Severe constipation according to Chinese Medicine

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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.

Heat in Yang brightness Organs, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause severe constipation

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.

Rhubarb (Da Huang) is the king ingredient for Da Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for Heat in Yang brightness Organs

Heat in Yang brightness Organs

Pulse type(s): Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Grey or black coating, Yellow coating

In addition to severe constipation, other symptoms associated with Heat in Yang brightness Organs include flatulence, abdominal fullness and abdominal pain that increases upon pressure.

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".

Read more about Heat in Yang brightness Organs here

A herbal formula that might help with severe constipation

Da Cheng Qi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Purges Heat from the Stomach and Intestines. Relieves constipation.

Why might Da Cheng Qi Tang help with severe constipation?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heat in Yang brightness Organs' of which severe constipation is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heat In Yang Brightness Organs include flatulence, abdominal fullness and abdominal pain that increases upon pressure.

Read more about Da Cheng Qi Tang here

Rhubarb might help with severe constipation

Why might Rhubarb (Da Huang) help with severe constipation?

Because it is a key herb in Da Cheng Qi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heat in Yang brightness Organs' (a pattern with severe constipation as a symptom)

Rhubarb is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Pericardium.

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.

Read more about Rhubarb here

Other symptoms often associated with severe constipation

Flatulence Abdominal fullness Abdominal pain that increases upon pressure Tense and firm abdomen