Cold Extremitiesaccording to TCM

What is Cold Extremities?

Cold extremities, a common ailment experienced by many, refers to a noticeable chill or lack of warmth in the hands and feet, which can sometimes extend to the arms and legs. This condition is more than just a temporary reaction to cold weather; for some, it is a persistent feeling that can affect their daily life.

The synonyms, including chilly hands and feet, cold sensation in extremities, and extremities cold sensation, all describe this uncomfortable state, highlighting its prevalence across different populations.

How does TCM view Cold Extremities?

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cold extremities are not just a superficial symptom but an indication of deeper imbalances within the body's energetic systems.

TCM interprets this condition as potentially stemming from a Deficiency of Qi (life force), or imbalance between Yin and Yang energy, leading to a failure to adequately warm and nourish the body's extremities. This holistic view emphasizes the interconnectedness of internal organ functions and the flow of Qi throughout the body.

Root Causes of Cold Extremities in TCM

TCM identifies several underlying patterns that may contribute to the sensation of cold extremities. Primary among these are Cold and Yang Deficiency patterns. Cold patterns, such as Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency, manifest symptoms like severe chills and a general feeling of cold, often treated with formulas like Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang.

On the other hand, Yang Deficiency, particularly in the Kidney, leads to a deep-seated coldness, lethargy, and pain in the lower back, for which You Gui Wan is commonly prescribed. These patterns underscore the importance of warmth and energy flow for maintaining balance and health in the body.

Explore below more details about what might cause Cold extremities according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • By Organ
  • Cold
  • Yang Deficiency
  • Qi Deficiency
  • Dampness
  • Yin Deficiency
  • Phlegm
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Heat
  • Blood Stasis
  • Yang Collapse
  • Qi Sinking
  • Yin Excess
  • Wind
  • Kidney
  • Spleen
  • Heart
  • Pericardium
  • Stomach
  • Large Intestine
  • Uterus
  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Small Intestine
Detailed description of the cause

Cold

In TCM "Cold" as a pattern of disharmony refers to a specific type of imbalance within the body's systems, often linked to a deficiency or weakness. It's not about feeling physically cold or having a common cold, but rather a metaphorical description of certain symptoms and underlying conditions. When a TCM practitioner says someone suffers from "Cold," it usually implies that the body's Yang energy, which is warm and active, is insufficient or overpowered by Yin energy, which is cool and passive. Symptoms of Cold in TCM can include a general feeling of coldness, cold limbs, pale complexion, low energy, slow metabolism, and a preference for warmth. ... see more

Cold Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Chills Diarrhea Abdominal Pain Absence Of Thirst Lack Of Appetite Aversion To Cold Trigeminal Neuralgia Piriformis Syndrome

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency Cold extremities, Low grade fever, Severe chills, Exhaustion, Hypersomnia, Lumbar pain, Lower back pain, Lower back coldness, General cold feeling, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Weak voice... see more Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang | Zai Zao San
Cold in the Uterus Cold hands and feet, Cold limbs, Diarrhea, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Thin vaginal discharge... see more Wen Jing Tang | Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang | Wen Qi Hua Shi Tang
Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel Cold hands and feet, Hypochondrial fullness with warmth relief, Testicular pain, Scrotal contraction, Vertical headaches, Chills, Cold extremities, Vomiting clear liquid, Vaginal atrophy... see more Nuan Gan Jian
Cold invading the Stomach Cold limbs, Severe upper abdominal pain, Chills, Cold extremities, Desire for hot beverages and foods, Vomiting clear liquid, Nausea, Deterioration after cold beverages... see more Liang Fu Wan | Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San | Wu Zhu Yu Tang
Cold-Phlegm Cold limbs, White and watery sputum, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Cold extremities, Nausea, Lack of appetite... see more Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang | San Zi Yang Qin Tang
Damp-Cold Cold limbs, Mouth ulcers, White and watery sputum, Nasal discharge, Sneezing, Chills, Abdominal pain, Cold extremities, Arthralgia, Diarrhea, Feeling of heaviness... see more Wei Ling Tang
Empty-Cold Cold limbs, Chills, Cold extremities, Pale face, Absence of thirst, Low energy, Perspiration, Diarrhea, Clear urination, Frequent urination... see more Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang | Da Jian Zhong Tang
Large Intestine Cold Cold limbs, Diarrhea, Abdominal pain, Borborygmi, Clear urination, Cold extremities Liang Fu Wan | Tao Hua Tang
Lesser Yin Cold Transformation Cold limbs, Chills, Diarrhea, Absence of thirst, Desire to lie in fetal position, Low energy, Hypersomnia, Cold extremities, Frequent pale urination... see more Si Ni Tang
Small Intestine Deficient and Cold Cold limbs, Borborygmi, Abdominal pain relieved by pressure or eating, Craving for hot beverages, Diarrhea, Pale and abudant urination, Cold extremities... see more Xiao Jian Zhong Tang | Shen Ling Bai Zhu San
Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp Cold extremities, Body pain, Bone and joint pain, Absence of thirst, Aversion to cold, Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal neuralgia, Piriformis syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, Cervical spondylosis... see more Fu Zi Tang
Exterior Cold invading the Interior Cold hands and feet, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Hypochondriac pain, Chills, Low grade fever, Cold extremities, Sweating that doesn't reduce fever, Epigastric palpitations, Dizziness, Twitching... see more Da Huang Fu Zi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Yang Deficiency

