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Home » Acupuncture and Its Theories » Clinical Treatment for Epilepsy with Acupuncture & Herbs

Clinical Treatment for Epilepsy with Acupuncture & Herbs

▶Epilepsy occurs in seizures,manifested by falling down in a fit, loss of consciousness, foam on the lips, or screams with eyes staring upward, and convulsions. after some minutes,consciousness returns, and the patient’s condition becomes normal.

Besides the typical seizures, there may be variations. it can be momentary loss of attention or consciousness with eyes staring directly forward, or prolonged loss of consciousness associated with convulsions and foam on the lips. epileptic fits may occur at any time, in various frequency and with different severity. it is often preceded by an “aura” of dizziness, depression sensation of the chest, and listlessness. generally speaking epilepsy is an excess condition, but frequent recurrence can lower the body resistance.

The above description refers to many types of epileptic seizures including grand mal, petit mal, psychomotor and focal seizures.

Etiology : Basically East Asian Medicine considers seizure as ‘wind’ generated by the extreme heat or cold.

1) Fear and Fright (mental trauma) and Imbalance of Diet:

Extreme mental or emotional trauma can cause dysfunction of the liver in soothing flow of qi or irregular food intake damaging the spleen and stomach, makes the dampness in the body and accumulates as phlegm-too much carbohydrate, the imbalance of the nutrition for the proper brain function- which combined with the stagnated liver qi, disturbs the mind and causes epilepsy.

2) Congenital abnormality :

During the pregnancy, his or her mother was frightened-emotional trauma.

3)Brain trauma :

After car accident or brain injury or difficult delivery (forceps harm the baby’s brain)


1)Organs(Liver, Spleen, Stomach, Heart): When these organs energy(qi) got imbalanced – excessive or deficient, mostly excessive.

2)Pathological factor: Wind and phlegm

▶ Treatment Principle

1) During the acute stage or during seizure, treat superficially.

2) During the stable stage, treat the root problem.

Clinical Application according to the different types of Epilepsy

<Onset stage>

In some textbook, this stage is categorized as yang epilepsy and yin epilepsy according to each different manifestations, since yang epilepsy is mostly seen, I only explain the yang epilepsy.

A typical seizure is preceded by dizziness, headache and suffocating sensation in the chest, and immediately followed by falling down with loss of consciousness, pallor, clenched jaws, upward starting of the eyes, convulsion, foam on the lips, screaming as pigs or sheep, and even incontinence of urine and feces.

gradually, the patient regains consciousness, and the symptoms disappear. Apart from fatigue and weakness, the patient can live a normal life.

Acupuncture points : Du26, Ren15, P5, LV3, ST40 – To dissolve the phlegm, induce resuscitation, soothe the liver and dispel the wind.

<After Seizure or Stable stage>

Listlessness, lusterless complexion, dizziness, palpation, anorexia, profuse sputum, weakness and soreness of the loins and limbs, pale tongue with white coating and thready, slippery pulse. listlessness is due to damage of the vital qi by frequent epileptic fits. With insufficiency of blood, the complexion is lusterless. There is dizziness if the brain lacks the blood supply, and palpitation if the heart is poorly supplied with blood.

Due to the depression of the spleen yang, the food can’t be transformed into essence, and dampness and phlegm are produced, so there are anorexia and profuse sputum. deficiency of the kidney essence causes soreness and weakness of the loins and limbs. Pale tongue with white coating and thready, slippery pulse suggest consumption of qi and blood and accumulation of phlegm dampness.

Acupuncture Treatment:

Points of the Heart,Spleen, and Kidney Meridians are selected as the primary points with even movement to nourish the heart, ease the mind, strengthen the spleen and reinforce the kidney.

During Seizure: Shuigou(Du26), Jiuwei(Ren15), Jianshi(P5), Taichong(Liv3), Fenglong(St40)

After Seizure(Stable stage):Primary: UB15, Yintang, HT7, SP6, KD3, Yaoqi

Supplementary: Daytime seizure: UB62, Night Seizure: KD6, Phlegm Stagnation: Ren12, ST40.

Severe deficiency of qi and blood: Ren4, ST36.

◊ Herbal Treatment:

In choosing herbs and formulating the herbal medicine, the types of epilepsy are more subcategorized and specific.

 1. Wind phlegm obstruction :

before the onset, patient has dizziness, oppress feeling in the chest, fatigue, in the on set, fall down suddenly, unconsciousness, seizure, foamy sputum, strange sound from throat, incontinence, bowel and urination can not control, some of them just transient unconsciousness White & greasy fur ; wiry & slippery pulse,

Ding Xian Wan just for the epilepsy

 2.Phlegm fire (phlegm and fire but wind is always there):

When is onset patient faint, and unconsciousness, seizure, loud sound, strong excess type sound, shout, usually even they are in the stable stage they have irritability, insomnia, difficult to expectorate the phlegm, bitter and dry mouth, constipation, red tongue, yellow and greasy fur ; wiry & slippery & rapid pulse.

Long dan xie gan tang(liver) + Di tan tang(phlegm) – Constipation cause by phegm fire -> Zhu li da tan wan

3.Heart & Kidney deficiency : Chronic epilepsy, amnesia, palpitation, dizziness,blurred vision, sore lower back, listlessness(no desire to do anything), fatigue,thin greasy fur, thin and weak pulse.

Da bu yuan jian(大補元煎) + Liu jun ji tang(六君子汤), Chronic epilepsy -> Gan mai da zao tang

4. Liver & Kidney yin deficiency:

Frequent epilepsy, same time yin def symptoms, dizziness, dry eyes, amnesia, insomnia, sore lower back and knee, constipation Red tongue, thin and yellow fur ; thin & rapid pulse

Da bu yuan jian

5. Heart & spleen deficiency

Frequent onset of epilepsy, fatigue, listless, no desire to do any thing, pale complexion, emaciation, poor appetite, loose stool, pale tongue, white and greasy fur ; deep and weak pulse

Liu jun zi tang + Wen dan tang


I only post this article for the understanding of the clinical treatment for epilepsy, the asian physian alsways try to find the real root of disease and can not treat all the epileptic patients the same way, therefore this is not the fixed answer, in fact, answers can be many and different.

However I wish that this article could help more people to understand the eastern medicine way of the epilesy treatment.


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