Neurastheniaaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Fatigue and Sleepiness

What is Neurasthenia?

Neurasthenia, a term that may not be as commonly used in modern Western medicine, refers to a condition characterized by chronic fatigue, weakness, and sometimes psychological distress. Symptoms often include a feeling of physical or mental tiredness, poor concentration, irritability, and sleep disturbances.

This condition is generally understood as a reaction to stress, chronic illness, or psychological factors. While the term 'neurasthenia' might be less prevalent today, the symptoms it describes are still widely recognized and treated in various medical practices, including Traditional Chinese Medicine.

How does TCM view Neurasthenia?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), neurasthenia is viewed through the lens of imbalance and disharmony within the body's systems. TCM recognizes that this condition can arise from a variety of imbalances, including deficiencies in Qi (vital energy), Blood, Yin, or Yang.

The approach in TCM is holistic, focusing not just on alleviating symptoms but on restoring balance and harmony to the entire body. This perspective underscores the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, and mental health in TCM.

Causes of Neurasthenia According to TCM

TCM attributes neurasthenia to several key patterns of disharmony. A common cause is Kidney Yin Deficiency, where the body lacks the cooling and nourishing aspects of Yin, leading to symptoms like restlessness, insomnia, and irritability.

Another pattern is Liver Blood Deficiency, which can manifest as dizziness, blurred vision, and emotional instability. These conditions are not just physical ailments in TCM but reflect deeper imbalances in the body's vital energies. Understanding these patterns is crucial for TCM practitioners to provide effective treatment.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Neurasthenia

To address neurasthenia, TCM relies on a variety of formulas and herbs, tailored to the individual's specific pattern of disharmony. Formulas like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan and Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, both containing Prepared Rehmannia, are used for Kidney Yin Deficiency and related patterns.

For Liver Blood Deficiency, Bu Gan Tang is often prescribed. In cases of Heart Yang Deficiency, Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang with Cinnamon Bark is recommended, while Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang is suitable for Stomach Yang Deficiency and Cold. Each of these formulas works to rebalance the body's energies and alleviate the symptoms of neurasthenia.

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

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that tonify blood
  • Formulas that tonify yin and yang
  • Formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold

All "formulas that nourish yin and tonify" recommended for neurasthenia

Formula Key herbs
Ba Wei Di Huang Wan Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang)

TCM Herbs for Neurasthenia

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

  • By Herb Category
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency
  • Tonic herbs for qi deficiency
  • Herbs that pacify internal liver wind and stop tremors
  • Herbs that warm the interior and/or expel cold

"Tonic herbs for Blood Deficiency" recommended for neurasthenia

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) Ba Wei Di Huang Wan | Bu Gan Tang | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan
White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) Bu Gan Tang | Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang

"Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency" recommended for neurasthenia

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang
Maltose (Yi Tang) Huang Qi Jian Zhong Tang