What is Dark Urine?

Dark urine is a condition where the urine appears significantly darker than the usual pale yellow color. This can be indicative of various health issues, ranging from mild dehydration to more serious conditions affecting the liver or kidneys.

Synonyms for this symptom include dark-colored urine and hyperchromic urine. A sub-symptom often associated with dark urine is scanty and dark urine, which refers to both the color and the reduced quantity of urine output.

How Does TCM View Dark Urine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches dark urine as a sign of underlying imbalances within the body's energy systems. Unlike Western medicine, which often focuses on the symptom itself, TCM aims to identify and treat the root cause of the symptom.

Dark urine in TCM is usually seen as an indication of excess Heat or Dampness in the body, and the treatment strategy revolves around restoring balance and harmony to the affected organs and meridians.

Root Causes of Dark Urine in TCM

In TCM, several patterns can lead to dark urine, but two common causes stand out. First, Heat in the Blood can cause dark urine, accompanied by symptoms like feeling hot, red skin eruptions, and thirst.

The second cause is Toxic-Heat, which might present with fever, edema, and red skin eruptions along with dark urine. TCM treatments focus on addressing these underlying patterns through a combination of dietary adjustments, herbal remedies, and lifestyle changes to restore balance and alleviate symptoms.

Explore below more details about what might cause Dark urine according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • By Organ
  • Heat
  • Dampness
  • Yin Deficiency
  • Wind
  • Cold
  • Mind Disturbance
  • Qi Deficiency
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Yang Excess
  • Summer Heat
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Small Intestine
  • Heart
  • Spleen
  • Lung
  • Large Intestine
  • Stomach
  • Bladder
  • Uterus
  • Gallbladder
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Thirst Scanty And Dark Urine Fever Constipation Feeling Hot Bitter Taste In The Mouth Dizziness Irritability

