Large Intestine Pattern Differentiation in Chinese Medicine
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Large Intestine Pattern Differentiation in Chinese Medicine

Etiology of Large Intestine Patterns

Large Intestine main function: to receive food from the Small Intestine, absorb fluids and excrete the remainder as feces.

Diet

Can directly affect the Large Intestine.
Excessive consumption of Cold and raw food can cause Interior Cold (diarrhea: loose stools)
Excessive greasy and hot foods can cause Damp-Heat in Large Intestine (foul urgent and loose stool with burning)

Emotions

Lung/Large Intestine belong to Metal element; affected by SADNESS and also by worry.
Worry causes Lung Qi to become deficient and fail to descend, which can contribute to stagnation of Qi in Large Intestine (abdominal pain and constipation). Also Stagnation of Liver Qi can affect the Intestines in the same way.

Exogenous Pathogens

Cold can directly invade the Large Intestine causing abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine

Signs

  • Abdominal Pain
    Excess pattern
  • Diarrhea
    Dampness impairs fluid absorption in the intestines
  • Mucus and Blood in the Stool
    Damp causes mucus, heat causes extravasation of Blood
  • Foul stool, burning anus
    Heat
  • Scanty and dark urine
    Heat
  • Fever and sweating
    Heat
  • Thirst without a desire to drink
    Heat causes thirst, Dampness causes a lack of desire to drink
  • Heavy sensation in the body and limbs
    Dampness
  • Stuffiness in the chest and epigastrium
    Dampness

Tongue

  • Red body with a sticky yellow coat

Pulse

  • Slippery and Rapid

Etiology

Too much hot and greasy foods plus emotional problems

  • Example: worry and anxiety over long period. All cause interior Heat.
    May accompany other patterns involving Interior Heat such as Liver Qi
    Stagnation with Liver Fire.

Treatment Principle

  • Clear Heat, resolve Dampness, stop diarrhea

Points

  • SP 9 (Yinlingquan )
    Clear Damp from Lower Burner
  • SP 6 (SanYinjiao)
    Clear Damp from Lower Burner
  • REN 3 (Zhongji )
    Clear Damp from Lower Burner
  • BL 22 (Sanjiaoshu)
    Clear Damp from Lower Burner
  • BL 25 (Dachangshu)
    Back Shu of Large Intestine; stops diarrhea
  • BL 17 (Geshu)
    Stops Bleeding
  • REN 12 (Zhongwan)
    Resolves Dampness
  • LI 11 (Quchi)
    Clears Heat and Dampness
  • ST 37 (Shangjuxu)
    Lower Sea point of Large Intestine Stops diarrhea
  • BL 20 (Pishu)
    Regulates Spleen to resolve Dampness

Method

  • Sedate, moxa not applicable

Heat in the Large Intestine

Signs

  • Constipation with Dry Stools
    Heat burning fluids
  • Burning sensation in mouth
    Heat
  • Burning sensation in Anus
    Heat
  • Scanty and dark urine
    Heat in the Lower Jiao

Tongue

  • Thick yellow coating (possible brown or black coating)

Pulse

  • Full and rapid Pulse

Etiology/Pathology

Too much hot foods (alcohol, lamb, beef) and dry foods (baked or broiled meats)

Treatment Principle

Clear Heat in Large Intestine and Stomach, Promote Body Fluids

Points

  • REN 4 (Gyanyuan)
    Tonifies Yin and Fluids
  • LI 11 (Quchi)
    Clears Heat in Large Intestine
  • ST 37 (Shangjuxu)
    Lower He Sea point of Large Intestine. Good for chronic conditions
  • ST 44 (Neiting)
    Clears Stomach Heat
  • LI 2 (Erjian)
    Clears Heat in Large Intestine
  • SP 6 (SanYinjiao)
    Nourish Yin and promote Body Fluids
  • REN 12 (Zhongwan )
    Nourish Yin and promote Body Fluids
  • Ki 6 (Zhaohai)
    Nourish Yin and promote Body Fluids

Dryness of the Large Intestine (Exhausted Fluid of Large Intestine)

Signs

  • Dry stools that are hard to pass
  • Dry mouth and throat, possible thin body type
    Chronic Yin or Blood Deficiency

Tongue

Dry, pale, and red with no coating

Pulse

Fine

Etiology/Pathology

This pattern usually accompanies other patterns,

  • Example: Yin or Blood Deficiency. Yin Deficiency produces
    a red or red and peeled Tongue, whereas Blood Deficiency
    produces a Tongue that is pale.

This pattern is most common in older people and in women after childbirth.

Treatment Principle

Promote fluids in Large Intestine

Points

  • ST 36 (Zusanli)
    Promotes fluids in Large Intestine (Stomach is the Origin of Fluids)
  • SP 6 (SanYinjiao )
    Tonify Yin and promote Fluids
  • Ren 4 (Guanyuan)
    Tonify Yin and promote Fluids
  • KI 6 (Zhaohai)
    Tonifies Yin and promotes Fluids, moistens stool.

Method

  • Tonify all points

Cold in the Large Intestine (Subcategory of Deficient Spleen Yang)

Signs

  • Loose stools
    Yang fails to transform fluids
  • Dull abdominal pain
    Deficiency
  • Borborygmus
    Spleen and Large Intestine Qi Deficiency
  • Pale urine
    Yang Deficiency
  • Cold Limbs

Tongue

  • Pale tongue

Pulse

  • Fine

Treatment Principle

  • Tonify and warm Large Intestine and Spleen

Points

  • REN 6 (Qihai)
    Tonifies Qi and stops chronic diarrhea
  • ST 25 (Tianshu)
    Front Mu point of Large Intestine. Stops diarrhea and pain.
  • ST 36 (Zusanli)
    Tonifies Spleen Qi
  • ST 37 (Shangjuxu)
    Lower Sea point of Large Intestine. Stops chronic diarrhea
  • BL 25 (Dachangshu)
    Back Shu point of Large Intestine. Tonifies Large Intestine
  • BL 20 (Pishu)
    Tonifies Spleen Qi