Yang deficiency in TCM refers to a state where the body's Yang energy, which is responsible for warmth, activity, and function, is weakened or diminished. This pattern of disharmony often arises from chronic illness, aging, or inherent constitutional weakness. Symptoms of Yang deficiency are typically associated with cold and sluggishness, such as a feeling of coldness, cold extremities, pale complexion, low energy or fatigue, and a desire for warmth. Digestive issues like poor appetite, loose stools, and water retention can also be indicative of Yang deficiency.... see more

Yang Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Pale Face Generalized Fatigue Diarrhea Frequent Urination Chills Absence Of Thirst General Weakness Lack Of Appetite

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency Cold extremities, Low grade fever, Severe chills, Exhaustion, Hypersomnia, Lumbar pain, Lower back pain, Lower back coldness, General cold feeling, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Weak voice... see more Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang | Zai Zao San
Kidney Yang Deficiency Cold extremities, Cold hands and feet, Cold limbs, Lower back pain, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Weak and cold knees, Lower back coldness, Chills, Weak legs, Bright pale face, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Leg edema, Female infertility, Diarrhea, Depression, Erectile dysfunction, Premature ejaculation, Oligospermia, Low sex drive, Pale and abudant urination... see more You Gui Wan | Er Xian Tang | Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan | Tu Si Zi Wan | Ba Wei Di Huang Wan | Shen Qi Wan
Lesser Yin Cold Transformation Cold limbs, Chills, Diarrhea, Absence of thirst, Desire to lie in fetal position, Low energy, Hypersomnia, Cold extremities, Frequent pale urination... see more Si Ni Tang
Lung Yang Deficiency Cold limbs, Coughing and wheezing with copious sputum, Cold extremities, Spontaneous sweat, Frequent colds or flu, Pale face, Generalized fatigue, Shortness of breath, Absence of thirst, Wheezing, Weak voice... see more Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang | Si Jun Zi Tang | Sheng Mai San
Spleen Yang Deficiency Cold limbs, Slight abdominal distension after eating, General weakness, Desire to lie in fetal position, Pale face, Cold extremities, Chills, Undigested food in stools, Excessive gas and flatulence, Bloated abdomen, Abdominal pain relieved by pressure and warmth, Dull shallow face... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Yi Huang Tang | Zhen Wu Tang | Huang Tu Tang
Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold Cold limbs, Epigastric pain relieved with pressure or eating, Lack of appetite, Desire for hot beverages and foods, Vomiting clear liquid, Absence of thirst, Weak limbs, Cold extremities, Generalized fatigue, Pale face... see more Wu Zhu Yu Tang | Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang | Xiao Jian Zhong Tang | Xiang Sha Yang Wei Wan
Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang Cold limbs, Chills, General cold feeling, Pale urine, Undigested food in stools, General weakness, Abdominal pain relieved by pressure and warmth, Frequent urination, Polyuria, Nocturia, White vaginal discharge... see more You Gui Wan | Ba Wei Di Huang Wan
Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp Cold extremities, Body pain, Bone and joint pain, Absence of thirst, Aversion to cold, Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal neuralgia, Piriformis syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, Cervical spondylosis... see more Fu Zi Tang
Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency Cold extremities, Pale face, Facial edema, Oedema of limbs, Abdominal distention, Shortness of breath, Diarrhea, Frequent urination, Lupus... see more Wu Ling San
Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang Cold hands and feet, Menopausal symptoms, Hypertension, Irregular periods, Menopausal hot flashes, Perspiration, Irritability, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Depression, Palpitations... see more Er Xian Tang | Er Zhi Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Deficiency

Qi Deficiency in TCM is like running low on battery power. Qi is the vital energy that powers every function in your body. When there's a Qi Deficiency, it means your body doesn't have enough of this essential energy. This can make you feel tired all the time, weak, or even cause shortness of breath. It's similar to how you feel when you haven't had enough sleep or nutritious food. Your body just doesn't have the energy it needs to perform at its best. Unlike modern medicine, which often focuses on specific physical causes for fatigue and weakness, TCM views Qi Deficiency as an overall energy depletion that affects your entire well-being, and it seeks to replenish and balance this vital energy.... see more

Qi Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Generalized Fatigue Lack Of Appetite Diarrhea Frequent Urination Amenorrhea Weak Limbs Nocturnal Emission Lower Back Weakness

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Qi Deficiency Cold limbs, General weakness, Weak voice, Generalized fatigue, Low energy, Reluctance to speak, Spontaneous sweat, Frequent colds or flu, Lack of appetite, Diarrhea, Shortness of breath... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Gui Pi Tang | Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang
Kidney Qi not Firm Cold limbs, Lower back pain, Lower back weakness, Polyuria, Weak urine stream, Enuresis, Nocturnal emission, Generalized fatigue, Chills, Cold extremities, White vaginal discharge, Bearing down sensation in abdomen, Recurrent miscarriage... see more You Gui Wan | Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan | Fu Tu Dan | Qing E Wan | Tu Si Zi Wan
Spleen Deficiency Cold limbs, Sticky vaginal discharge, Generalized fatigue, Depression, Cold extremities, Diarrhea, White vaginal discharge, Lack of appetite, Amenorrhea, Dull shallow face, Weak limbs... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Wan Dai Tang | Yi Huang Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Dampness

"Dampness" in TCM is a concept that describes a pattern of disharmony where the body accumulates excess moisture. Imagine the heavy, sticky feeling you get on a very humid day; that's similar to what dampness feels like internally. It can manifest as a sense of heaviness, bloating, sluggishness, or even a foggy mind. This condition is often thought to arise from environmental factors like living in a damp place, dietary habits that promote moisture in the body, or internal imbalances that hinder the body's ability to process fluids properly. In TCM, dampness can obstruct the normal flow of energy and fluids in the body, leading to various symptoms.... see more

