Liver Qi Stagnation


Liver qi (energy) stagnation is a very common condition linked to a variety of Western medical conditions.  Once you understand the role of the liver in your health, many things will become clearer to you.

The liver has many functions.  In Western holistic medicine, we think of the liver as the organ of detoxification.  The liver tries to keep toxins out of your blood stream.  It is especially interested in the toxins that come into your body via your digestive tract.  The portal vein brings up all the newly digested food from your intestines and checks them for toxins before letting them up into your normal blood stream.

When your liver gets overworked, it tends to get clogged up and performs sluggishly.   In the West this is often called a congested liver.  In Chinese medicine, it is called Liver Qi Stagnation.

You need to understand that standard Western Medicine has no concept of this.   They are over-dependent on blood tests and they only check for major damage to your liver - hepatitis or sclerosis.  You can have very clear Liver Qi Stagnation with bad symptoms and your Doctor will say your liver is fine.

Causes of Liver Qi Stagnation:

  • Excess toxins going into your body - toxins can be anything your body doesn't like or to which it is sensitive.
  • Common toxins:
    • Coffee
    • Alcohol
    • Sugar
    • Soda pop
    • pollutants
    • hormones (one of the main jobs of the liver is to clear hormones from the blood)
    • drugs, including pharmaceuticals
  • Common sensitivities (will act like toxins to your liver):
    • Dairy products (anything that comes out of the udder of a cow)
    • Wheat products
    • possible others: eggs, chocolate, soy, peanuts, etc. (can be anything)
  • Emotional disorders (liver problems cause anger and depression problems, anger and depression can cause liver problems)

Disorders caused by Liver Qi Stagnation:

  • Depression
  • Anger disorders
  • Moodiness
  • Menstrual disorders - PMS, pain, endometriosis, almost all menstrual disorders have a liver component
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Headaches - all kinds

What to do:

  • Stop putting toxins into your body.
  • Work with a practitioner that knows herbs to give you herbs to help clear your liver.
  • Work on any anger and depression problems (I'm not talking drugs here)

Common herbal remedies:

  • Xiao Yao Wan - the most popular Chinese herbal formula in America
  • Milk thistle
  • Beet products - raw

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Last modified: January 05, 2006