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heat in the Blood Dark Urine, Feeling hot, Red skin eruptions, Thirst, Frequent bleeding, Bloody sputum, Hematochezia, Hematuria, Vomiting blood, Hemoptysis, Nosebleeds, Excessive menstruation... see more Qing Jing San | Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Liang Di Tang | Di Gu Pi Yin | Jia Wei Xiao Yao San
Toxic-Heat Dark Urine, Fever, Edema, Pus and discharge, Boils, Carbuncles, Pustule, Red skin eruptions, Sore throat, Eczema, Perineum swollen, Prostate swollen, Testicular swelling, Mouth ulcers, Tonsil swelling... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin | Yin Qiao San | Sang Ju Yin | Bai Hu Tang | Qing Ying Tang | Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang | Huang Lian Jie Du Tang | Xin Yi Qing Fei Yin | Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan | Shi Wei Bai Du San | San Zhong Kui Jian Tang | Zi Dang Gao | Er Qing Gao | Bing Peng San | Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin
Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines Dark Urine, Afternoon fever, Perspiration, Sweating on limbs, Abdominal fullness, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Dry stools, Thirst, Anal burning, Irritability, Delirium... see more Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang | Xiao Cheng Qi Tang
Damp-Heat in the Bladder Dark Urine, Frequent and urgent urination, Urinary burning, Urination stopping in the middle of flow, Cloudy urine, Hematuria, Fever, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Lower abdominal fullness and pain, Feeling hot... see more Ba Zheng San
Damp-Heat in the Liver Dark Urine, Hypochondrial fullness with warmth relief, Abdominal fullness, Lower abdominal fullness, Bitter taste in the mouth, Sticky taste in the mouth, Lack of appetite, Nausea, Feeling of heaviness, Yellow vaginal discharge, Vaginal itching, Vulvar eczema, Vulvar sores, Bleeding between periods, Midcycle bleeding pain, Red and swollen scrotum, Red and swelling genital, Papules, Itchy vesicular rashes, Urinary dysfunction, Urinary burning... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Yin Chen Hao Tang
Early Stage Summerheat with Exterior Wind-Cold Dark Urine, Fever, Chills, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Thirst, Flushed face, Stifling sensation in the chest, Feeling of heaviness, Body pain, Urinary dysfunction... see more Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin
Heart Fire blazing Dark Urine, Palpitations, Thirst, Mouth ulcers, Tongue ulcers, Restlessness, Anxiety, Feeling hot, Insomnia, Flushed face, Hematuria, Bitter taste in the mouth... see more Xie Xin Tang | Zi Xue Dan | Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin
Heat in Uterus Blood Dark Urine, Excessive menstruation, Sudden period before schedule, Dark menstrual blood, Sticky menstrual blood, Thirst, Flushed face, Anger, Anxiety, Constipation... see more Qing Re Gu Jing Tang | Huai Jiao Wan | Gu Jing Wan
Lesser Yin Heat Transformation Dark Urine, Feeling hot, Irritability, Insomnia, Dry mouth and throat at night, Night sweats Huang Lian E Jiao Tang
Liver Fire Blazing Dark Urine, Irritability, Anger, Tinnitus, Deafness, Temporal headache, Dizziness, Flushed face, Eye hyperemia, Thirst, Bitter taste in the mouth, Vivid dreaming, Constipation, Dry stools, Nosebleeds, Hemoptysis, Vomiting blood... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Dang Gui Long Hui Wan | Xie Qing Wan
Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire Dark Urine, Tremors, Irritability, Anger, Tinnitus, Deafness, Temporal headache, Dizziness, Flushed face, Eye hyperemia, Thirst, Bitter taste in the mouth, Vivid dreaming, Constipation, Dry stools, Nosebleeds, Vomiting blood, Hemoptysis... see more Zi Xue Dan | Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang | Feng Yin Tang
Toxic-Heat Stagnation Dark Urine, Pustule, Carbuncles, Fever, Red skin eruptions, Sore throat, Throat pain, Eczema, Perineum swollen, Prostate swollen, Testicular swelling, Mouth ulcers, Tonsil swelling... see more Huang Lian Jie Du Tang | Xin Yi Qing Fei Yin
Wind-Heat invading the Lungs Dark Urine, Aversion to cold, Fever, Coughing, Sore throat, Congested nose, Nasal discharge, Copious thick yellow sputum, Sneezing, Headaches, Body pain, Thirst, Tonsil swelling... see more Yin Qiao San
Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder Scanty and dark urine, Hypochondriac pain, Hypochondriac distention, Nausea or vomiting, Fat malabsorption, Dull yellow complexion, Fever, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Bitter taste in the mouth, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Irritability, Feeling of heaviness, Limb numbness, Foot edema, Alternating diarrhea and constipation, Alternating sensation of hot and cold, Yellow sclera... see more Yin Chen Hao Tang
Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine Scanty and dark urine, Abdominal pain, Abdominal fullness, Diarrhea, Hematochezia, Mucous in feces, Smelly stools, Anal burning, Fever, Perspiration, Feeling hot, Thirst, Feeling of heaviness... see more Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang | Shao Yao Tang
Damp-Heat invading the Spleen Scanty and dark urine, Lack of appetite, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Nausea or vomiting, Malodorous diarrhea, Anal burning, Feeling hot, Low grade fever, Dull headache, Dull yellow complexion, Yellow sclera, Oily sweat, Itchy rashes, Bitter taste in the mouth, Upper abdominal fullness, Upper abdominal pain... see more Lian Po Yin
Full-Heat in the Small Intestine Scanty and dark urine, Restlessness, Insomnia, Tongue ulcers, Mouth ulcers, Throat pain, Deafness, Cardiac burning sensation, Abdominal pain, Craving for cold beverages, Hematuria, Urinary burning... see more Dao Chi San
Heat in the Large Intestine Scanty and dark urine, Constipation, Burning mouth syndrome, Anal burning, Dry stools, Dry tongue Ma Zi Ren Wan
Damp-Heat Scanty and dark urine, Scanty dark urination, Fever, Neck gland swelling, Headaches, Tight feeling in chest and stomach, Sticky taste in the mouth, Absence of thirst, Feeling hot, Feeling of heaviness, Bitter taste in the mouth, Acne... see more Ba Zheng San | Yin Chen Hao Tang | Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan | Lian Po Yin | Er Miao San | Xiao Yao San | Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang | Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San
Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing Scanty and dark urine, Flushed cheekbones, Restlessness, Insomnia, Night sweats, Low grade fever in the afternoon, Heat sensation in palms, Afternoon heat sensation, Evening heat sensation, Hematuria, Dry throat, Preference for sipping, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emission, Hypersexuality, Dry stools... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan
Liver Fire insulting the Lungs Scanty and dark urine, Shortness of breath, Asthma, Hypochondriac pain and discomfort, Cough with yellow or blood tinged sputum, Headaches, Dizziness, Flushed face, Thirst, Bitter taste in the mouth, Eye hyperemia, Constipation... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Ke Xie Fang
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Scanty and dark urine, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San
Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency Scanty dark urination, Afternoon heat sensation, Xerostomia, Preference for sipping, Dry mouth and throat at night, Night sweats, Cardiac burning sensation, Hot palms and soles, Dry stools, Scanty and dark urine, Flushed cheekbones... see more Huang Lian E Jiao Tang | Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang | Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang
Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood Dark Urine, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Night sweats, Back pain, Bleeding between periods Liang Di Tang | Er Zhi Wan | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan
Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel Dark Urine, Vulvar itching, Yellow vaginal discharge, Painful intercourse, Restlessness, Irritability, Insomnia, Excessive vaginal discharge, Foul-Smelling vaginal discharge, Sticky vaginal discharge, Vaginal itching... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner Scanty and dark urine, Scanty and yellow urine, Lower back pain, Weakness of lower extremities, Red and swollen feet, Swollen knee, Thick greasy vaginal secretions, Ulcers on the lower limbs, Painful urination, Xerostomia, Dry throat... see more Ba Zheng San
Excess-Heat Scanty and dark urine, Fever, Flushed face, Red skin eruptions, Mottled skin, Irritability, Thirst, Arthritis, Constipation, Lupus... see more Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang
Painful Obstruction due to Damp Heat in Channels Scanty and dark urine, Heat and pain in the joints, Difficulty in moving, Fever, Chills, Dull yellow complexion, Rheumatic fever, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gouty inflammation, Connective tissue disorders... see more Xuan Bi 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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Fever Feeling Of Heaviness Scanty And Dark Urine Feeling Hot Bitter Taste In The Mouth Vaginal Itching Dry Mouth Without Desire To Drink Cystitis

