Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable colon, also referred to sometimes as irritable bowel syndrome, is currently one of the most common causes of so-called abdominal discomfort, such as abdominal pain, bloating, inflation, flatulence, difficulty in passing stools, diarrhoea or constipation, often alternating, faecal urgency (especially in the morning) – simply, there is something wrong in our belly kingdom. Interestingly, in the past, traditional Chinese medicine did not use this concept abbreviated worldwide as IBS (Irritation Bowel Syndrome), because did not know these diseases. It is related to the current lifestyle that really is “very quickly developing”, thus more than fast. That is just where the “invisible” shoe pinches and we fairly do (not) know the causes of this:

Imbalance between excessive work and lack of rest, therefore, lack of adequate relaxation. Irregular eating, when we in addition eat fast on the go with a mobile phone at the ear and the eyes fixed on the PC or newspaper, furthermore, we eat abundantly and late at night, without breakfast … Who do not eat breakfast according to the principles of TCM (see the Beverage of Chinese Sages), they even cannot be cured – in this case, a right Chinese doctor refuses to cure them any more without mercy! Chinese medicine prefers regularity above all – just as the conditioned reflexes of Pavlov’s famous dogs, our conditioned reflexes, which require food and rest at a certain regular time, work equally. If we do not follow this, then we have only ourselves to blame and that not entirely innocently … Another cause is the quality of food – we eat unnatural, almost synthetic diet (unlike natural diet), which moreover comprises a variety of products, it is frozen, deep-frying, pasteurized, chemically treated, emulsified, flavoured, coloured, made of various genetically modified hybrid cereals etc., which then leads to a huge increase in the variety of food and other allergies such as coeliac disease, lactose or cow’s milk protein intolerance and the like. Also, the fact of excessive use of antibiotics, hormones, and antidepressants, which cause imbalance of intestinal bacteria, so-called dysbiosis, contributes to this. And as the most important factor of this modern disease the stressful way of life is referred, partly described above. The nervous system in the body is divided into central (brain and spinal cord), peripheral (striated muscles) and autonomic system, which controls smooth muscles, thus, internal organs. The autonomic nervous system is divided into so-called sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions. The sympathetic division is yang and is responsible for action (fight or flight), while the parasympathetic division is yin and is responsible for rest and food. Like a lion, when kills an antelope (action), devours it and then relaxes while digesting (at rest). If we do not respect this ritual too, the consequences will come for instance in the form of these problems. The modern hectic era brings “modern” new diseases. One of them are precisely these problems. On the one hand we have enough of everything, real excess indeed (a lot of work, food, stress, worries, property …), on the other hand, however, we lack time to rest, to sleep, time for holiday, for yourselves, for relationships .. .

It is necessary to omit black coffee and alcohol, as well as sugar in all forms, not just white sugar, but also honey, fruits, fruit juices, and the like. It is equally essential to eat a healthy breakfast.

Suitable spices or herbs

The main trouble with irritable bowel syndrome is spasms in the intestines, leading to pain and bloating. The bowel is controlled by the autonomic nervous system and because of stress, anxiety, fear, and worries, the balance of the autonomic nervous system becomes undermined, causing spasms in the intestines and development of gases. To suppress these problems, so-called carminatives are used, which are mostly herbs and spices relaxing smooth muscle spasms in the intestinal wall, by which they also relieve pain, locally promote healing of intestinal mucosa, enhance peristalsis (bowel movement), and eliminate accumulated wind, thus gas. Such classic tea from available herbs and spices is e.g. a mixture of chamomile, caraway, fennel, anise, cardamom, mint, dill, lemon balm, rosemary, and rose. A decoction of dill and cumin also has proven for small children with frequent abdominal colic. Similarly, small doses of various aperitifs made of bitter herbs are often used before meals for good digestion, such as Fernet Branca, Vermouth, or tonics (from quinine). Conversely, after a meal is again appropriate to drink a little sweet digestive drink, e.g. ice wine.

Diagnosis and Treatment

1. Liver invading the stomach, spleen, and large intestine GAN QI FAN WEI/PI/DA CHANG
Root cause: Imbalance between the excessive liver to invade and oppress the stomach, spleen, and intestines
Symptoms: Fear, irritability, pain in the groin, bloating, alternating diarrhoea and constipation, feeling inadequate emptying, pencil-stool, frequent yawning, irregular menstruation
Pulse: XIAN tense SHI full
Tongue: normal or red tip and edges
Therapy: Cease of Windstorm (064) + Harmony of Magical Change (063) + Beverage of Chinese Sages (900)
2. Spleen qi deficiency followed by qi stagnation of PI QI XU + QI ZHI
Root cause: The spleen deficiency, when liver becomes relatively excessive, by which it subsequently stops qi energy flow. This is also the most commonly seen example between deficiency and stagnation when the deficiency is greater than the stagnation
Symptoms: Fatigue, inappetence, bloating and abdominal pain, worsened after meals
Pulse: XI weak CHEN deep XU empty and XIAN slightly taut
Tongue: swollen, pale, with teeth imprints and wet coating
Therapy: Therapy: Cleaning of Corn Storehouse (073) + Harmony of Magical Change (063) + Beverage of Chinese Sages (900)
3. Spleen qi deficiency with dampness PI QI XU + SHI
Root cause: The causes are described at the outset
Symptoms: Fatigue, bloating, sticky feeling in the mouth, soft stools with mucus
Pulse: CHEN deep XI weak XU forceless
Tongue: swollen and pale
Therapy: Banquet of Five Tastes (105) + Tiger Spring (152) + Beverage of Chinese Sages (900)
4. Dampness and heat SHI/RE
Root cause: The causes are described at the outset
Symptoms: Bloating, heartburn, fatigue, flatulence, big sweet tooth, alternating constipation and diarrhoea with sticky foul-smelling stool
Pulse: HUA slippery SHI full HUO lightly rapid
Tongue: red with yellow sticky coating
Birth of the Phoenix (code 009) or Shade of Brocade Veil (code 012) + Drying up the Rice Terraces (021) + Beverage of Chinese Sages (900)
5. Food stagnation JI SHI
Root cause: Excessive and heavy diet, excessive drinking alcohol, smoking, and eating under stress
Symptoms: Bloating, stretched and tense abdomen, belching, pain in the intestines and stomach, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, constipation or diarrhoea, foul-smelling stool
Pulse: XIAN taut SHI slippery
Tongue: red with yellow sticky coating
Therapy: Grace of Slender Gazelle (025) + Drying up the Rice Terraces (021) + Beverage of Chinese Sages (900)
6. Stomach and liver yin deficiency WEI/GAN YIN XU
Root cause:
Symptoms: Dry mouth, dry stools and constipation, thirst, fatigue, flushed cheeks with hot flashes, night sweats
Pulse: XI thin SHUO rapid XIAN taut
Tongue: red without coating
Therapy: Unwinding a Tangled Ball (068) + Swiftness of Meadow Scorpio (186) + Beverage of Chinese Sages (900)


In case of doubt with the choice of herbal products, we recommend TCM Test Tongue Analysis, which is evaluated by Dr. med. Petr Hoffmann and you will receive a recommendation (herbal products and foods) to your e-mail within 3 days.