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Article: Liver Qi Stagnation - Warning signs & healing herbs

Liver Qi Stagnation - Warning signs & healing herbs

What is Liver Qi Stagnation?

The liver is a vital organ in the body responsible for the detoxification and purification of the blood. It also plays a crucial role in the digestion and metabolism of nutrients. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the liver is considered the organ that is responsible for the smooth flow of qi (vital energy) throughout the body. When this flow is disrupted, it can result in a condition called liver qi stagnation

In this article, we will explore the warning signs and symptoms, consequences of undiagnosed liver qi stagnation, the best liver qi stagnation diet, liver qi stagnation tongue, how it affects periods, understanding liver qi stagnation acupuncture points, exercises that are good for liver qi stagnation, and the top healing liver qi stagnation herbs. 

Consequences of undiagnosed liver qi stagnation

Consequences of undiagnosed liver qi stagnation

Liver qi stagnation is a common condition in TCM that occurs when the liver's energy is disrupted or blocked, leading to an imbalance in the body's qi. This can happen due to various factors such as emotional stress, diet, and lack of exercise. The liver is closely linked to the emotions of anger, frustration, and irritability, and when these emotions are not properly processed or released, they can lead to liver qi stagnation.

If left untreated, liver qi stagnation can lead to a variety of health issues. It can affect the body's ability to digest food, leading to bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain. It can also result in emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. Long-term liver qi stagnation can cause liver and gallbladder diseases, hormonal imbalances, and women's health issues.

Liver qi stagnation warning signs and symptoms

Liver qi stagnation warning signs and symptoms

The symptoms of liver qi stagnation can vary from person to person, but some of the most common signs include:

Irritability and mood swings

Depression and anxiety

Bloating and abdominal discomfort

Headaches and migraines

Fatigue and lack of energy

Poor digestion and bowel movements

Menstrual cramps and irregular periods

Insomnia and difficulty sleeping

Poor circulation and muscle tension

Best liver qi stagnation diet

What is the best liver qi stagnation diet?

A healthy liver qi stagnation diet should focus on foods that are easy to digest and support the liver's function. It is essential to consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rich in fiber to promote healthy digestion and bowel movements. 

Additionally, bitter foods such as dandelion green can stimulate the liver and promote the flow of qi. Healthy fats found in nuts, seeds, and avocados can help support the liver's detoxification process. However, it is also important to avoid foods that burden the liver, such as alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods.

What is liver qi stagnation tongue?

In TCM, the tongue is an important diagnostic tool to identify the underlying causes of liver qi stagnation. If you have a liver qi stagnation, your tongue may appear reddish-purple, and a thin white coating may be present. The sides of the tongue may also be slightly swollen or have teeth marks. Observing the tongue is an important first step in diagnosing and treating liver qi stagnation.

Does liver qi stagnation affect my period?

Yes, liver qi stagnation can affect a woman's menstrual cycle. It can cause irregular periods, painful periods, and PMS symptoms such as mood swings and breast tenderness. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be helpful in regulating the menstrual cycle and reducing these symptoms. Additionally, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help support the liver and promote healthy hormonal balance.

Understanding liver qi stagnation acupuncture points

Understanding liver qi stagnation acupuncture points

Acupuncture is a form of TCM that can be used to treat liver qi stagnation. The Liver 3 (Taichong) point is commonly used to regulate the flow of qi and reduce irritability and mood swings. Another commonly used point is the Pericardium 6 (Neiguan) point, which can relieve anxiety and nausea, common symptoms of liver qi stagnation. The acupuncturist may also use other points on the liver and spleen meridians to address specific symptoms and underlying imbalances.

What exercises are good for liver qi stagnation

What exercises are good for liver qi stagnation?

Exercise is an important component of maintaining a healthy liver qi. Yoga exercises promote deep breathing, which reduces stress and promotes the flow of qi, while tai chi and qi gong exercises are a series of movements and breathing designed to promote the flow of qi in the body. Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging or cycling improve circulation and support the liver's detoxification process. 

Additionally, stretching exercises such as yoga or Pilates can help relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation, reducing stress and promoting overall well-being. It is essential to choose exercises that feel good for your body and to maintain a regular routine to support the liver's function.

Top healing liver qi stagnation herbs

Top healing liver qi stagnation herbs

Chinese herbal medicine offers a variety of herbs that can help support liver qi stagnation. Some of the most commonly used herbs include:

Chinese yam: 

Known for its ability to support the spleen and stomach, which in turn can benefit the liver. It also helps nourish the body's fluids and promote healthy digestion.

Dong quai: 

Traditionally used in Chinese medicine to support the liver and promote healthy blood flow. It can also help regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve menstrual pain.


A bitter herb that can reduce inflammation and support liver function. It is also believed to improve digestion and promote healthy blood sugar levels.


Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain in the body. It is also believed to promote healthy liver function.

Sichuan lovage: 

Helps regulate the flow of qi and promote healthy blood circulation, which can benefit the liver. It is also traditionally used to relieve menstrual pain and cramps.


Traditionally used to support the liver and kidneys, it is believed to strengthen the bones and muscles. It can also help promote healthy blood pressure levels.


Known for its ability to nourish and tonify the liver and kidneys, it can also help regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve menstrual pain.


Helps nourish and tonify the liver and kidneys, which can benefit overall health. It is also believed to promote healthy blood circulation and relieve menstrual pain.

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