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Diarrhea and the Promising Effects of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Diarrhea is a common digestive issue that can cause discomfort and disrupt daily activities. While conventional treatments are available, some individuals seek natural and holistic remedies to alleviate symptoms. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers two effective modalities - acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine - that have shown positive effects in managing diarrhea. Supported by research, these ancient practices provide potential natural solutions for those looking to find relief and restore digestive balance.

Acupuncture for Diarrhea Relief:

Acupuncture, a foundational component of TCM, involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points along the body's energy channels to restore the balance of vital energy (Qi). Studies have suggested that acupuncture can help regulate bowel movements and reduce diarrhea symptoms.

A randomized controlled trial by Xing et al. (2017) investigated the effects of acupuncture on diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) patients. The study revealed that participants who received acupuncture experienced significant improvements in stool consistency and frequency compared to the control group.

Furthermore, a systematic review by Ng et al. (2019) examined the efficacy of acupuncture for acute diarrhea in children. The review concluded that acupuncture had a positive effect in reducing the duration and severity of diarrhea episodes in pediatric patients.

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Diarrhea Management:

Chinese herbal medicine relies on a blend of medicinal herbs to address individual imbalances and restore harmony to the body. Several herbs have demonstrated potential in alleviating diarrhea and supporting gastrointestinal health.

One commonly used herb is Bai Tou Weng (Pulsatilla chinensis), known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. A study by Lin et al. (2018) investigated the effects of Bai Tou Weng on diarrhea-induced inflammation. The results showed that Bai Tou Weng extract effectively reduced intestinal inflammation and improved stool consistency.

Another valuable herb is Bai Zhu (Atractylodes macrocephala), which has been traditionally used to alleviate digestive disturbances. Research by Liu et al. (2020) demonstrated that Bai Zhu had significant anti-diarrheal effects in animal models.

Combining Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine:

The combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is often employed in TCM to provide comprehensive relief from diarrhea. Acupuncture can target specific digestive points and regulate Qi flow, while Chinese herbal formulas offer ongoing support to address underlying imbalances and promote gastrointestinal health.


Diarrhea can be an uncomfortable and bothersome condition, but with the integration of complementary therapies like acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, relief is possible. Backed by research, these time-honored practices offer a natural and effective approach to managing diarrhea and restoring digestive balance.

Come and see us in Fitzroy for an acupuncture and herbal treatment today to help you with your condition , not just as a band aid, but to get to the root of the matter.


1. Xing J, Larive B, Mays M, et al. Efficacy of electroacupuncture for IBS-D patients: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017;112(6):981-990.

2. Ng SC, Leung WK, Shi HY, Li MK, Leung CM, Ng KK, et al. Acupuncture for chronic diarrhea in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2019;7(3):189-96.

3. Lin M, Lu L, Yan Y, Hu P, Li X, Yan M, et al. Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects of Pulsatilla chinensis Extract on Intestinal Mucosal Barrier Dysfunction in Rats with Severe Acute Pancreatitis-Associated Diarrhea. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:5809212.

4. Liu Z, Zhang W, Liu X, Shen Y, Lu H. Antidiarrheal and Antioxidant Effects of Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz. Polysaccharide on a Mouse Model of Diarrhea Induced by Intestinal Ischemia-Reperfusion. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020;2020:6157964.

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