Blood Stagnation

In traditional Chinese medicine, blood stagnation is commonly linked to a wide variety of heart and menstrual irregularities. The syndrome occurs when the flow of blood is blocked or becomes static. Stagnant blood problems may be causeed by external pathogens, inappropriate treatment of haemorrhage, traumatic injury, stagnation of Qi, or retention of the lochia following childbirth. Stagnant blood is characterized by a fixed pain that is not eased by either hot compresses or ice packs. Other symptoms can include haemorrhage, while typical signs include purplish skin, dark purple lips, and dry scaly skin.

Thrombosis, local ischaemia (tissue damage due to restricted or inadequate blood flow), menstrual problems, certain heart disorders, and haemorrhage might all be classified in TCM as aspects of congealed blood.

Menstrual problems

Many gynaecological problems are associated with blood stagnation since the build up of endometrium (the womb lining) each month can be seen as a minor moss of stagnant blood.

Some sorts of period pain, for example, can be linked to blood stagnation, often with Qi deficiency or stagnation contributing to the problem as well. Symptoms generally include cramping pains a day or so before the start of a period, which is often late or irregular, and the menstrual discharge tends to be dark with many clots. Typical treatment would include nourishing blood remedies like Dang Gui using herbs like Dan Shen, Xiang Fu, and Chuan Xiang, which help to invigorate blood and Qi circulation.

In Chinese medicine, chronic inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis) is seen in terms of blood stagnation, linked to menstrual dysfunction. Again, treatment involves energizing blood circulation, easing pain, and stimulating liver energies A typical prescription would be Shen Hua Tang, which combines Dang Gui with Chuan Xiang and Tao Ren (peach seeds, Prunus persica)- to invigorate blood circulation - with Gan Jiang and Gan Cao to warm and harmonize the prescription. Xiang Fu could be added to stimulate liver Qi, since liver energy is closely associated with menstruation - as well as Yon Hu Suo to ease pain.

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