Sinus Problems and Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine sinusitis corresponds to an old Chinese term by the name of Bi Yuan. This literally means “nose pool”. Bi Yuan is said to be brain discharge since it deals with profuse and purulent discharge from the nose which the Chinese felt comes from the brain. In my practice, I have seen numerous patients with severe amounts of discharge as well as postnasal drip in the back of their throats and pain in the sinus areas. I have also seen patients with headaches from their sinuses. As for brain discharge, I don’t feel as though this is quite accurate although its possible that the Gall Bladder channel is involved due to that it flows through the brain. The main symptoms of sinusitis are profuse discharge from the front and the back of the nose, and into the throat, facial pain, and a feeling of heaviness in the head. There is also local tenderness over the maxillary and the frontal sinus.


In this article I will explain different pathologies and how to go about transforming these. The first etiology is an invasion of Wind-Heat or Wind-Cold. Both of these are associated with the Lung Qi energy in the body. It is the Lung energy that when it blocked impairs the function of the Lungs to move the Qi downwards thus creating the fluids to stagnate in the nose and sinus passages. In Chinese Medicine, Wind-Heat enters through the front of the neck and Wind-Cold enters through the back of the neck. A cold or virus in Western medicine would enter through the front of the body and in an airplane or an open window with cold air would enter through the back of the neck. In fact a cold might not be cured all the way thus creating the next viral attack in an already infected area. Both of these symptoms are treated with the use of acupuncture and herbs and can also be treated once someone feels the first signs of these to lessen the extent of the illness.


The classic symptoms of Wind-Heat are stuffed nose, yellow phlegm, nasal discharge, headache, diminished sense of smell and aversion to cold and fever. The treatments involves clearing the heat, removing the wind and opening up the nasal passages. I have seen remarkable results in just one treatment and the herbal formulas are very effective. Under the heat category there is also Lung-Heat, which occurs as well. These symptoms include yellow purulent discharge, tenderness over sinuses, feeling of heat, headache and thirst. The patient has a chronic sinus condition with Wind-Heat and has an impaired system when it comes to creating a descending function of the Lungs. Many patients have come to me with this problem and they also have Phlegm-Heat as well with this condition. I have one female patient who had sinus infections all of her life and I treated her with acupuncture and herbs for all most one year and she now has very few occurrences after o lifetime of discomfort. The acupuncture and herbs helped to get rid of her phlegm and constant stuffy nose. The Chinese formulas and also the use of an amino acid that I find helps tremendously.


There is another antilogy in the heat category called, Liver-Gallbladder Fire. These symptoms include, red face, yellow discharge, and pain in sinus area, irritability and dry stools. For this patient I would clear the Liver fire raising to the nose clear the gall bladder channel and restore the Lung_Qi to its descending function. I currently have a male patient age 6 who has had chronic problems with his sinuses and we put him on a formula and gave him several treatments and after three times his phlegm began to dissipate as well as his irritability. It’s always interesting to heal what is underneath a symptom so that the patient can have a true healing. This man is in a very intense business and has a great amount of responsibility on his shoulders. The formulas for this patient made such a change in him that he also looks younger and has lost over 15 pounds during the treatment.


The last clinical manifestation is Stomach and Spleen Damp-Heat. This involves nasal discharge, dry lips, a feeling of heaviness and a feeling of oppression in the chest and upper abdomen. In this situation I would clear the heat, resolve the dampness and harmonize the Stomach and spleen. The formulas are very good for this and I feel that many people have this particular problem do to overuse of antibiotics and western medicines as children. It is my belief that these drugs have somewhat damaged the spleen and stomach and these organs need to be built back up again. Along with this the diet in Chinese medicine always need s to be addressed due to the heavy consumption of fried foods, sugar and also milk and cheese in the western diet. An excessive amount of phlegm leads to the formation of dam-heat in the Stomach and Spleen and can be carried upwards towards the sinus area. In fact one patient, who always had cereal and milk late at night as a treat was taken off this and in one week he noticed a tremdous difference from this alone.


Sinusitis is a stubborn, chronic disease, which may need long-term treatments, but with acupuncture and herbs it is possible to get rid of the problems and tonify the patient to wellness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s