Paralysis according to Chinese Medicine

Paralysis 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 paralysis 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 paralysis is often associated with convulsions, coma and dizziness in the pattern “Interior Wind”.

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

Interior Wind, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause paralysis

In Chinese Medicine paralysis is a symptom for the pattern "Interior Wind". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Gastrodia Rhizomes (Tian Ma) is the king ingredient for Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, a formula used for Interior Wind

Interior Wind

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

In addition to paralysis, other symptoms associated with Interior Wind include convulsions, coma and dizziness.

Interior Wind is often treated with Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Gastrodia Rhizomes - Tian Ma - as a key herb). Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin 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: "Calms the Liver".

Read more about Interior Wind here

Five herbal formulas that might help with paralysis

Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin

Source date: 1958 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Key actions: Calms the Liver. Extinguishes wind. Invigorates the blood. Clears heat. Tonifies the Liver and Kidneys.

Why might Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin help with paralysis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' of which paralysis is a symptom.

Read more about Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin 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 paralysis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' of which paralysis is a symptom.

Read more about Ling Jiao Gou Teng 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 paralysis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' of which paralysis 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 paralysis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' of which paralysis is a symptom.

Read more about Qi Ju Di Huang Wan here

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 paralysis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' of which paralysis is a symptom.

Read more about E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang here

Acupuncture points used for paralysis

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat paralysis

Why might Gastrodia Rhizome (Tian Ma) help with paralysis?

Because it is a key herb in Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' (a pattern with paralysis as a symptom)

Gastrodia Rhizomes is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Liver.

Its main actions are: Calms Liver Wind. Sedates Liver Yang and relieves convulsions. Relieves Wind and stops pain.

Read more about Gastrodia Rhizomes here

Why might Gambir Stem And Thorn (Gou Teng) help with paralysis?

Because it is a key herb in Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' (a pattern with paralysis as a symptom)

Gambir Stems And Thorns is a Cool herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Liver and the Pericardium.

Its main actions are: Calms Liver Wind and relieves spasms. Clears Liver Heat and sedates Liver Yang.

Read more about Gambir Stems And Thorns here

Why might Abalone Shell (Shi Jue Ming) help with paralysis?

Because it is a key herb in Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' (a pattern with paralysis as a symptom)

Abalone Shells is a Cold herb that tastes Salty. It targets the Kidney, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and calms ascending Liver Yang. Clears Liver Heat that is obstructing the vision.

Read more about Abalone Shells here

Why might Cape Jasmine Fruit (Zhi Zi) help with paralysis?

Because it is a key herb in Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' (a pattern with paralysis as a symptom)

Cape Jasmine Fruits is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Lung and the Sanjiao.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and calms spirit. Drains Damp-Heat affecting the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears Heat in the Blood and stops bleeding. Anti-inflammatory.

Read more about Cape Jasmine Fruits here

Why might Baikal Skullcap Root (Huang Qin) help with paralysis?

Because it is a key herb in Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Interior Wind' (a pattern with paralysis as a symptom)

Baikal Skullcap Roots is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Lung, the Small intestine and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat and Dampness. Clears Upper Burner Heat, especially of the Lung. Clears Heat and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears pathogenic Heat which is upsetting the fetus. Cools the Liver, reducing Liver Yang rising syndrome.

Read more about Baikal Skullcap Roots here

Other symptoms often associated with paralysis

Convulsions Coma Dizziness Tics Coughing Chest congestion Vertigo Hemiplegia Epilepsy Tetanus