Tremors according to Chinese Medicine

hand tremor and tremor of limbs redirect here

Tremors 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 tremors 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 tremors is often associated with dizziness, insomnia and headaches in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause tremors.

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

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause tremors

In Chinese Medicine tremors is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them 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 tremors, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/interior-wind include dizziness, insomnia and headaches.

/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

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

Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency

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

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to tremors, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-blood-deficiency include dizziness, insomnia and headaches.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-blood-deficiency is often treated with E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Donkey-Hide Gelatin - E Jiao - as a key herb). E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang 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: "Nourishes Yin".

Read more about Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency here

Five herbal formulas that might help with tremors

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 tremors?

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

Read more about E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang 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 tremors?

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

Read more about Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang here

Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang

Source date: 1918 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Sedates the Liver. Axtinguishes Wind. Nourishes the Yin. Anchors the yang.

Why might Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang help with tremors?

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

Read more about Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang here

Bu Gan Tang

Source date: 1742 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and regulates the Blood. Nourishes the Liver Yin.

Why might Bu Gan Tang help with tremors?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-blood-deficiency' of which fine tremor is a symptom.

Read more about Bu Gan Tang here

Si Wu Tang

Source date: 846 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.

Why might Si Wu Tang help with tremors?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-blood-deficiency' of which fine tremor is a symptom.

Read more about Si Wu Tang here

Acupuncture points used for tremors

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat tremors

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

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tremors 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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with tremors?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tremors as a symptom, like E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang or Tao He Cheng Qi Tang 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 Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with tremors?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tremors as a symptom, like Bu Gan Tang or Si Wu Tang 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 Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with tremors?

Because Mudan Peony Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tremors as a symptom, like Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang or Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan for instance.

Mudan Peony Bark is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis.

Read more about Mudan Peony Bark here

Why might Gambir Stem And Thorn (Gou Teng) help with tremors?

Because Gambir Stem And Thorn is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat tremors as a symptom, like Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin or Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang for instance.

Gambir Stems And Thorns is a Cool herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Liver and the Pericardium.

Its main actions are: Calms Liver Wind and relieves spasms. Clears Liver Heat and sedates Liver Yang.

Read more about Gambir Stems And Thorns here