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Heat in the Bladder Dark Urine, Frequent and urgent urination, Urinary burning, Urination stopping in the middle of flow, Cloudy urine, Hematuria, Fever, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Lower abdominal fullness and pain, Feeling hot... see more Ba Zheng San
Damp-Heat in the Liver Dark Urine, Hypochondrial fullness with warmth relief, Abdominal fullness, Lower abdominal fullness, Bitter taste in the mouth, Sticky taste in the mouth, Lack of appetite, Nausea, Feeling of heaviness, Yellow vaginal discharge, Vaginal itching, Vulvar eczema, Vulvar sores, Bleeding between periods, Midcycle bleeding pain, Red and swollen scrotum, Red and swelling genital, Papules, Itchy vesicular rashes, Urinary dysfunction, Urinary burning... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Yin Chen Hao Tang
Early Stage Summerheat with Exterior Wind-Cold Dark Urine, Fever, Chills, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Thirst, Flushed face, Stifling sensation in the chest, Feeling of heaviness, Body pain, Urinary dysfunction... see more Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin
Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder Scanty and dark urine, Hypochondriac pain, Hypochondriac distention, Nausea or vomiting, Fat malabsorption, Dull yellow complexion, Fever, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Bitter taste in the mouth, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Irritability, Feeling of heaviness, Limb numbness, Foot edema, Alternating diarrhea and constipation, Alternating sensation of hot and cold, Yellow sclera... see more Yin Chen Hao Tang
Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine Scanty and dark urine, Abdominal pain, Abdominal fullness, Diarrhea, Hematochezia, Mucous in feces, Smelly stools, Anal burning, Fever, Perspiration, Feeling hot, Thirst, Feeling of heaviness... see more Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang | Shao Yao Tang
Damp-Heat invading the Spleen Scanty and dark urine, Lack of appetite, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Nausea or vomiting, Malodorous diarrhea, Anal burning, Feeling hot, Low grade fever, Dull headache, Dull yellow complexion, Yellow sclera, Oily sweat, Itchy rashes, Bitter taste in the mouth, Upper abdominal fullness, Upper abdominal pain... see more Lian Po Yin
Damp-Heat Scanty and dark urine, Scanty dark urination, Fever, Neck gland swelling, Headaches, Tight feeling in chest and stomach, Sticky taste in the mouth, Absence of thirst, Feeling hot, Feeling of heaviness, Bitter taste in the mouth, Acne... see more Ba Zheng San | Yin Chen Hao Tang | Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan | Lian Po Yin | Er Miao San | Xiao Yao San | Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang | Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San
Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel Dark Urine, Vulvar itching, Yellow vaginal discharge, Painful intercourse, Restlessness, Irritability, Insomnia, Excessive vaginal discharge, Foul-Smelling vaginal discharge, Sticky vaginal discharge, Vaginal itching... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Spleen Deficiency with Dampness Dark Urine, Edema, Feeling of heaviness, Diarrhea, Urinary dysfunction, Glomerulonephritis, Kidney infection, Nephrotic syndrome, Cystitis, Hydrocele, Migraine... see more Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin | Liu Jun Zi Tang
Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner Scanty and dark urine, Scanty and yellow urine, Lower back pain, Weakness of lower extremities, Red and swollen feet, Swollen knee, Thick greasy vaginal secretions, Ulcers on the lower limbs, Painful urination, Xerostomia, Dry throat... see more Ba Zheng San
Painful Obstruction due to Damp Heat in Channels Scanty and dark urine, Heat and pain in the joints, Difficulty in moving, Fever, Chills, Dull yellow complexion, Rheumatic fever, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gouty inflammation, Connective tissue disorders... see more Xuan Bi 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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Night Sweats Dizziness Insomnia Tinnitus Dry Mouth And Throat At Night Flushed Cheekbones Restlessness Scanty And Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Lesser Yin Heat Transformation Dark Urine, Feeling hot, Irritability, Insomnia, Dry mouth and throat at night, Night sweats Huang Lian E Jiao Tang
Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing Scanty and dark urine, Flushed cheekbones, Restlessness, Insomnia, Night sweats, Low grade fever in the afternoon, Heat sensation in palms, Afternoon heat sensation, Evening heat sensation, Hematuria, Dry throat, Preference for sipping, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emission, Hypersexuality, Dry stools... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan
Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency Scanty dark urination, Afternoon heat sensation, Xerostomia, Preference for sipping, Dry mouth and throat at night, Night sweats, Cardiac burning sensation, Hot palms and soles, Dry stools, Scanty and dark urine, Flushed cheekbones... see more Huang Lian E Jiao Tang | Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang | Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang
Kidney Yin Deficiency Scanty dark urination, Perspiration, Back pain, Hearing loss, Dry mouth and throat at night, Lower back pain, Constipation, Scanty and dark urine, Infertility, Premature ejaculation, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Depression, Anxiety, Heat sensation in palms, Evening heat sensation, Flushed cheekbones, Menopausal hot flashes, Preference for sipping, Evening anxiety... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan | Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 2 | Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan
Yin Deficiency Scanty dark urination, Heat sensation in palms, Emaciation, Sore throat at night, Thirst, Anxiety, Jumpy, Scanty and dark urine, Dry stools, Dry mouth and throat at night, Nocturnal emission, Pain relieved by pressure and cold, Preference for sipping... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Mu Li San
Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood Dark Urine, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Night sweats, Back pain, Bleeding between periods Liang Di Tang | Er Zhi Wan | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Thirst Constipation Dry Stools Irritability Fever Headaches Flushed Face Body Pain