Dampness Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Congestive Heart Failure Diarrhea Feeling Of Heaviness Back Pain Body Pain Bone And Joint Pain Absence Of Thirst Aversion To Cold

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Cold Cold limbs, Mouth ulcers, White and watery sputum, Nasal discharge, Sneezing, Chills, Abdominal pain, Cold extremities, Arthralgia, Diarrhea, Feeling of heaviness... see more Wei Ling Tang
Oedema Cold limbs, Abdominal edema, Ankle edema, Facial edema, Foot edema, Oedema of hands, Leg edema, Ocular swelling, Abdominal distention... see more Wu Ling San | Shen Qi Wan | Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang | Ping Wei San | Wu Pi Yin | Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang | Zhen Wu Tang | Yu Gong San | Zhou Che Wan
Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp Cold extremities, Body pain, Bone and joint pain, Absence of thirst, Aversion to cold, Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal neuralgia, Piriformis syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, Cervical spondylosis... see more Fu Zi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Yin Deficiency

Yin deficiency in TCM is a pattern of disharmony characterized by a depletion of the body's Yin energy, which represents the cooling, moistening, and nurturing aspects of our physiology. This condition often arises from factors like chronic stress, overwork, insufficient rest, or prolonged illness. Symptoms of Yin deficiency can include a sensation of heat, especially in the afternoon or evening, night sweats, insomnia, a dry mouth or throat, and a red tongue with little coating. There might also be a general feeling of restlessness or irritability. Since Yin is essential for balancing the body's active and warm Yang energy, its deficiency leads to a relative excess of Yang, manifesting as heat or dryness symptoms.... see more

Yin Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Frequent Urination Night Sweats Chills Back Pain Dizziness Tinnitus Menopausal Symptoms Hypertension

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang Cold hands and feet, Menopausal symptoms, Hypertension, Irregular periods, Menopausal hot flashes, Perspiration, Irritability, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Depression, Palpitations... see more Er Xian Tang | Er Zhi Wan
Kidney-Deficiency Cold limbs, Scanty menstruation, Pale menstrual flow, Back pain, Knee pain, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Frequent urination, Late menstruation, Chills, Cold extremities... see more You Gui Wan | Er Zhi Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Liang Di Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Phlegm

In TCM "Phlegm" as a pattern of disharmony is a complex concept that extends beyond the physical manifestation of mucus. It represents a pathological factor that can disrupt the flow of Qi (vital energy) and blood, leading to various health issues. Phlegm in TCM is seen as a sticky, turbid substance arising from the body's inability to metabolize fluids properly, often due to a dysfunction of the spleen. It's not only associated with respiratory problems like cough and congestion but also with systemic issues. Symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness, mental cloudiness, dizziness, and in some cases, the formation of lumps or masses. Phlegm can even be "invisible," contributing to emotional disturbances like depression or stress. ... see more

Phlegm Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Lack Of Appetite White And Watery Sputum Feeling Of Oppression Of The Chest Nausea Chronic Bronchitis Chronic Asthma Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Abdominal Edema

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Cold-Phlegm Cold limbs, White and watery sputum, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Cold extremities, Nausea, Lack of appetite... see more Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang | San Zi Yang Qin Tang
Oedema Cold limbs, Abdominal edema, Ankle edema, Facial edema, Foot edema, Oedema of hands, Leg edema, Ocular swelling, Abdominal distention... see more Wu Ling San | Shen Qi Wan | Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang | Ping Wei San | Wu Pi Yin | Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang | Zhen Wu Tang | Yu Gong San | Zhou Che Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Stagnation

Qi Stagnation in TCM is like having a traffic jam in your body's energy system. Qi, the vital life force that flows through your body, is supposed to move smoothly to maintain health and balance. But with Qi Stagnation, this flow gets blocked or slowed down, like cars stuck on a highway. This can lead to symptoms like feeling stressed, emotional mood swings, and physical discomfort, often described as a feeling of fullness or tightness, especially in the chest or abdomen. It's as though the body's internal energy circulation is disrupted, causing various issues. TCM sees this as an energy flow problem, different from modern medicine's focus on specific physiological processes.... see more

Qi Stagnation Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Palpitations Chest Distension Depression Throat Lumps Shortness Of Breath Sighing Lack Of Appetite Purple Lips

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heart Qi Stagnation Cold limbs, Palpitations, Chest distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Depression Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang
Pericardium Qi Stagnation Cold limbs, Mild chest pain, Chest distension, Stifling sensation in the chest, Sighing, Throat lumps, Palpitations, Depression, Irritability, Lack of appetite, Weak limbs, Cold extremities... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Heat

In TCM "Heat" signifies an excess of Yang energy, leading to an imbalance where heat predominates over the body's cool Yin aspects. This condition is metaphorically akin to an internal over-heating. Symptoms indicative of Heat can include feelings of warmth, fever, sweating, irritability, red face, thirst with a preference for cold drinks, and a rapid pulse. The tongue may appear red with a yellow coating. Unlike the common interpretation of heat in terms of temperature, in TCM, it represents a state of hyperactivity or inflammation in the body.... see more

Heat Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Nighttime Fever Delirium Confusion Incoherent Or Confused Speech Aphasia Feeling Hot Macules Coma

