Kidney Failureaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Kidney and Nephritic Disorders

Sub-symptom(s): Chronic Renal Failure

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure, a term that resonates with the gravity of its implication, refers to the severe reduction or cessation of kidney function. In medical parlance, it indicates the kidneys' inability to filter waste from the blood, leading to a hazardous accumulation of toxins. Chronic renal failure is a progressive loss of kidney function over months or years, often resulting from enduring conditions like diabetes or hypertension.

How does TCM View Kidney Failure?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches kidney failure as a decline in the Kidney’s essence and function, manifesting as an imbalance in the body's fundamental energies.

Unlike Western medicine, which focuses on the organ itself, TCM looks at the Kidney's role in maintaining the body’s Qi, Yin, and Yang. This holistic perspective is vital, for it directs practitioners to a precise pattern of disharmony in the quest to rebalance the body’s energies and restore health.

Causes of Kidney Failure According to TCM

TCM sees kidney failure as an outcome of deep-seated imbalances, primarily involving Kidney Yin or Yang Deficiency. For instance, a chronic Deficiency in Kidney Yin could lead to a drying up of the body’s Jing (Essence) and Body Fuids, impairing the Kidneys' filtration processes.

Likewise, a depletion of Kidney Yang, the warming and activating principle, could result in a failure to transform Qi and Body Fuids, leading to weakness, coldness, and edema. TCM dives into the etiology of these imbalances, often rooted in genetic predispositions, overwork, improper diet, or chronic stress.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Kidney Failure

TCM employs sophisticated herbal formulas tailored to the individual's specific disharmony patterns. In the case of Yin Deficiency leading to kidney failure, a formula like Zeng Ye Cheng Qi Tang, with Ningpo Figwort Roots (Xuan Shen) at its core, is often prescribed.

This formula aims to nourish the Yin, clear Heat, and facilitate the proper movement of fluids and Qi. Such targeted treatment underscores TCM's nuanced approach, one that aligns herbal properties with the patient’s unique pattern of disharmony to foster recovery and well-being.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address kidney failure, organized by formula type.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that simultaneously attack and tonify
  • Formulas that warm and purge
  • Formulas that clear heat and resolve toxicity

TCM Herbs for Kidney Failure

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address kidney failure, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that cool the blood
  • Herbs that warm the interior and/or expel cold
  • Herbs that clear heat and relieve toxicity