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines Dark Urine, Afternoon fever, Perspiration, Sweating on limbs, Abdominal fullness, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Dry stools, Thirst, Anal burning, Irritability, Delirium... see more Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang | Xiao Cheng Qi Tang
Early Stage Summerheat with Exterior Wind-Cold Dark Urine, Fever, Chills, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Thirst, Flushed face, Stifling sensation in the chest, Feeling of heaviness, Body pain, Urinary dysfunction... see more Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin
Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire Dark Urine, Tremors, Irritability, Anger, Tinnitus, Deafness, Temporal headache, Dizziness, Flushed face, Eye hyperemia, Thirst, Bitter taste in the mouth, Vivid dreaming, Constipation, Dry stools, Nosebleeds, Vomiting blood, Hemoptysis... see more Zi Xue Dan | Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang | Feng Yin Tang
Wind-Heat invading the Lungs Dark Urine, Aversion to cold, Fever, Coughing, Sore throat, Congested nose, Nasal discharge, Copious thick yellow sputum, Sneezing, Headaches, Body pain, Thirst, Tonsil swelling... see more Yin Qiao San
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Thirst Afternoon Fever Perspiration Sweating On Limbs Abdominal Fullness Abdominal Pain Constipation Dry Stools

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines Dark Urine, Afternoon fever, Perspiration, Sweating on limbs, Abdominal fullness, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Dry stools, Thirst, Anal burning, Irritability, Delirium... see more Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang | Xiao Cheng Qi Tang
Early Stage Summerheat with Exterior Wind-Cold Dark Urine, Fever, Chills, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Thirst, Flushed face, Stifling sensation in the chest, Feeling of heaviness, Body pain, Urinary dysfunction... see more Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin
Detailed description of the cause

Mind Disturbance

In TCM "Shen" refers to the mind or spirit, and a Shen disturbance is a pattern of disharmony that affects the mental and emotional state. This concept reflects the TCM belief in the deep interconnectedness of mind and body. Symptoms of Shen disturbance can vary widely but often include anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, confusion, or in severe cases, hallucinations or delirium. These symptoms indicate an imbalance in the body's energies affecting the heart, which in TCM is not only the center of blood circulation but also the seat of the mind and consciousness. The root of Shen disturbance can be traced to various factors, including emotional stress, physical illness, or an imbalance in fundamental substances like Qi, Yin, or Yang.... see more

Mind Disturbance Patterns That Can Lead to Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heart Fire blazing Dark Urine, Palpitations, Thirst, Mouth ulcers, Tongue ulcers, Restlessness, Anxiety, Feeling hot, Insomnia, Flushed face, Hematuria, Bitter taste in the mouth... see more Xie Xin Tang | Zi Xue Dan | Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin
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 Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Spleen Deficiency with Dampness Dark Urine, Edema, Feeling of heaviness, Diarrhea, Urinary dysfunction, Glomerulonephritis, Kidney infection, Nephrotic syndrome, Cystitis, Hydrocele, Migraine... see more Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin | Liu Jun Zi Tang
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 Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Scanty and dark urine, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San
Detailed description of the cause

Yang Excess

Yang Excess in TCM refers to a state where there is an overabundance of Yang energy, leading to symptoms of heat and hyperactivity in the body. This pattern of disharmony often arises from factors like stress, excessive physical activity, overconsumption of spicy or heating foods, or an internal imbalance that causes Yang to flare up. Symptoms of Yang Excess include a feeling of heat, red face, irritability, restlessness, thirst, constipation, and a rapid, forceful pulse. Treatment in TCM for Yang Excess aims to cool down and subdue the excessive Yang while nurturing Yin energy to restore balance.... see more

Yang Excess Patterns That Can Lead to Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Yang Excess or Full Yang Scanty dark urination, Feeling hot, Hyperactivity, Lack of sweating, Heat intolerance, Constipation Da Cheng Qi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Summer Heat

"Summer-Heat" in TCM is a unique concept that refers to a pattern of disharmony often associated with the hot summer months. Imagine the intense heat of summer stressing your body, like being in a sweltering, humid environment for too long. This can lead to symptoms like feeling overheated, excessive sweating, a feeling of irritation, and sometimes even nausea or dizziness. In TCM, this condition is thought to arise from the external environment's heat affecting the body's internal balance. It's similar to how we might feel uncomfortable and out of sorts on a very hot day. ... see more

Summer Heat Patterns That Can Lead to Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Early Stage Summerheat with Exterior Wind-Cold Dark Urine, Fever, Chills, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Thirst, Flushed face, Stifling sensation in the chest, Feeling of heaviness, Body pain, Urinary dysfunction... see more Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Bitter Taste In The Mouth Dizziness Irritability Flushed Face Eye Hyperemia Thirst Constipation Tinnitus

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Heat in the Liver Dark Urine, Hypochondrial fullness with warmth relief, Abdominal fullness, Lower abdominal fullness, Bitter taste in the mouth, Sticky taste in the mouth, Lack of appetite, Nausea, Feeling of heaviness, Yellow vaginal discharge, Vaginal itching, Vulvar eczema, Vulvar sores, Bleeding between periods, Midcycle bleeding pain, Red and swollen scrotum, Red and swelling genital, Papules, Itchy vesicular rashes, Urinary dysfunction, Urinary burning... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Yin Chen Hao Tang
Liver Fire Blazing Dark Urine, Irritability, Anger, Tinnitus, Deafness, Temporal headache, Dizziness, Flushed face, Eye hyperemia, Thirst, Bitter taste in the mouth, Vivid dreaming, Constipation, Dry stools, Nosebleeds, Hemoptysis, Vomiting blood... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Dang Gui Long Hui Wan | Xie Qing Wan
Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire Dark Urine, Tremors, Irritability, Anger, Tinnitus, Deafness, Temporal headache, Dizziness, Flushed face, Eye hyperemia, Thirst, Bitter taste in the mouth, Vivid dreaming, Constipation, Dry stools, Nosebleeds, Vomiting blood, Hemoptysis... see more Zi Xue Dan | Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang | Feng Yin Tang
Liver Fire insulting the Lungs Scanty and dark urine, Shortness of breath, Asthma, Hypochondriac pain and discomfort, Cough with yellow or blood tinged sputum, Headaches, Dizziness, Flushed face, Thirst, Bitter taste in the mouth, Eye hyperemia, Constipation... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Ke Xie Fang
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Scanty and dark urine, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San
Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood Dark Urine, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Night sweats, Back pain, Bleeding between periods Liang Di Tang | Er Zhi Wan | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan
Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel Dark Urine, Vulvar itching, Yellow vaginal discharge, Painful intercourse, Restlessness, Irritability, Insomnia, Excessive vaginal discharge, Foul-Smelling vaginal discharge, Sticky vaginal discharge, Vaginal itching... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Night Sweats Dizziness Tinnitus Insomnia Dry Mouth And Throat At Night Restlessness Heat Sensation In Palms Evening Heat Sensation