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heat in Pericardium Cold hands and feet, Nighttime fever, Delirium, Confusion, Incoherent or confused speech, Cold extremities... see more Qing Ying Tang | Zhi Bao Dan
Cold-Phlegm Cold limbs, White and watery sputum, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Cold extremities, Nausea, Lack of appetite... see more Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang | San Zi Yang Qin Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Blood Stasis

Blood Stasis in TCM is a concept where the blood flow in the body is not as smooth or efficient as it should be. Imagine a river that's supposed to flow freely, but instead, it's getting blocked or moving too slowly in some parts. This can lead to various health issues, like pain that feels sharp or stabbing, dark bruises, and a complexion that looks purplish. TCM believes that good health relies on the smooth and vibrant flow of Qi and blood throughout the body, so when blood gets stuck, it's like a traffic jam in your body, leading to discomfort or health problems.... see more

Blood Stasis Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heart Vessel obstructed Cold hands and feet, Palpitations, Shortness of breath, Depression, Restlessness, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Heart pain, Chest pain, Sputum, Feeling of heaviness, Reluctance to speak, Cold extremities, Sighing, Purple lips, Purple nails, Purple face... see more Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang | Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Di Tan Tang | Dang Gui Si Ni Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Yang Collapse

Yang Collapse in TCM represents a severe and acute condition where the body's Yang energy, the driving force behind warmth and metabolic function, is drastically depleted. This state is more critical than a simple Yang deficiency and is considered an emergency in TCM. Symptoms of Yang Collapse include extreme coldness, especially in the limbs, a feeling of cold that is unrelieved by warmth, profuse cold sweating, shallow breathing, and a very weak and slow pulse. There may also be signs of severe metabolic slowing, such as lethargy, drowsiness, or even loss of consciousness, alongside pale or bluish complexion. Yang Collapse requires urgent treatment to rescue the patient from a potentially life-threatening state. The focus is on rapidly warming and reviving the Yang energy. ... see more

Yang Collapse Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Collapse of Yang Cold limbs, Low energy, Chills, Cold extremities, Bright pale face, Sweating on forehead, Absence of thirst, Urinary or fecal incontinence, Frequent urination, Diarrhea... see more Shen Fu Tang | Hui Yang Jiu Ji Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Sinking

Qi Sinking is a pattern of disharmony in TCM where the body's energy, or Qi, is thought to "sink" or drop down. Imagine a balloon slowly deflating and falling; that's similar to what happens with Qi Sinking. This can lead to feelings of heaviness, fatigue, and even physical symptoms like prolapse of organs or frequent urination. It's as if the body's energy, which usually supports and holds things in place, isn't able to do its job properly. TCM views this as an imbalance where the uplifting and supporting qualities of Qi are weakened.... see more

Qi Sinking Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Large Intestine collapse Cold limbs, Chronic diarrhea, Anus prolapse, Hemorrhoids, Generalized fatigue, Cold extremities, Lack of appetite, Mental exhaustion, Craving for hot beverages... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Yin Excess

Yin Excess in TCM is a pattern of disharmony characterized by an overabundance of Yin energy, leading to symptoms of dampness and coldness in the body. This condition often results from an imbalance where the cooling, moistening aspects of Yin overshadow the warm, active qualities of Yang energy. Symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness, lethargy, cold sensations, pale complexion, and possibly edema or fluid retention. Digestive issues such as poor appetite, bloating, and loose stools may also be present, reflecting the impact of excess Yin on the body's metabolic processes. Treatment in TCM for Yin Excess focuses on reducing the excess Yin and stimulating Yang energy to restore balance. ... see more

Yin Excess Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Yin Excess Cold limbs, Absence of thirst, Slow and forceful movement, Epigastric pain worsen by pressure, Polyuria, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Nausea, Excessive vaginal discharge, Lack of appetite, Pain relieved by heat, Chills, Cold extremities, Pale urine... see more Wu Ling San | Wu Pi Yin
Detailed description of the cause

Wind

In TCM "Wind" is a concept that represents a pattern of disharmony, often characterized by its sudden and unpredictable nature, much like a gusty wind changing direction without warning. This pattern is associated with symptoms that come and go quickly or move around the body, such as itching, tremors, or even certain types of pain. Wind is considered to be a primary cause of illnesses that have these rapidly changing characteristics. In TCM, external Wind often refers to illnesses that start suddenly, like the common cold, believed to be caused by external pathogenic factors like climatic changes. On the other hand, internal Wind can be linked to internal imbalances and can manifest in conditions like dizziness or spasms. ... see more

Wind Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency Cold extremities, Low grade fever, Severe chills, Exhaustion, Hypersomnia, Lumbar pain, Lower back pain, Lower back coldness, General cold feeling, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Weak voice... see more Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang | Zai Zao San
Detailed description of the cause

Kidney

In TCM the Kidneys are regarded as the body's most fundamental reservoir of Essence, known as Jing, which influences growth, reproduction, and aging. They are not just organs for filtering blood, but a holistic system governing vital life forces. When the Kidneys malfunction in TCM, it can manifest as a variety of health issues, such as chronic fatigue, reproductive problems, imbalances in fluid metabolism leading to edema or dryness, lower back pain, and a sense of fear or insecurity.... see more

Kidney Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Frequent Urination Chills Pale Face Diarrhea Lower Back Pain Dizziness Tinnitus Knee Pain

