum, fever and insomnia.

From a Western Medicine standpoint /tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood is associated with health issues such as Early Menstruation or Abnormal Uterine Bleeding.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/heat-in-the-blood is often treated with Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Water Buffalo Horns - Shui Niu Jiao - as a key herb). Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear nutritive-level heat", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system".

Read more about Heat in the Blood here

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

Liver Blood Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue color: Bluish-Purple sides

Liver Blood Stagnation usually develops from Qi Stagnation, Cold and Heat. It has great influence over the Directing and Penetrating Vessels and thus the menstruation functions.

In addition to nosebleed, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-stagnation include abdominal pain, vomiting of blood and irregular menstruation.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-stagnation 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".

Read more about Liver Blood Stagnation here

Five herbal formulas that might help with nosebleed

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.

Why might Long Dan Xie Gan Tang help with nosebleed?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-fire-blazing' of which epistaxis is a symptom.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system. Removes Blood Stagnation.

Why might Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang help with nosebleed?

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

Read more about Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang here

Gu Jing Wan

Source date: 1481 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Yin . Clears Heat. Stops bleeding. Stabilizes the menses.

Why might Gu Jing Wan help with nosebleed?

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

Read more about Gu Jing Wan here

Xiao Yao San

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.

Why might Xiao Yao San help with nosebleed?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-stagnation' of which epistaxis is a symptom.

Read more about Xiao Yao San here

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 nosebleed?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-stagnation' of which epistaxis is a symptom.

Read more about Chai Hu Shu Gan San here

Acupuncture points used for nosebleed

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat nosebleed

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

Because it is a key herb in Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heat in the Blood' (a pattern with nosebleed as a symptom)

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 Atractylodes Rhizome (Bai Zhu) help with nosebleed?

Because it is a key herb in Si Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with nosebleed as a symptom)

Atractylodes Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Fortifies the Spleen Yang and dispels Damp through urination. Tonifies Qi and stops sweating. Calms restless fetus when due to Deficiency of Spleen Qi.

Read more about Atractylodes Rhizomes here

Why might Bupleurum Root (Chai Hu) help with nosebleed?

Because it is a key herb in Xiao Yao San, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Liver Blood Stagnation' (a pattern with nosebleed as a symptom)

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 Water Buffalo Horn (Shui Niu Jiao) help with nosebleed?

Because it is a key herb in Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heat in the Blood' (a pattern with nosebleed as a symptom)

Water Buffalo Horns is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Salty. It targets the Stomach, the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, drains Fire and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears Heat and Fire and stops tremors and convulsions. Cools Fire and expels toxins.

Read more about Water Buffalo Horns here

Why might Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi) help with nosebleed?

Because it is a key herb in Liu Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with nosebleed as a symptom)

Tangerine Peel is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Lung and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and regulates the Middle Burner Qi. Dries Dampness and disperses Phlegm from the Lungs and Middle Burner. Reduces the potential for Stagnation caused by tonifying herbs.

Read more about Tangerine Peel here