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Lesser Yin Heat Transformation Dark Urine, Feeling hot, Irritability, Insomnia, Dry mouth and throat at night, Night sweats Huang Lian E Jiao Tang
Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing Scanty and dark urine, Flushed cheekbones, Restlessness, Insomnia, Night sweats, Low grade fever in the afternoon, Heat sensation in palms, Afternoon heat sensation, Evening heat sensation, Hematuria, Dry throat, Preference for sipping, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emission, Hypersexuality, Dry stools... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan
Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized Scanty and dark urine, Palpitations, Restlessness, Insomnia, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Poor memory, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emissions with dreams, Evening heat sensation, Dry mouth and throat at night, Preference for sipping, Night sweats, Heat sensation in palms, Dry stools... see more Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin | Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Jiao Tai Wan
Kidney Yin Deficiency Scanty dark urination, Perspiration, Back pain, Hearing loss, Dry mouth and throat at night, Lower back pain, Constipation, Scanty and dark urine, Infertility, Premature ejaculation, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Depression, Anxiety, Heat sensation in palms, Evening heat sensation, Flushed cheekbones, Menopausal hot flashes, Preference for sipping, Evening anxiety... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan | Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 2 | Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan
Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood Dark Urine, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Night sweats, Back pain, Bleeding between periods Liang Di Tang | Er Zhi Wan | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Abdominal Pain Afternoon Fever Perspiration Sweating On Limbs Abdominal Fullness Constipation Dry Stools Thirst

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines Dark Urine, Afternoon fever, Perspiration, Sweating on limbs, Abdominal fullness, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Dry stools, Thirst, Anal burning, Irritability, Delirium... see more Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang | Xiao Cheng Qi Tang
Full-Heat in the Small Intestine Scanty and dark urine, Restlessness, Insomnia, Tongue ulcers, Mouth ulcers, Throat pain, Deafness, Cardiac burning sensation, Abdominal pain, Craving for cold beverages, Hematuria, Urinary burning... see more Dao Chi San
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Palpitations Restlessness Anxiety Insomnia Vivid Dreaming Thirst Mouth Ulcers Tongue Ulcers

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heart Fire blazing Dark Urine, Palpitations, Thirst, Mouth ulcers, Tongue ulcers, Restlessness, Anxiety, Feeling hot, Insomnia, Flushed face, Hematuria, Bitter taste in the mouth... see more Xie Xin Tang | Zi Xue Dan | Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin
Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized Scanty and dark urine, Palpitations, Restlessness, Insomnia, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Poor memory, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emissions with dreams, Evening heat sensation, Dry mouth and throat at night, Preference for sipping, Night sweats, Heat sensation in palms, Dry stools... see more Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin | Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Jiao Tai Wan
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Feeling Of Heaviness Edema Diarrhea Urinary Dysfunction Glomerulonephritis Kidney Infection Nephrotic Syndrome Cystitis

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Heat invading the Spleen Scanty and dark urine, Lack of appetite, Feeling of heaviness, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Nausea or vomiting, Malodorous diarrhea, Anal burning, Feeling hot, Low grade fever, Dull headache, Dull yellow complexion, Yellow sclera, Oily sweat, Itchy rashes, Bitter taste in the mouth, Upper abdominal fullness, Upper abdominal pain... see more Lian Po Yin
Spleen Deficiency with Dampness Dark Urine, Edema, Feeling of heaviness, Diarrhea, Urinary dysfunction, Glomerulonephritis, Kidney infection, Nephrotic syndrome, Cystitis, Hydrocele, Migraine... see more Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin | Liu Jun Zi Tang
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Headaches Thirst Aversion To Cold Fever Coughing Sore Throat Congested Nose Nasal Discharge

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Wind-Heat invading the Lungs Dark Urine, Aversion to cold, Fever, Coughing, Sore throat, Congested nose, Nasal discharge, Copious thick yellow sputum, Sneezing, Headaches, Body pain, Thirst, Tonsil swelling... see more Yin Qiao San
Liver Fire insulting the Lungs Scanty and dark urine, Shortness of breath, Asthma, Hypochondriac pain and discomfort, Cough with yellow or blood tinged sputum, Headaches, Dizziness, Flushed face, Thirst, Bitter taste in the mouth, Eye hyperemia, Constipation... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang | Ke Xie Fang
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 Dark Urine

Common Symptoms: Anal Burning Scanty And Dark Urine Abdominal Pain Abdominal Fullness Diarrhea Hematochezia Mucous In Feces Smelly Stools

