Swelling in the ears according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Swelling in the ears

Swelling in the ears 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 swelling in the ears 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 swelling in the ears is often associated with fixed pain in the hypochondria, headaches and dizziness in the pattern “Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of swelling in the ears we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Long Dan Xie Gan Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause swelling in the ears

In Chinese Medicine swelling in the ears is a symptom for the pattern "Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder

Pulse type(s): Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to swelling in the ears, other symptoms associated with Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder include fixed pain in the hypochondria, headaches and dizziness.

Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder is often treated with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Chinese Gentian - Long Dan Cao - as a key herb). Long Dan Xie Gan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder".

Read more about Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder here

A herbal formula that might help with swelling in the ears

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.

Why might Long Dan Xie Gan Tang help with swelling in the ears?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder' of which swelling in the ears is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heat Excess In The Liver Or Gallbladder include fixed pain in the hypochondria, headaches and dizziness.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

Chinese Gentian might help with swelling in the ears

Why might Chinese Gentian (Long Dan Cao) help with swelling in the ears?

Because it is a key herb in Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heat Excess in the Liver or Gallbladder' (a pattern with swelling in the ears as a symptom)

Chinese Gentian is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians. Clears Liver-Fire. Clears Liver-Wind.

Read more about Chinese Gentian here