TCM Gastrointestinal and Hepato-biliary Issues Treatment Theory

Traditional Chinese Medicine is used to treat a broad range of gastrointestinal and hepato-biliary conditions such as constipation and abdominal pain. Listed below is some general theory related to the way these conditions are categorized and viewed in Chinese Medicine theory.

  • Etiology:
    • Pathogenic Factors:
      • Direct strike of Cold effecting the ST a/or LI.
      • Internal (from SP deficiency) or External Dampness damaging the SP.
      • Heat from Internal (LV heat) or External (spicy foods) sources injuring the digestive tract.
    • Dietary Etiologies:
      • Excess Cold, Hot a/or Damp Foods.
      • Poor dietary habits - eating too late, eating quickly, eating when tired, etc.
    • Emotional Etiologies:
      • Anger effects the LV which can overact on the ST/SP.
      • Worry can stagnate Qi in the ST.
      • Fear effects the KD which control the lower orifices - diarrhea a/or urinary issues may result.
      • Overwork may damage the digestive abilities of the SP.
      • Pensiveness (overthinking) may damage the yin effecting the KD and eventually the ST Yin.
    • Other Factors:
      • Climatic factors effecting ST/SP, especially over exposure to cold/damp environments.
      • Constitutionally weak ST/SP usually leading to chronic issues.
  • TCM Factors:
    • Qi Deficiency may lead to low energy and symptoms of diarrhea a/or loose stools.
    • Qi Stagnation may lead to pain a/or bloating.
    • Qi Rebellion may lead to belching, vomiting a/or dry heaves.
    • Blood Stagnation will present with severe stabbing pain and indicates ulcers, stones a/or ST cancer.
    • Yin Deficiency will present with signs of dryness and signs of empty heat.
    • Yang Deficiency will present with signs of cold.
  • Organ Factors:
    • ST - ripening and rottening of food, descends food and Qi to the intestines.
    • SP - transforms food into energy, body fluids, sends upwards.
    • LV - smoothes processes, stores/excretes bile (w/GB).
    • LI - reabsorbs fluids and transports stools.
    • SI - separates the pure from the impure.
    • Body Fluids - stools, urine, sweat, thirst.

Related Sections


Listed in our conditions treated section under »