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine Scanty and dark urine, Abdominal pain, Abdominal fullness, Diarrhea, Hematochezia, Mucous in feces, Smelly stools, Anal burning, Fever, Perspiration, Feeling hot, Thirst, Feeling of heaviness... see more Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang | Shao Yao Tang
Heat in the Large Intestine Scanty and dark urine, Constipation, Burning mouth syndrome, Anal burning, Dry stools, Dry tongue Ma Zi Ren Wan
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 Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines Dark Urine, Afternoon fever, Perspiration, Sweating on limbs, Abdominal fullness, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Dry stools, Thirst, Anal burning, Irritability, Delirium... see more Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang | Xiao Cheng Qi Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Bladder

In TCM the Bladder plays a crucial role beyond its basic function of storing and excreting urine. It is intimately connected with the Kidney system, helping to regulate the body's water balance and being a key component in the processing and elimination of fluids. The Bladder also influences the lower part of the body and the back. When it malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to urinary issues like frequent urination, incontinence, or painful urination. Additionally, there may be problems related to its meridian pathway, such as lower back pain, stiffness, or weakness in the legs. The Bladder’s condition in TCM can also reflect emotional states, with imbalances potentially leading to feelings of fear or anxiety.... see more

Bladder Patterns That Can Lead to Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Heat in the Bladder Dark Urine, Frequent and urgent urination, Urinary burning, Urination stopping in the middle of flow, Cloudy urine, Hematuria, Fever, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Lower abdominal fullness and pain, Feeling hot... see more Ba Zheng San
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 Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heat in Uterus Blood Dark Urine, Excessive menstruation, Sudden period before schedule, Dark menstrual blood, Sticky menstrual blood, Thirst, Flushed face, Anger, Anxiety, Constipation... see more Qing Re Gu Jing Tang | Huai Jiao Wan | Gu Jing Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Gallbladder

In TCM the Gallbladder has a unique role in storing and excreting bile, but more importantly, it's seen as crucial for decision-making and courage. It's closely connected to the Liver, assisting in the smooth flow of Qi (vital energy) and supporting the Liver's role in maintaining emotional balance. When the Gallbladder malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to physical symptoms like gallstones, jaundice, or a bitter taste in the mouth. There might also be digestive disturbances, particularly related to fat metabolism. On an emotional level, a Gallbladder disorder can manifest as indecisiveness, timidity, or a tendency to easily succumb to stress. These symptoms highlight the TCM view of the Gallbladder as integral to both physical processes and emotional resilience.... see more

Gallbladder Patterns That Can Lead to Dark Urine

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder Scanty and dark urine, Hypochondriac pain, Hypochondriac distention, Nausea or vomiting, Fat malabsorption, Dull yellow complexion, Fever, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Bitter taste in the mouth, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Irritability, Feeling of heaviness, Limb numbness, Foot edema, Alternating diarrhea and constipation, Alternating sensation of hot and cold, Yellow sclera... see more Yin Chen Hao Tang

TCM Herbal Formulas for Dark Urine

For treating dark urine caused by Heat in the Blood, the TCM formula Qing Jing San, which includes Goji Tree Root Bark (Di Gu Pi), can be used to cool the Blood.

For Toxic-Heat conditions, Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, containing Chinese Gentian (Long Dan Cao), helps clear Heat and dry Dampness. These formulas are selected based on the individual's specific symptoms and overall health condition to ensure the most effective treatment.

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

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Heat
  • Dampness
  • Yin Deficiency
  • Wind
  • Cold
  • Mind Disturbance
  • Qi Deficiency
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Yang Excess
  • Summer Heat
  • Formulas that clear heat from the organs
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that clear heat and expel dampness
  • Formulas that nourish the heart and calm the mind
  • External formulas for external disorders
  • Formulas that clear external abscesses and sores
  • Formulas that purge heat accumulation
  • Formulas that clear heat and resolve toxicity
  • Formulas that clear heat from deficiency
  • Formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen
  • Formulas that stop bleeding
  • Formulas that clear nutritive-level heat
  • Formulas that clear blood-Heat
  • Formulas that warm and transform water and dampness
  • Formulas that dispel summer-Heat and resolve exterior
  • Formulas that clear heat and open sensory orifices
  • Formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge
  • Formulas that pacify and extinguish internal wind
  • Formulas that dredge and disperse external wind
  • Formulas that clear wind-Heat
  • Formulas that clear qi-level heat
  • Formulas that tonify qi
  • Formulas that release the exterior and clear the interior
  • Formulas that moisten intestines and unblock bowels
  • Formulas that expel dampness
  • Formulas that clear liver-Heat
  • Formulas that dispel wind-Damp
  • Formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach
  • Formulas that tonify yin and yang
  • Formulas that stabilize exterior and stop sweating

