Chinese Herbal Remedies For Constipation
(chronic types)

Using Chinese herbal remedies for constipation works well for the majority of my patients, particularly when combined with the appropriate diet and lifestyle changes. The trick is in choosing the correct one for the "type" of constipation.

We use several different ones in my practice. Here's some of the better ones. Pay attention to the differences (sometimes subtle) between them to determine which one is used for the type of constipation you have.

Note - These are available from online sources, and some are available at Oriental Markets. is a fair-priced resource. They are also made by different manufacturers. Plum Flower Brand is a decent one.

Also, herbal remedies for constipation are different than drugs. It sometimes takes 2 to 3 weeks before noticing their effects. That's because it's working to correct the cause, rather than temporarily stop the symptom.

Warning: Do not use these herbal remedies for constipation during pregnancy.

Here they are...

Peach Kernel Pills (a.k.a. Run Chong Wan)

  • Particularly good for dry stools
  • Possibly also some of the following (what we call "heat" signs):
    Dark Urine
    Red face or eyes

Ma Zi Ren Wan Teapills

  • Similar to Peach Kernel Pills in its effect, it's popular and effective. Studies have also proven it to be effective when the constipation is due to roundworm (ascaris), and to prevent constipation after anal surgery.

*************************Side note************************
A bit of a coincidence... as I'm writing this, a patient with constipation just contacted me to let me know that this formula (Ma Zi Ren Wan) seemed to do the trick for him. He took it for 1 1/2 days and was able to move his bowels. Previously, he required large amounts of prune juice to have a bowel movement.

He used a liquid extract form of it from "Far East Summit" brand.


Rhubarb teapills (a.k.a. Da Huang Jiang Zhi Wan)

  • Used as a purgative
  • For dry, hard constipation with fecal impaction.

*Note - The above herbal remedies for constipation should not be used for extended periods, especially by the elderly, as they contain an herb (rhubarb - "da huang") that tends to "drain" your body's energy with long use.

Five Seed Teapills (a.k.a. Wu Ren Wan)

  • A gentle formula, good for elderly or weak, debilitated people
  • Good following childbirth

Xiao Yao Wan

  • Pebble shaped stools (but not dry)
  • You feel a desire to move your bowels, but have a hard time doing it
  • Belching
  • Irritability
  • Distension in your abdomen
  • Women - suffer from P.M.S.

That type of constipation is caused by what we call "stagnation", and that herbal formula may be just what you need. It's especially beneficial for women who also suffer from P.M.S.

Mu Xiang Shun Qi Wan

  • Similar use to Xiao Yao Wan above, but good when the belching, abdominal distention and irritability symptoms are more severe.

Wen Pi Tang

  • Stools are not dry
  • No bowel movements for several days
  • Painful abdominal spasms
  • You feel cold
  • Cold limbs
  • Your face may be pale
  • Your urine may be light or clear colored

That type constipation is due to what we call internal "cold".

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (a.k.a. Ginseng and Astragalus Combination)

  • Stools are thin and long and not dry
  • You feel exhausted after having a bowel movement
  • You can have a bowel movement, but it takes great effort

That type constipation is due to having too little energy ("Qi").

Ba Zhen Wan (a.k.a. Eight Precious Pills, Women's Eight Treasure Tea Pills, Nu Ke Ba Zhen Wan or Fu Ke Zhen Ba Wan)

  • Dry stools
  • Your face is pale
  • You get dizzy
  • Your vision is blurry
  • Your limbs may feel numb

That constipation is due to what we call "blood deficiency", which is responsible for the other symptoms.

In my practice, I combine these herbal remedies for constipation with the other techniques discussed on this website. It's been effective for many chronic constipation sufferers when nothing else has helped.

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