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Kidney Yang Deficiency Cold extremities, Cold hands and feet, Cold limbs, Lower back pain, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Weak and cold knees, Lower back coldness, Chills, Weak legs, Bright pale face, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Leg edema, Female infertility, Diarrhea, Depression, Erectile dysfunction, Premature ejaculation, Oligospermia, Low sex drive, Pale and abudant urination... see more You Gui Wan | Er Xian Tang | Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan | Tu Si Zi Wan | Ba Wei Di Huang Wan | Shen Qi Wan
Kidney Qi not Firm Cold limbs, Lower back pain, Lower back weakness, Polyuria, Weak urine stream, Enuresis, Nocturnal emission, Generalized fatigue, Chills, Cold extremities, White vaginal discharge, Bearing down sensation in abdomen, Recurrent miscarriage... see more You Gui Wan | Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan | Fu Tu Dan | Qing E Wan | Tu Si Zi Wan
Kidneys failing to receive Qi Cold limbs, Exertional dyspnea, Rapid respiration, Weak respiratory, Difficulty breathing in, Chronic coughing, Asthma, Spontaneous sweat, Cold extremities, Facial edema, Emaciation, Low energy, Lower back pain, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Clear urination... see more You Gui Wan | Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang | Ren Shen Ge Jie San
Lesser Yin Cold Transformation Cold limbs, Chills, Diarrhea, Absence of thirst, Desire to lie in fetal position, Low energy, Hypersomnia, Cold extremities, Frequent pale urination... see more Si Ni Tang
Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency Cold extremities, Pale face, Facial edema, Oedema of limbs, Abdominal distention, Shortness of breath, Diarrhea, Frequent urination, Lupus... see more Wu Ling San
Kidney-Deficiency Cold limbs, Scanty menstruation, Pale menstrual flow, Back pain, Knee pain, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Frequent urination, Late menstruation, Chills, Cold extremities... see more You Gui Wan | Er Zhi Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Liang Di Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Spleen

In TCM the Spleen plays a vital role in digestion and transformation, converting food into energy and nutrients, and overseeing the distribution of Qi and Blood. It's also crucial in maintaining the health of muscles and limbs and ensuring the blood remains within the vessels. When the Spleen malfunctions in TCM, it can lead to a variety of issues such as digestive disorders, fatigue, weak muscles, bloating, and a feeling of heaviness. It can also cause a pale complexion, poor appetite, and a tendency to bruise easily. Emotionally, a Spleen imbalance is often associated with excessive worry or overthinking, reflecting its role in the interplay between physical and mental health.... see more

Spleen Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Diarrhea Pale Face Generalized Fatigue Lack Of Appetite Dull Shallow Face Weak Limbs Edema Facial Edema

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Spleen Yang Deficiency Cold limbs, Slight abdominal distension after eating, General weakness, Desire to lie in fetal position, Pale face, Cold extremities, Chills, Undigested food in stools, Excessive gas and flatulence, Bloated abdomen, Abdominal pain relieved by pressure and warmth, Dull shallow face... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Yi Huang Tang | Zhen Wu Tang | Huang Tu Tang
Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency Cold extremities, Pale face, Facial edema, Oedema of limbs, Abdominal distention, Shortness of breath, Diarrhea, Frequent urination, Lupus... see more Wu Ling San
Spleen Deficiency Cold limbs, Sticky vaginal discharge, Generalized fatigue, Depression, Cold extremities, Diarrhea, White vaginal discharge, Lack of appetite, Amenorrhea, Dull shallow face, Weak limbs... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Wan Dai Tang | Yi Huang Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Heart

In TCM the Heart is considered the "emperor" of all organs, primarily responsible for governing Blood and housing the mind, known as "Shen." It plays a crucial role in maintaining mental-emotional equilibrium and controlling the circulation of Qi and blood throughout the body. When the Heart is imbalanced or malfunctions in TCM, it can lead to a range of issues like heart palpitations, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, anxiety, and a flushed complexion. Emotional disturbances such as excessive joy or lack of joy are also seen as signs of Heart disharmony. These symptoms reflect not just physical heart conditions but also the state of one's Shen, indicating the interconnectedness of physical and emotional well-being in TCM.... see more

Heart Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Palpitations Shortness Of Breath Depression Feeling Of Oppression Of The Chest Sighing Purple Lips Restlessness Heart Pain

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heart Vessel obstructed Cold hands and feet, Palpitations, Shortness of breath, Depression, Restlessness, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Heart pain, Chest pain, Sputum, Feeling of heaviness, Reluctance to speak, Cold extremities, Sighing, Purple lips, Purple nails, Purple face... see more Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang | Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Di Tan Tang | Dang Gui Si Ni Tang
Heart Qi Stagnation Cold limbs, Palpitations, Chest distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Depression Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Pericardium

In TCM the Pericardium is more than a physical membrane protecting the heart; it's considered an organ system that acts as the "Heart's protector." It plays a crucial role in safeguarding the heart from external pathogenic factors and emotional disturbances. The Pericardium is also involved in regulating blood circulation and influencing emotional well-being, especially in terms of relationships and intimacy. When the Pericardium malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to symptoms that mirror heart issues, such as chest pain or palpitations, but often with an emotional component like difficulty in forming emotional connections or excessive vulnerability to external stressors. Additionally, a disturbed Pericardium can result in sleep disturbances, anxiety, and in severe cases, mental confusion, reflecting its integral role in both physical heart protection and emotional balance.... see more

Pericardium Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Nighttime Fever Delirium Confusion Incoherent Or Confused Speech Aphasia Feeling Hot Macules Coma

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heat in Pericardium Cold hands and feet, Nighttime fever, Delirium, Confusion, Incoherent or confused speech, Cold extremities... see more Qing Ying Tang | Zhi Bao Dan
Pericardium Qi Stagnation Cold limbs, Mild chest pain, Chest distension, Stifling sensation in the chest, Sighing, Throat lumps, Palpitations, Depression, Irritability, Lack of appetite, Weak limbs, Cold extremities... see more Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Stomach