All Formulas Recommended for Dark Urine Caused by Heat

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Heat in the Blood, Toxic-Heat, Damp-Heat in the Liver, Liver Fire Blazing, Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel, Liver Fire insulting the Lungs... see more
Ba Zheng San Damp-Heat in the Bladder, Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner, Damp-Heat
Yin Chen Hao Tang Damp-Heat in the Liver, Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder, Damp-Heat
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood, Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing... see more
Liang Di Tang Heat in the Blood, Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood
Yin Qiao San Toxic-Heat, Wind-Heat invading the Lungs
Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang Toxic-Heat, Excess-Heat
Huang Lian Jie Du Tang Toxic-Heat, Toxic-Heat Stagnation
Xin Yi Qing Fei Yin Toxic-Heat, Toxic-Heat Stagnation
Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan Toxic-Heat, Damp-Heat
Zi Xue Dan Heart Fire blazing, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire
Huang Lian E Jiao Tang Lesser Yin Heat Transformation, Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Lian Po Yin Damp-Heat invading the Spleen, Damp-Heat
Zuo Gui Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood
Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin Heart Fire blazing
Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing
Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Qing Jing San Heat in the Blood
Di Gu Pi Yin Heat in the Blood
Jia Wei Xiao Yao San Heat in the Blood
Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin Toxic-Heat
Sang Ju Yin Toxic-Heat
Bai Hu Tang Toxic-Heat
Qing Ying Tang Toxic-Heat
Shi Wei Bai Du San Toxic-Heat
San Zhong Kui Jian Tang Toxic-Heat
Zi Dang Gao Toxic-Heat
Er Qing Gao Toxic-Heat
Bing Peng San Toxic-Heat
Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin Toxic-Heat
Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines
Xiao Cheng Qi Tang Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines
Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin Early Stage Summerheat with Exterior Wind-Cold
Xie Xin Tang Heart Fire blazing
Qing Re Gu Jing Tang Heat in Uterus Blood
Huai Jiao Wan Heat in Uterus Blood
Gu Jing Wan Heat in Uterus Blood
Er Zhi Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood
Dang Gui Long Hui Wan Liver Fire Blazing
Xie Qing Wan Liver Fire Blazing
Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire
Feng Yin Tang Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire
Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine
Shao Yao Tang Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine
Dao Chi San Full-Heat in the Small Intestine
Ma Zi Ren Wan Heat in the Large Intestine
Er Miao San Damp-Heat
Xiao Yao San Damp-Heat
Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang Damp-Heat
Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San Damp-Heat
Ke Xie Fang Liver Fire insulting the Lungs
Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire
Xuan Bi Tang Painful Obstruction due to Damp Heat in Channels
Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Suan Zao Ren Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

All Formulas Recommended for Dark Urine Caused by Dampness

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Ba Zheng San Damp-Heat in the Bladder, Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner, Damp-Heat
Yin Chen Hao Tang Damp-Heat in the Liver, Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder, Damp-Heat
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Damp-Heat in the Liver, Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel
Lian Po Yin Damp-Heat invading the Spleen, Damp-Heat
Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan Damp-Heat
Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin Early Stage Summerheat with Exterior Wind-Cold
Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin Spleen Deficiency with Dampness
Liu Jun Zi Tang Spleen Deficiency with Dampness
Ge Geng Huang Qin Huang Lian Tang Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine
Shao Yao Tang Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine
Er Miao San Damp-Heat
Xiao Yao San Damp-Heat
Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang Damp-Heat
Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San Damp-Heat
Xuan Bi Tang Painful Obstruction due to Damp Heat in Channels

All Formulas Recommended for Dark Urine Caused by Yin Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood, Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Yin Deficiency... see more
Zuo Gui Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Yin Deficiency... see more
Huang Lian E Jiao Tang Lesser Yin Heat Transformation, Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing, Kidney Yin Deficiency
Liang Di Tang Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood
Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Er Zhi Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood
Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Suan Zao Ren Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 2 Kidney Yin Deficiency
Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan Kidney Yin Deficiency
Mu Li San Yin Deficiency

All Formulas Recommended for Dark Urine Caused by Wind

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Zi Xue Dan Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire
Yin Qiao San Wind-Heat invading the Lungs
Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines
Xiao Cheng Qi Tang Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines
Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin Early Stage Summerheat with Exterior Wind-Cold
Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire
Feng Yin Tang Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Fire

All Formulas Recommended for Dark Urine Caused by Cold

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines
Xiao Cheng Qi Tang Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines
Xin Jia Xiang Ru Yin Early Stage Summerheat with Exterior Wind-Cold

All Formulas Recommended for Dark Urine Caused by Mind Disturbance

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Zi Xue Dan Heart Fire blazing
Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin Heart Fire blazing
Xie Xin Tang Heart Fire blazing

All Formulas Recommended for Dark Urine Caused by Qi Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin Spleen Deficiency with Dampness
Liu Jun Zi Tang Spleen Deficiency with Dampness

All "formulas that clear heat from the organs" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Heat in the Blood, Damp-Heat in the Liver, Liver Fire Blazing, Toxic-Heat, Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel, Liver Fire insulting the Lungs... see more
Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin Heart Fire blazing, Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized
Xin Yi Qing Fei Yin Toxic-Heat, Toxic-Heat Stagnation
Dang Gui Long Hui Wan Liver Fire Blazing
Xie Qing Wan Liver Fire Blazing
Shao Yao Tang Damp-Heat in the Large Intestine
Dao Chi San Full-Heat in the Small Intestine

All "formulas that clear heat and expel dampness" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Ba Zheng San Damp-Heat in the Bladder, Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner, Damp-Heat
Yin Chen Hao Tang Damp-Heat in the Liver, Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder, Damp-Heat
Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan Toxic-Heat, Damp-Heat
Lian Po Yin Damp-Heat invading the Spleen, Damp-Heat
Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang Damp-Heat

All "formulas that nourish yin and tonify" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood, Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Yin Deficiency... see more
Zuo Gui Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Yin Deficiency... see more
Liang Di Tang Heat in the Blood, Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood
Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing, Kidney Yin Deficiency
Di Gu Pi Yin Heat in the Blood
Er Zhi Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood

All "formulas that nourish the heart and calm the mind" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Huang Lian E Jiao Tang Lesser Yin Heat Transformation, Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized, Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Jiao Tai Wan Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized
Suan Zao Ren Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 2 Kidney Yin Deficiency

