Nobody likes to talk about, but most of us have experienced acute diarrhea (probably a few times!) in our life. Not fun!

Chronic diarrhea, on the other hand, can be a nightmare for those who experience it. Back when I was in TCM school, I barely could contain myself on my very first day in clinic observation. Finally I was going to see my teacher in action, using TCM to help people.

Our first patient’s chief complaint was chronic diarrhea. As our clinic supervisor went through the inquiry part of our consultation, I felt so sad for this poor woman. She had been dealing with this issue for over 8 years! She had quit her job because the emergency diarrhea attacks happened daily at random times. On the way to our clinic, her husband mapped out all the public bathrooms they could use, in case. She had done all the tests (bacteria, virus, parasites…), colonoscopy, endoscopy, blood tests, stool sample, but her doctor could not figure out what caused it. They gave her meds to manage it.

Our teacher was simply brilliant. She diagnosed her with Sp Qi def. leading to Yang def. and created a treatment plan that included acupuncture 2 times/week, a custom herbal formula, and a very bland diet of sweet potato, yams, salmon, halibut, squash, cooked veggies, stews and bone broth.

Within 2 weeks, she started having soft stools 4 times/day, no emergency! Then one month into the treatment, she had 2 bowel movements per day that were formed stools! WOW! WOW!WOW!

I was so impressed by my teacher, she was a genius! I studied under her for the next 4 years, because I wanted to absorb her knowledge, in hope that one day, I’d be as half brilliant as she is! I mean, she changed that patient’s life! My teacher rocks! TCM rocks! 

Over the years, in my practice, I have seen many people with bowel issues, and diarrhea is a common symptom for most.

Below, you’ll find the TCM treatment protocols for acute and chronic diarrhea. I hope you can use it to change people’s lives for the better and together let’s keep rocking it with TCM!

TCM Geek


Diarrhea in TCM

  • Definition: Xie Xie in Chinese refers to watery stools. Diarrhea may be frequent & chronic or acute and it is the biggest cause of infant mortality. Causes: pathogens, diet, emotions, drugs, stress…

  • Western common disorders: bacterial or viral infections, food poisoning, IBS, colitis, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, lactose intolerance, drugs, alcohol, colon cancer, hyperthyroidism…

  • Tx options: Drinking fluids after Bowel movement, Ear  Acupuncture (LI, SP, Rectum, Shen Men), diet recommendation (oat, barley, white rice, salmon, yams, sweet potatoes, leeks, aduki Beans, bone broth) and avoid (coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, seeds, dairy).





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