In TCM the Stomach is regarded as the "sea of nourishment," pivotal for digesting food and transforming it into Qi and blood. It works closely with the Spleen to distribute these essential nutrients throughout the body. When the Stomach is out of balance or malfunctions in TCM, it often leads to digestive problems such as bloating, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, or a feeling of fullness. There may also be issues like acid reflux or a sour taste in the mouth. Emotionally, an imbalanced Stomach can contribute to excessive worry and overthinking, reflecting the TCM belief that physical and emotional well-being are deeply interconnected.... see more

Stomach Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Desire For Hot Beverages And Foods Vomiting Clear Liquid Severe Upper Abdominal Pain Chills Nausea Deterioration After Cold Beverages Epigastric Pain Relieved With Pressure Or Eating Lack Of Appetite

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Cold invading the Stomach Cold limbs, Severe upper abdominal pain, Chills, Cold extremities, Desire for hot beverages and foods, Vomiting clear liquid, Nausea, Deterioration after cold beverages... see more Liang Fu Wan | Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San | Wu Zhu Yu Tang
Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold Cold limbs, Epigastric pain relieved with pressure or eating, Lack of appetite, Desire for hot beverages and foods, Vomiting clear liquid, Absence of thirst, Weak limbs, Cold extremities, Generalized fatigue, Pale face... see more Wu Zhu Yu Tang | Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang | Xiao Jian Zhong Tang | Xiang Sha Yang Wei Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Large Intestine

In TCM the Large Intestine is primarily seen as responsible for the absorption of fluids and the excretion of waste. It is closely related to the Lung in terms of energy flow and function, reflecting the interconnectedness of organ systems in TCM. When the Large Intestine malfunctions, it can lead to issues such as constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, and an inability to let go of emotional waste, like holding onto grief or stress. This is in line with the TCM view that the physical and emotional aspects of health are deeply connected. An imbalanced Large Intestine can also manifest as skin problems, signifying the organ’s role in eliminating toxins and maintaining balance in the body’s internal environment.... see more

Large Intestine Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Common Symptoms: Diarrhea Abdominal Pain Borborygmi Clear Urination Chronic Diarrhea Anus Prolapse Hemorrhoids Generalized Fatigue

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Large Intestine Cold Cold limbs, Diarrhea, Abdominal pain, Borborygmi, Clear urination, Cold extremities Liang Fu Wan | Tao Hua Tang
Large Intestine collapse Cold limbs, Chronic diarrhea, Anus prolapse, Hemorrhoids, Generalized fatigue, Cold extremities, Lack of appetite, Mental exhaustion, Craving for hot beverages... see more Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Uterus

In TCM the Uterus (or "Bao Gong") is not just a reproductive organ but a vital system closely linked to Kidney energy, responsible for menstrual health, fertility, and pregnancy. It's also connected to the Heart and Liver, reflecting the importance of emotional and blood health in reproductive wellness. In TCM, the Uterus is seen as a reservoir of Blood and Qi, crucial for reproductive health and general vitality. When the Uterus malfunctions or is imbalanced, it can lead to menstrual irregularities, infertility, miscarriages, or menopausal symptoms. Additionally, there might be symptoms like lower abdominal pain or emotional disturbances such as mood swings, often linked to Liver Qi stagnation. These manifestations highlight the TCM perspective that the health of the Uterus is intertwined with the overall balance of energy and blood in the body, as well as emotional well-being.... see more

Uterus Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Cold in the Uterus Cold hands and feet, Cold limbs, Diarrhea, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Thin vaginal discharge... see more Wen Jing Tang | Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang | Wen Qi Hua Shi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Liver

In TCM the Liver is viewed as the organ responsible for the smooth flow of Qi, Blood, and emotions throughout the body. It plays a key role in regulating mood, storing blood, supporting digestion, and ensuring the health of tendons and eyes. When the Liver malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to a range of issues such as irritability, mood swings, menstrual irregularities, eye problems, and muscular stiffness or pain. A malfunctioning Liver in TCM reflects not only physical disturbances but also emotional and mental disharmony, emphasizing the holistic approach of TCM in addressing health and wellness.... see more

Liver Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel Cold hands and feet, Hypochondrial fullness with warmth relief, Testicular pain, Scrotal contraction, Vertical headaches, Chills, Cold extremities, Vomiting clear liquid, Vaginal atrophy... see more Nuan Gan Jian
Detailed description of the cause

Lung

In TCM the Lungs are seen as the organ responsible for controlling Qi and respiration, as well as being a key part of the body's defensive system. They are thought to maintain the balance and flow of air and moisture, and are closely linked to the skin and hair. When the Lungs are imbalanced or malfunctioning in TCM, it can lead to respiratory issues like coughing or asthma, a weakened immune system, dry skin, and emotional disturbances such as sadness or grief. These symptoms are believed to arise from disruptions in the Lungs' ability to regulate Qi and protect the body, highlighting their central role in maintaining overall health and well-being.... see more

Lung Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Lung Yang Deficiency Cold limbs, Coughing and wheezing with copious sputum, Cold extremities, Spontaneous sweat, Frequent colds or flu, Pale face, Generalized fatigue, Shortness of breath, Absence of thirst, Wheezing, Weak voice... see more Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang | Si Jun Zi Tang | Sheng Mai San
Detailed description of the cause