All "formulas that clear heat and resolve toxicity" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Huang Lian Jie Du Tang Toxic-Heat, Toxic-Heat Stagnation
Xie Xin Tang Heart Fire blazing
Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin Toxic-Heat

All "external formulas for external disorders" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Yin Qiao San Toxic-Heat, Wind-Heat invading the Lungs
Zi Dang Gao Toxic-Heat
Er Qing Gao Toxic-Heat
Bing Peng San Toxic-Heat

All "formulas that purge heat accumulation" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Tiao Wei Cheng Qi Tang Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines
Xiao Cheng Qi Tang Bright Yang Fire in Stomach and Intestines
Da Cheng Qi Tang Yang Excess or Full Yang

All "formulas that clear heat from deficiency" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Qing Re Gu Jing Tang Heat in Uterus Blood
Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

All "formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Jia Wei Xiao Yao San Heat in the Blood
Xiao Yao San Damp-Heat

All "formulas that stop bleeding" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Huai Jiao Wan Heat in Uterus Blood
Ke Xie Fang Liver Fire insulting the Lungs

All "formulas that clear nutritive-level heat" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang Toxic-Heat, Excess-Heat
Qing Ying Tang Toxic-Heat

All "formulas that clear external abscesses and sores" recommended for dark urine

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin Toxic-Heat
Shi Wei Bai Du San Toxic-Heat
San Zhong Kui Jian Tang Toxic-Heat

Acupoints for Dark Urine

Several acupoints are beneficial for addressing dark urine in TCM. In the Bladder Channel, points like Ciliao BL-32 and Pangguangshu BL-28 regulate the Lower Burner and resolve Damp-Heat. In the Directing Vessel, Guanyuan REN-4 nourishes Blood and Yin, while in the Governing Vessel, Dazhui DU-14 clears Wind-Heat.

Large Intestine Channel points such as Shanglian LI-9 regulate the Large Intestine and clear Heat. Additionally, Kidney Channel points like Shiguan KID-18 and Yingu KID-10 resolve Dampness and nourish Kidney Yin. These acupoints are selected based on the individual's unique pattern of imbalance to effectively target the underlying cause of dark urine.

Explore below some acupoints used to address dark urine, organized by meridian.

  • By Meridian
  • Bladder Channel
  • Directing Vessel
  • Governing Vessel
  • Large Intestine Channel
  • Kidney Channel
  • Gall Bladder Channel
  • Heart Channel
  • Stomach Channel
  • Liver Channel
Xiaochangshu BL-27

Xiaochangshu BL-27

At the level of the 1st posterior sacral foramen, 1.5 cun lateral to the posterior midline.

Pangguangshu BL-28

Pangguangshu BL-28

At the level of the 2nd posterior sacral foramen, 1.5 cun lateral to the posterior midline, in the depression between the medial border of the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS) and the sacrum.

Ciliao BL-32

Ciliao BL-32

In the 2nd posterior sacral foramen, about midway between the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS) and the midline.

Geguan BL-46

Geguan BL-46

3 cun (about 4 finger-breadths) lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 7th thoracic vertebra (T7).

Yanggang BL-48

Yanggang BL-48

3 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 10th thoracic vertebra (T10).

Yishe BL-49

Yishe BL-49

3 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 11th thoracic vertebra (T11).

Zhibian BL-54

Zhibian BL-54

At the level of the 4th posterior sacral foramen, 3 cun lateral to the posterior midline.

Zutonggu BL-66

Zutonggu BL-66

In the depression distal and inferior to the 5th metatarsophalangeal joint, at the lateral border of the foot.

Zhongji REN-3

Zhongji REN-3

On the anterior midline, 4 cun below the umbilicus, 1 cun above Qugu REN-2, which is located at the upper border of the symphysis pubis.

Guanyuan REN-4

Guanyuan REN-4

On the midline of the abdomen, 3 cun below the umbilicus.

Shimen REN-5

Shimen REN-5

On the midline of the abdomen, 2 cun below the umbilicus.

Changqiang Du-1

Changqiang Du-1

Midway between the tip of the coccyx and the anus.

Duiduan DU-27

Duiduan DU-27

On the midline, at the junction of the philtrum and the upper lip.

Xialian LI-8

Xialian LI-8

When a fist is made, with the ulnar side downward and elbow flexed, the point is 4 cun distal to Quchi LI-11 of the line joining Yangxi LI-5 and Quchi LI-11.

Shanglian LI-9

Shanglian LI-9

When a fist is made, with the ulnar side downward and elbow flexed, the point is 3 cun distal to Quchi LI-11 of the line joining Yangxi LI-5 and Quchi LI-11.

Yingu KID-10

Yingu KID-10

On the medial side of the popliteal fossa, level with Weizhong BL-40, between the tendons of semitendinosus and semimenbranosus muscle when the knee is flexed.

Shiguan KID-18

Shiguan KID-18

3 cun above the umbilicus, 0.5 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Jingmen GB-25

Jingmen GB-25

On the lateral side of the abdomen, on the lower border of the free end of the 12th rib.

Shaofu HE-8

Shaofu HE-8

On the palmar surface, between the 4th and 5th metacarpal bones. When a fist is made, the point is where the tip of the little finger rests.

Xiajuxu ST-39

Xiajuxu ST-39

9 cun below Dubi ST-35, about one middle finger-width lateral to the anterior crest of the tibia.

Xingjian LIV-2

Xingjian LIV-2

Between the first and second toe, on the dorsum of the foot, 0.5 cun proximal to the interdigital fold.