• Causes of Epilepsy and Seizures
  • Herbs Used for Epilepsy and Seizures
  • Herbs Used for Better Brain Function


Causes of Epilepsy According to Traditional Chinese Medicine

Epilepsy is a chronic disharmony characterized by unprovoked seizures. It is also called seizure disorder.

In the eyes of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), unexplained chronic seizures can have several different causes. Diagnosing the underlying causes requires differentiating the signs and symptoms (telling yin from yang) through The Four Examinations.

First, chronic seizures can be caused by trauma to the brain. Before any further diagnosis can be made, brain damage must be confirmed or ruled out. This is done by history, physical examination, brain scans, and other modern medical techniques.  Modern medical techniques are essential and must be employed first for this kind of diagnosis.

If brain damage is found, scalp acupuncture, herbs for injury, and herbs for brain function are given.  If brain damage is not obvious, further differentiation is required.


All seizures are thought to be caused by Internal Wind.  Fainting, strokes, seizures, childhood convulsions, paralysis, palsy, and even facial tics are attributed to Internal Wind.


Yin seizures are not commonly associated with epilepsy.  These seisures are marked by open or flaccid paralysis.  Passing out, going limp, and fainting are yin seizures. Yin seizures are also called open seizures or Wei Syndrome. Open seizures are generally thought to be caused by underlying patterns of deficiency, but may also be caused by excess phlegm obstructions preventing the normal fow of qi and blood to the head. Wei syndrome can include symptoms of muscular weakness, atrophy, trembling, tingling, or numbness.  Modern diagnosis of sequelae to stroke, ALS, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson’s disease, polio, and Guillain Barre disease all indicate Wei Syndrome.

Yang seizures, on the other hand, are clenched and spastic, and are called closed seizures. Liver Wind causes most closed seizures.  Though Liver Wind is considered excess in nature, in some cases the pattern is caused by deficient yin of the Liver or Kidney . In other cases, emotional constraint can lead to the Liver over heating, resulting in internal Wind.

Treatment is based on pattern differentiation. Diagnosis should be made by an experienced practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  Self-diagnosis and self-prescription are not recommended for these conditions.


Single Herbs for Spasms and Convulsions

Gastrodia – Tian Ma – Gastrodia rhizome

Uncaria – Gou Teng – Gambir Vine

Concha Ostrea – Mu Li – Oyster Shell

Magarita – Zhen Zhu – Pearl

Cornu Antelopis – Ling Yang Jiao – Antelope Horn

Lumbricus – Di Long – Earthworm

Buthus – Quan Xie – Scorpion

Common Formulas for Liver Wind

Tian Ma Gou teng Yin Pill

Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Wan

Brain function
Healthy Brain Pills

Flaccid Paralysis (Wei Syndrome)
Xiao Huo Luo Dan



Shen Clinic TCM consultation


Information on this site is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or another medical professional. We make no claim as to efficacy or safety of herbs or herbal medicine appearing on this site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.