The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Severe constipation 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 severe constipation 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 severe constipation is often associated with flatulence, abdominal fullness and abdominal pain that increases upon pressure in the pattern “Heat in Yang brightness Organs”.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of severe constipation we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Da Cheng Qi Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.
In Chinese Medicine severe constipation is a symptom for the pattern "Heat in Yang brightness Organs". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.
Pulse type(s): Full (Shi)
Tongue coating: Grey or black coating, Yellow coating
Heat in Yang brightness Organs is often treated with Da Cheng Qi Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Rhubarb - Da Huang - as a key herb). Da Cheng Qi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that purge heat accumulation", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Purges Heat from the Stomach and Intestines".
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Key actions: Purges Heat from the Stomach and Intestines. Relieves constipation.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heat in Yang brightness Organs' of which severe constipation is a symptom.
Its main actions are: Drains Excess Heat and eliminates Dampness, especially when in the Sunlight Yang stage. Cools the Blood and stops bleeding. Invigorates Blood, breaks up Stasis and relieves pain. Clears Heat and toxins from Excess. Applied topically for Hot sores and Blood Stasis.