Rectal prolapse according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Rectal prolapse

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Rectal prolapse 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 rectal prolapse 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 rectal prolapse is often associated with diarrhea, frequent urination and poor appetite in the pattern “Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of rectal prolapse we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause rectal prolapse

In Chinese Medicine rectal prolapse is a symptom for the pattern "Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) is the king ingredient for Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a formula used for Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking

Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue color: Pale

In a Qi Collapsing (also called 'Sinking Qi') situation, a weakened Qi is unable to perform its holding function, resulting in a prolapse of the Organs. This condition mostly applies to the Qi of the Spleen.

In addition to rectal prolapse, other symptoms associated with Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking include diarrhea, frequent urination and poor appetite.

Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking is often treated with Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Milkvetch Roots - Huang Qi - as a key herb). Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner)".

Read more about Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking here

A herbal formula that might help with rectal prolapse

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Source date: 1247

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner). Raises the Yang. Detoxifies. Lifts what has sunken.

Why might Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking' of which rectal prolapse is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Qi Collapsing Or Qi Sinking include diarrhea, frequent urination and poor appetite.

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat rectal prolapse

Why might Milkvetch Root (Huang Qi) help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat rectal prolapse and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat rectal prolapse as a symptom (such as Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang for instance).

Milkvetch Roots is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Wei Qi and stops perspiration. Tonifies the Spleen Qi and the Yang Qi of the Earth Element. Tonifies the Qi and Blood. Expels pus and assists in the healing of wounds. Helps to regulate water metabolism in the body and reduce edema.

Read more about Milkvetch Roots here

Why might Bupleurum Root (Chai Hu) help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat rectal prolapse as can be seen on Bupleurum Root's page.

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 Immature Bitter Orange (Zhi Shi) help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat rectal prolapse as can be seen on Immature Bitter Orange's page.

Immature Bitter Oranges is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter, Pungent and Sour. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Large intestine.

Its main actions are: Regulates the flow of Qi in the Middle Burner and reduces Food Stagnation. Moves Qi downward and helps constipation. Reduces Stagnant Phlegm and lessens distention and pain. For prolapse of organs when used with the appropriate herbs.

Read more about Immature Bitter Oranges here

Why might Bugbane Rhizome (Sheng Ma) help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat rectal prolapse as can be seen on Bugbane Rhizome's page.

Bugbane Rhizomes is a Cool herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Large intestine and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior, scatters Wind and clears Heat. Allows the release of toxicity from the skin and clears Heat. Raises the Yang associated with Middle Qi Deficiency. Directs herbs upwards. Cools the Blood.

Read more about Bugbane Rhizomes here

Why might Bitter Orange (Zhi Ke) help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat rectal prolapse as can be seen on Bitter Orange's page.

Bitter Oranges is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter, Pungent and Sour. It targets the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: To regulate the flow of Qi, remove its stagnation, and alleviate distension.

Read more about Bitter Oranges here