Small Intestine

In TCM the Small Intestine plays a critical role in receiving partially digested food from the Stomach and further separating the clear from the turbid, essentially distinguishing nutrients from waste. This process is vital for proper absorption and assimilation of food. The Small Intestine is also associated with clarity of judgment and decision-making. When it malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to digestive issues such as abdominal pain, bloating, poor appetite, or irregular bowel movements. Additionally, a malfunctioning Small Intestine may manifest as mental confusion or difficulty in making decisions, reflecting its role in discernment and clarity in both physical and mental realms. ... see more

Small Intestine Patterns That Can Lead to Cold Extremities

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Small Intestine Deficient and Cold Cold limbs, Borborygmi, Abdominal pain relieved by pressure or eating, Craving for hot beverages, Diarrhea, Pale and abudant urination, Cold extremities... see more Xiao Jian Zhong Tang | Shen Ling Bai Zhu San

TCM Herbal Formulas for Cold Extremities

In addressing cold extremities, TCM leans on a rich pharmacopeia of herbs and formulas designed to warm the body, boost Yang energy, and improve Qi and Blood circulation. Formulas like Wen Jing Tang and Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang are tailored to combat Cold and Yang Deficiency, respectively, by warming the interior and dispelling coldness.

The choice of formula is highly individualized, based on the specific pattern of disharmony identified by a TCM practitioner, underscoring the personalized approach of TCM to treatment.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address cold extremities, organized by cause and by formula type.

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Cold
  • Yang Deficiency
  • Qi Deficiency
  • Dampness
  • Yin Deficiency
  • Phlegm
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Heat
  • Blood Stasis
  • Yang Collapse
  • Qi Sinking
  • Yin Excess
  • Wind
  • Formulas that tonify qi
  • Formulas that warm yang and tonify
  • Formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold
  • Formulas that promote qi movement
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that warm and transform water and dampness
  • Formulas that promote urination and leach out dampness
  • Formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation
  • Formulas that rescue devastated yang
  • Formulas that clear exterior disorders with interior deficiency
  • Formulas that warm interior cold
  • Formulas that tonify qi and blood
  • Formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge
  • Formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach
  • Formulas that warm and transform phlegm-Cold
  • Formulas that secure essence and stop enuresis
  • Formulas that drive out excess water
  • Formulas that warm and purge
  • Formulas that dispel phlegm
  • Formulas that clear nutritive-level heat
  • Formulas that clear heat and open sensory orifices
  • Formulas that tonify yin and yang
  • Formulas that expel dampness
  • Formulas for a rebellious qi
  • Formulas that bind up intestines and secure abandoned conditions
  • Formulas that stop bleeding
  • Formulas that expel parasites

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Cold

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Liang Fu Wan Cold invading the Stomach, Large Intestine Cold
Wen Jing Tang Cold in the Uterus
Wu Zhu Yu Tang Cold invading the Stomach
Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang Empty-Cold
Xiao Jian Zhong Tang Small Intestine Deficient and Cold
Fu Zi Tang Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp
Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency
Zai Zao San Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang Cold in the Uterus
Wen Qi Hua Shi Tang Cold in the Uterus
Da Huang Fu Zi Tang Exterior Cold invading the Interior
Nuan Gan Jian Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel
Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San Cold invading the Stomach
Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang Cold-Phlegm
San Zi Yang Qin Tang Cold-Phlegm
Wei Ling Tang Damp-Cold
Da Jian Zhong Tang Empty-Cold
Tao Hua Tang Large Intestine Cold
Si Ni Tang Lesser Yin Cold Transformation
Shen Ling Bai Zhu San Small Intestine Deficient and Cold

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Yang Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
You Gui Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency, Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang
Er Xian Tang Kidney Yang Deficiency, Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang
Ba Wei Di Huang Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency, Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Spleen Yang Deficiency
Wu Ling San Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency
Tu Si Zi Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency
Shen Qi Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency
Er Zhi Wan Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang
Yi Huang Tang Spleen Yang Deficiency
Zhen Wu Tang Spleen Yang Deficiency
Wu Zhu Yu Tang Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold
Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold
Xiao Jian Zhong Tang Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold
Fu Zi Tang Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp
Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency
Zai Zao San Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency
Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency
Si Ni Tang Lesser Yin Cold Transformation
Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang Lung Yang Deficiency
Si Jun Zi Tang Lung Yang Deficiency
Sheng Mai San Lung Yang Deficiency
Huang Tu Tang Spleen Yang Deficiency
Xiang Sha Yang Wei Wan Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Qi Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Qi Deficiency, Spleen Deficiency
You Gui Wan Kidney Qi not Firm
Yi Huang Tang Spleen Deficiency
Tu Si Zi Wan Kidney Qi not Firm
Gui Pi Tang Qi Deficiency
Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang Qi Deficiency
Wan Dai Tang Spleen Deficiency
Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan Kidney Qi not Firm
Fu Tu Dan Kidney Qi not Firm
Qing E Wan Kidney Qi not Firm

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Dampness

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Wu Ling San Oedema
Shen Qi Wan Oedema
Wu Pi Yin Oedema
Zhen Wu Tang Oedema
Fu Zi Tang Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp
Wei Ling Tang Damp-Cold
Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang Oedema
Ping Wei San Oedema
Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang Oedema
Yu Gong San Oedema
Zhou Che Wan Oedema

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Yin Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Er Zhi Wan Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang, Kidney-Deficiency
You Gui Wan Kidney-Deficiency
Er Xian Tang Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang
Zuo Gui Wan Kidney-Deficiency
Liang Di Tang Kidney-Deficiency

