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The ears, eyes, nose, and through are all connected through various organ systems and energetic channels in Chinese medicine. Some channels are connected internally, while others affect the region simply by location. For this reason, disorders of these areas are often treated by addressing the associated organ systems:
Eyes: Liver, Heart
Ears: Kidney, Gallbladder, San Jiao (Triple Heater, Triple Burner)
Nose: Lung, Large Intestine
Throat: Large Intestine, Stomach
Because our sense organs are all found on the head (upper body), they often suffer from too much heat or a lack of nourishment. As excess heat rises, our eyes may become irritated or our nose may become dry. Similarly, proper nourishment may fail to rise to the head and leave our senses lacking, dulled, or confused. To improve ENT and eye disorders, Chinese medicine often works to reduce heat and support and nurture the body’s organ systems.
Kidney “essence” is the deep-rooted energy of the Kidney system and the body as a whole. It is this essence that keeps us healthy and strong. After illness, high stress, or aging, the Kidney essence will naturally wane. Since the Kidneys are most closely tied with the ear sense organ, this can lead to diminished hearing, tinnitus, and vertigo.
A lack of quality Liver blood and yin is often involved with eye conditions. Liver blood and yin are said to nourish the eyes, keeping them healthy, vibrant, and bright. Without healthy Liver blood, the eyes can become irritated and dry or develop floaters, vision problems, or excessive strain or fatigue.
Lung and Large Intestine
While the Lung is directly linked to the nose and sense of smell, its paired channel, the Large Intestine, is linked to the nose via its channel pathway. Both these organ systems are used to treat disorders of the nose like loss of smell, allergies, sinus congestion, runny nose, and more.
Ear, nose, and throat disorders (as well as eye conditions) are commonly treated with acupuncture, herbal medicine formulas, supplements, and self-care routines in Chinese medicine. In some cases, dietary change is necessary to help the condition improve, especially if excess phlegm or mucus is a factor. Acupuncture helps to relieve inflammation in the area as well as reduce any pain or discomfort.
There are many different Chinese herbal formulas designed to treat the varying levels and manifestations of ENT disorders. Most formulas are used to help reduce inflammation, clear infection, relieve pain, and restore natural balance to the head and sense organs. In many cases, tonifying herbs are used to strengthen the root organ systems (like the Kidney or Liver) to prevent future issues and maintain healthy eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell and taste for years to come.
Bi Yan Pian: Addresses seasonal hay fever, pollen & dust allergies, and common cold when sneezing and red, itchy eyes are the predominant symptoms.
Qi Ju Di Huang Wan: This formula helps “brighten the eyes” in cases of blurred vision, diminished visual acuity, poor night vision, and dry eyes. Click Here for a detailed discussion of the formula
Ming Mu Di Huang Wan: Addresses poor, blurry vision, dry eyes, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, etc… due to Liver and Kidney yin deficiency. Click Here for a detailed discussion of the formula
Er Long Zuo Ci Wan: Addresses ringing in the ears and diminished hearing that occurs in conjunction w/such symptoms as lower back back soreness, dizziness, and vertigo. Click Here for a detailed discussion of the formula
The following are important herbs used in our popular ENT formulas.
Cang Er Zi/Xanthium Fruit: Cang er zi is a popular herb known for its strong ability to break through stubborn congestion and open the nose. This herb often shows up in formulas to treat nasal congestion, allergies, and sinus infections.
Ju Hua/Chrysanthemum: Ju hua, the yellow bud of the chrysanthemum flower, is an important herb for eye and throat health. This herb cools and soothes eye irritation due to hay fever, allergies, or stress. It also calms itching and irritation in the throat and nasal passages.
Shan Zhu Yu/Asiatic dogwood fruit: Shan zhu yu is a tonic herb that helps to strengthen the Kidney system, and therefore improve hearing and reduce issues such as tinnitus, hearing loss, and dizziness.
Keep your senses strong. Chinese medicine offers an abundance of herbs and formulas to treat ENT and eye disorders and maintain the health of our precious sense organs. Shop our collection of Chinese herbal formulas for eye, ear, nose, and throat health.