Dementia, Including Alzheimer's Disease

Dementia is a common and complex neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including dementia. In TCM, dementia is often associated with Spleen-sputum, a condition characterized by the accumulation of excess phlegm and dampness in the body. This article will explore the different TCM treatments for dementia, focusing on strengthening the spleen and removing sputum to alleviate symptoms and improve cognitive function.

  1. Strengthening the Spleen and Removing Sputum

To strengthen the spleen and remove sputum, TCM practitioners often prescribe Liu-Jun-Zi-Tang or Xi-Xin-Tang. These herbal formulas can help alleviate symptoms such as abundant saliva, poor appetite, sudden crying and laughing, and memory loss. Foods that are beneficial for this condition include bamboo shoot, crown daisy, date, fresh ginger, leaf or brown mustard, black and white pepper, white or yellow mustard seed, asparagus, and pear.

  1. Simultaneous Occurrence of Sputum Congestion and Blood Coagulations

Patients with dementia who experience alternating illogical talking and silence, chest pain, and unclear consciousness may have a simultaneous occurrence of sputum congestion and blood coagulations. Chen-Shi-Vi-Zhuan-Dai-Dan can be used to disperse the liver energy congestion and transform blood coagulations while removing sputum. The recommended foods for this condition are similar to those for strengthening the spleen and removing sputum.

  1. Hot Sputum

Dementia patients with a history of asthma or chronic symptoms that worsen over time, such as insomnia and wheezing, may have hot sputum. Wen-Dan-Tang can be used to clear hot sputum. Beneficial foods for this condition include banana, bitter endive, black fungus, salt, spinach, strawberry, bamboo shoot, cucumber, Job's-tears, laver, leaf beet, mung bean, peppermint, purslane, salt, cat-tail, agar, radish, crown daisy, date, fresh ginger, leaf or brown mustard, black and white pepper, white or yellow mustard seed, asparagus, and pear.

  1. Spleen-Kidneys Yang Deficiency

Dementia patients with symptoms such as cold hands and feet, fatigue, and memory loss may have a spleen-kidneys yang deficiency. Shen-Oi-Wan with Er-Chen-Tang can be used to warm the kidneys and the spleen while transforming sputum and removing blood coagulations. Recommended foods for this condition include air bladder of shark, chicken, cayenne pepper, fennel, nutmeg, black and white pepper, prickly ash, mutton, sword bean, white or yellow mustard, kidneys, lobster, sardine, shrimp, sparrow, clove, dill seed, pistachio nut, sparrow egg, crab apple, raspberry, and walnuts.

  1. Liver-Kidneys Yin Deficiency

Dementia patients with symptoms such as dizziness, dry eyes or throat, explosive laughter and crying, and poor memory may have a liver-kidneys yin deficiency. Liu-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan or Sang-Nu-San-Jia-Tang can be used to water the yin and soften up the liver while transforming blood coagulations and stopping the internal wind. Beneficial foods for this condition include bird's nest, cheese, chicken egg, kidney bean, brown sugar, mussel, abalone, asparagus

, chicken egg, cuttlefish, duck, duck egg, white fungus, oyster, pork, royal jelly, chestnut, chicken liver, and pork kidneys.

  1. Simultaneous Energy Congestion and Blood Coagulations

Dementia patients experiencing abdominal swelling, congested chest, forgetfulness, and sudden fear and nervousness may have simultaneous energy congestion and blood coagulations. Tao-Ren-Fu-Sang-Fang can be used to activate the blood and transform coagulations while promoting energy circulation. Foods recommended for this condition include beef, cherry, bird's nest, butterfish, chicken, coconut meat, date, tofu, mustard seed, sweet rice, goose meat, mutton, jackfruit, squash, sweet potato, red and black date, rice, rock sugar, caraway seed, spearmint, common button mushroom, oregano, red bean, ambergris, dill seed, garlic, sweet basil, saffron, brown sugar, chestnut, eggplant, peach, black soybean, sturgeon, crab, distillers' grains, papaya, and saffron.


Traditional Chinese Medicine offers various treatment options for dementia, focusing on addressing the underlying imbalances within the body. Strengthening the spleen and removing sputum are essential in managing dementia symptoms. Herbal formulas and dietary recommendations can help improve patients' overall health and cognitive function. It is important to consult with a qualified TCM practitioner to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each individual's unique needs.