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Phlegm

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Wu Ling San Oedema
Shen Qi Wan Oedema
Wu Pi Yin Oedema
Zhen Wu Tang Oedema
Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang Cold-Phlegm
San Zi Yang Qin Tang Cold-Phlegm
Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang Oedema
Ping Wei San Oedema
Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang Oedema
Yu Gong San Oedema
Zhou Che Wan Oedema

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Heat

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Qing Ying Tang Heat in Pericardium
Zhi Bao Dan Heat in Pericardium
Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang Cold-Phlegm
San Zi Yang Qin Tang Cold-Phlegm

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Blood Stasis

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang Heart Vessel obstructed
Chai Hu Shu Gan San Heart Vessel obstructed
Di Tan Tang Heart Vessel obstructed
Dang Gui Si Ni Tang Heart Vessel obstructed

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Yang Collapse

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Shen Fu Tang Collapse of Yang
Hui Yang Jiu Ji Tang Collapse of Yang

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Yin Excess

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Wu Ling San Yin Excess
Wu Pi Yin Yin Excess

All Formulas Recommended for Cold Extremities Caused by Wind

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency
Zai Zao San Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency

All "formulas that tonify qi" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Qi Deficiency, Spleen Deficiency, Large Intestine collapse, Spleen Yang Deficiency... see more
Ren Shen Ge Jie San Kidneys failing to receive Qi
Si Jun Zi Tang Lung Yang Deficiency
Sheng Mai San Lung Yang Deficiency
Shen Ling Bai Zhu San Small Intestine Deficient and Cold
Xiang Sha Yang Wei Wan Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold

All "formulas that warm yang and tonify" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
You Gui Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency, Kidney-Deficiency, Kidney Qi not Firm, Kidneys failing to receive Qi, Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang... see more
Tu Si Zi Wan Kidney Qi not Firm, Kidney Yang Deficiency
Shen Qi Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency, Oedema
Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency
Qing E Wan Kidney Qi not Firm

All "formulas that promote qi movement" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Liang Fu Wan Cold invading the Stomach, Large Intestine Cold
Ban Xia Hou Pu Tang Heart Qi Stagnation, Pericardium Qi Stagnation
Chai Hu Shu Gan San Heart Vessel obstructed
Nuan Gan Jian Stagnation of Cold in the Liver Channel

All "formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Wu Zhu Yu Tang Cold invading the Stomach, Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold
Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang Empty-Cold, Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold
Xiao Jian Zhong Tang Small Intestine Deficient and Cold, Stomach Yang Deficient and Cold
Wen Qi Hua Shi Tang Cold in the Uterus
Da Jian Zhong Tang Empty-Cold

All "formulas that nourish yin and tonify" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Er Zhi Wan Deficiency of both the Kidney Yin and Yang, Kidney-Deficiency
Ba Wei Di Huang Wan Kidney Yang Deficiency, Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang
Zuo Gui Wan Kidney-Deficiency
Liang Di Tang Kidney-Deficiency

All "formulas that warm and transform water and dampness" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Zhen Wu Tang Oedema, Spleen Yang Deficiency
Fu Zi Tang Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp
Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang Oedema

All "formulas that promote urination and leach out dampness" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Wu Ling San Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency, Oedema, Yin Excess
Wu Pi Yin Oedema, Yin Excess
Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang Oedema

All "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Wen Jing Tang Cold in the Uterus, Dampness and Phlegm in the Uterus
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang Cold in the Uterus
Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang Heart Vessel obstructed

All "formulas that rescue devastated yang" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Shen Fu Tang Heart Yang Collapsing, Collapse of Yang
Hui Yang Jiu Ji Tang Collapse of Yang
Si Ni Tang Lesser Yin Cold Transformation

All "formulas that warm interior cold" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Dang Gui Si Ni Tang Heart Vessel obstructed
Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang Lung Yang Deficiency

All "formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Yi Huang Tang Spleen Deficiency, Spleen Yang Deficiency
Wan Dai Tang Spleen Deficiency

All "formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San Cold invading the Stomach
Ping Wei San Oedema

All "formulas that clear exterior disorders with interior deficiency" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Ma Huang Xi Xin Fu Zi Tang Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency
Zai Zao San Wind-Cold invading with Yang Deficiency

All "formulas that tonify qi and blood" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Gui Pi Tang Qi Deficiency
Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang Qi Deficiency

All "formulas that warm and transform phlegm-Cold" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang Cold-Phlegm
San Zi Yang Qin Tang Cold-Phlegm

All "formulas that secure essence and stop enuresis" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan Kidney Qi not Firm
Fu Tu Dan Kidney Qi not Firm

All "formulas that drive out excess water" recommended for cold extremities

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Yu Gong San Oedema
Zhou Che Wan Oedema

Acupoints for Cold Extremities

TCM also employs acupuncture as a means to alleviate cold extremities, targeting specific acupoints that stimulate the body’s internal warming mechanisms and promote the smooth flow of Qi and Blood.

Acupoints such as Daheng SP-15 and Qihai REN-6 are vital for their roles in strengthening the Spleen, tonifying Yang, and enhancing the overall energy flow, thereby addressing the root causes of cold extremities. This method, alongside herbal therapy, forms a comprehensive approach to treating cold extremities, emphasizing the restoration of balance and warmth within the body.

Explore below some acupoints used to address cold extremities, organized by meridian.

  • By Meridian
  • Spleen Channel
  • Directing Vessel
Daheng SP-15

Daheng SP-15

On the mammillary line 4 cun lateral to the umbilicus center.

Qihai REN-6

Qihai REN-6

On the midline of the abdomen, 1.5 cun below the umbilicus.