Tics according to Chinese Medicine

Tics 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 tics 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 tics is often associated with dizziness, dry throat and insomnia in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind”.

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

Interior Wind, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause tics

In Chinese Medicine tics is a symptom for the pattern "Interior Wind". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Gastrodia Rhizomes (Tian Ma) is the king ingredient for Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind

Interior Wind

Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi), Rapid (Shu), Wiry (Xian)

In addition to tics, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind include dizziness, dry throat and insomnia.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind is often treated with Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Gastrodia Rhizomes - Tian Ma - as a key herb). Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin belongs to the category of "formulas that pacify and extinguish internal wind", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Calms the Liver".

Read more about Interior Wind here

Five herbal formulas that might help with tics

Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin

Source date: 1958 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Key actions: Calms the Liver. Extinguishes wind. Invigorates the blood. Clears heat. Tonifies the Liver and Kidneys.

Why might Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin help with tics?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind' of which tics is a symptom.

Read more about Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin here

Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang

Source date: Qing dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Cools the Liver. Extinguishes Wind. Increases Fluids. Relaxes the sinews.

Why might Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang help with tics?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind' of which tics is a symptom.

Read more about Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang here

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1119 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).

Why might Liu Wei Di Huang Wan help with tics?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind' of which tics is a symptom.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan here

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1350 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin. Improves vision.

Why might Qi Ju Di Huang Wan help with tics?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind' of which tics is a symptom.

Read more about Qi Ju Di Huang Wan here

E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang

Source date: the Qing dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Yin. Nourishes Blood. Calms the Liver. Extinguishes Wind.

Why might E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang help with tics?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind' of which tics is a symptom.

Read more about E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat tics

Why might White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with tics?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tics as a symptom, like Bu Gan Tang or Si Wu Tang for instance.

White Peony Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain.

Read more about White Peony Roots here

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

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tics as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Qi Ju Di Huang Wan for instance.

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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with tics?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tics as a symptom, like E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang or Zuo Gui Yin for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Lung, the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs.

Read more about Liquorice here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with tics?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tics as a symptom, like Zuo Gui Yin or Liu Wei Di Huang Wan for instance.

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney, the Lung and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.

Read more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms here

Why might Water Plantain (Ze Xie) help with tics?

Because Water Plantain is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tics as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Qi Ju Di Huang Wan for instance.

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