Nosebleed according to Chinese Medicine

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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 “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 four 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 Liver Fire Blazing include tinnitus, dizziness and irritability.

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

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 Liver Blood Stagnation include abdominal pain, irregular menstruation and infertility.

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

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

Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire

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

In addition to nosebleed, other symptoms associated with Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire include tinnitus, dizziness and irritability.

Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire is often treated with Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Saiga Antelope's Horns - Ling Yang Jiao - as a key herb). Ling Jiao Gou Teng 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: "Cools the Liver".

Read more about Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire here

Four 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 'Liver Fire Blazing' of which nosebleed is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Fire Blazing include tinnitus, dizziness and irritability.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang 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 'Liver Blood Stagnation' of which nosebleed is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Blood Stagnation include abdominal pain, irregular menstruation and infertility.

Read more about Xiao Yao San here

Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang

Source date: Qing dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Cools the Liver. Extinguishes Wind. Increases Fluids. Relaxes the sinews.

Why might Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang help with nosebleed?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire' of which nosebleed is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Wind Agitating Internally Due To Liver Fire include tinnitus, dizziness and irritability.

Read more about Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang here

Dang Gui Long Hui Wan

Source date: 1172 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Key actions: Drains Liver and Gallbladder Fire Excess.

Why might Dang Gui Long Hui Wan help with nosebleed?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Fire Blazing' of which nosebleed is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Fire Blazing include tinnitus, dizziness and irritability.

Read more about Dang Gui Long Hui Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat nosebleed

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with nosebleed?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat nosebleed as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Xiao Yao San for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

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.

Read more about Liquorice here

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

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat nosebleed as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Dang Gui Long Hui Wan for instance.

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

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 Bupleurum Root (Chai Hu) help with nosebleed?

Because Bupleurum Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat nosebleed as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Chai Hu Shu Gan San for instance.

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 White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with nosebleed?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat nosebleed as a symptom, like Xiao Yao San or Chai Hu Shu Gan San for instance.

White Peony Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Spleen and the Liver.

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.

Read more about White Peony Roots here

Why might Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) help with nosebleed?

Because Unprepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat nosebleed as a symptom, like Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang for instance.

Unprepared Rehmannia is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes.

Read more about Unprepared Rehmannia here