Bacillary Dysentery

Bacillary dysentery, a bacterial infection of the intestines, can manifest in both acute and chronic forms. The condition is characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, and the presence of blood or pus in the stool. Chinese medicine offers various treatment approaches depending on the nature of the symptoms and the underlying cause. This article will discuss two acute forms of bacillary dysentery – superficial dampness heat and heat poisoning penetrating into the deep regions – and the chronic form of spleen yang deficiency, along with the recommended herbal remedies for each.

Acute Bacillary Dysentery

  1. Superficial Dampness Heat


  • Abdominal pain, congested chest, diarrhea with forceful discharge of stools, discharge of yellowish-red, turbid stools with bad smell, excessive perspiration, greasy taste in the mouth, jaundice, low fever, pain in the joints of the four limbs with swelling and heaviness, perspiration on hands and feet or the head, reddish and scant urine, retention of urine, swollen body of the tongue, thirst with no desire for drink, and yellowish body


  • Shao-Yao-Tang, a herbal formula to clear heat and remove dampness, regulate energy, and harmonize the blood
  • Suggested foods: carp, celery, horse bean, jellyfish skin, Job's-tears, prickly ash, hyacinth bean, oregano, sweet basil, adzuki bean, bamboo shoot, soybean sprouts, rosin, banana, bitter endive, black fungus, salt, spinach, strawberry, cucumber, leaf beet, mung bean, peppermint, and purslane
  1. Heat Poisoning Penetrating into the Deep Regions


  • Acute abdominal pain, acute onset of symptoms, breathing difficulty, cold and hot sensations together, discharge of pus and blood from the anus, discharge of blood from the mouth, severe headache, high fever, misty vision, nosebleed, lack of alertness, severe pain in the whole body, twitching, very difficult bowel movements, and vomiting of blood


  • Ge-Gan-Qin-Lian-Tang, a herbal formula to clear heat and remove dampness, cool the blood, and counteract poisoning
  • Suggested foods: adzuki bean, banana, bitter endive, bitter gourd, chicken egg white, chicken gall-bladder, cucumber, fig, mung bean, black and white pepper, peppermint, squash, and strawberry

Chronic Bacillary Dysentery

  1. Spleen Yang Deficiency


  • Abdominal pain, chronic bowel movement difficulty, cold in the forehead that does not warm up, dysentery with discharge of pus and blood, edema, hot sensations with nausea, and intermittent diarrhea


  • Huang-Lian-Tang, a herbal formula to warm the spleen yang, clear heat, and remove dampness
  • Suggested foods: air bladder of shark, chides cayenne pepper, fennel, nutmeg, black and white pepper, prickly ash, mutton, sword bean, and white or yellow mustard


Chinese medicine provides a variety of treatments for bacillary dysentery, depending on the patient's specific symptoms and the underlying cause. Herbal formulas and dietary recommendations are designed to address the root of the problem, whether it is dampness, heat, or a deficiency in the spleen yang. As with any medical condition, it is essential to consult a qualified practitioner for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.