Rectal prolapse according to Chinese Medicine

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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 poor appetite, loose stools and hemorrhoids in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/spleen-qi-sinking”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause rectal prolapse.

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

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause rectal prolapse

In Chinese Medicine rectal prolapse 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 Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen in Chinese Medicine

Spleen Qi Sinking

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

The causes and symptoms of Spleen Qi Sinking is quite similar to the ones of Spleen Qi Deficiency. It happens more to people who have unhealthy diet and eating habits, emotional stress, damp living environment or these have to stand up long hours.

In addition to rectal prolapse, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/spleen-qi-sinking include poor appetite, loose stools and hemorrhoids.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/spleen-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 Spleen Qi Sinking here

Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) is the king ingredient for Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/qi-collapsing-or-qi-sinking

Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu), Weak (Ruo)

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 /tcm-education-center/patterns/qi-collapsing-or-qi-sinking include poor appetite, weak voice and loose stools.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/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

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

Kidney Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Kidney Yang Deficiency causes Internal Cold and weakness.

In addition to rectal prolapse, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yang-deficiency include poor appetite, spermatorrhea and coughing.

From a Western Medicine standpoint /tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yang-deficiency is associated with health issues such as Late Menstruation, Menopausal Syndrome or Irregular Menstruation.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yang-deficiency is often treated with Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Ba 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: "Tonifies Yang".

Read more about Kidney Yang Deficiency here

Five herbal formulas 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 '/tcm-education-center/patterns/spleen-qi-sinking' of which anus prolapse is a symptom.

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang here

Du Shen Tang

Source date: 1348 AD

Number of ingredients: 1 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies the Original Qi . Stabilizes from collapse.

Why might Du Shen Tang help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/qi-collapsing-or-qi-sinking' of which anus prolapse is a symptom.

Read more about Du Shen Tang here

Ba Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yang. Warms the Kidneys and lower extremities.

Why might Ba Wei Di Huang Wan help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yang-deficiency' of which rectal prolapse is a symptom.

Read more about Ba Wei Di Huang Wan here

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Why might You Gui Wan help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yang-deficiency' of which rectal prolapse is a symptom.

Read more about You Gui Wan here

Er Xian Tang

Source date: 1950 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Yin and tonifies Yang of the Kidneys. Clears Empty Heat. Regulates the Directing and Penetrating Vessels.

Why might Er Xian Tang help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yang-deficiency' of which rectal prolapse is a symptom.

Read more about Er Xian Tang here

Acupuncture points used for rectal prolapse

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

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with rectal prolapse?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat rectal prolapse as a symptom, like Du Shen Tang or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang for instance.

Ginseng is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Lung and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit).

Read more about Ginseng here

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' (a pattern with rectal prolapse as a symptom)

Prepared Rehmannia is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Tonifies the Yin of the Kidneys.

Read more about Prepared Rehmannia here

Why might Water Plantain (Ze Xie) help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' (a pattern with rectal prolapse as a symptom)

Water Plantain is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Bladder and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Causes urination and removes Damp-Heat

Read more about Water Plantain here

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

Because it is a key herb in Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Spleen Qi Sinking' (a pattern with rectal prolapse as a symptom)

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

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 Cornelian Cherry (Shan Zhu Yu) help with rectal prolapse?

Because it is a key herb in Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' (a pattern with rectal prolapse as a symptom)

Cornelian Cherries is a Warm herb that tastes Sour. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Preserves and tonifies the Kidney, Liver and Essence. Stops sweating and benefits the Yang and Qi. Assists menstruation and stops bleeding.

Read more about Cornelian Cherries here