Nervous exhaustion according to Chinese Medicine

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Nervous exhaustion factsheet

In Chinese Medicine, nervous exhaustion can be associated with seven so-called "patterns of disharmony". Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted. It is not equivalent to the Western concept of "disease", as a matter of fact here nervous exhaustion can be caused by seven different patterns.

To understand whether someone's nervous exhaustion might be caused by a given pattern, one needs to look for signs and symptoms associated with the pattern beyond what one might typically experience from nervous exhaustion alone. For instance when nervous exhaustion is caused by the pattern Heart and Spleen Deficiency, patients also experience symptoms such as forgetfulness, palpitations, insomnia and fatigue. Similarly, patients with Heart and Spleen Deficiency typically exhibit fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.

We've listed below a description of the seven patterns associated with nervous exhaustion so that you can start to get an understanding of the various possibilities according to Chinese Medicine.

Once identified, patterns are often treated using herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. Here we detail below seven formulas that can help treat the various patterns associated with nervous exhaustion, depending on which pattern fits your profile.

The seven "patterns of disharmony" associated with nervous exhaustion

The Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen in Chinese Medicine

Heart and Spleen Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Recommended herbal formula: Gui Pi Tang

Symptoms: Fatigue Anxiety Insomnia Menorrhagia Palpitations Forgetfulness Poor appetite Pale complexion Abnormal uterine bleeding

Nervous exhaustion might be due to Heart and Spleen Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as forgetfulness, palpitations, insomnia and fatigue. Similarly, patients with Heart and Spleen Deficiency typically exhibit fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.

Read more about Heart and Spleen Deficiency here

Yin and Blood Deficiency

Nervous exhaustion might be due to Yin and Blood Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as irritability, palpitations with anxiety, fatigue and insomnia with very restless sleep. Similarly, patients with Yin and Blood Deficiency typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

Read more about Yin and Blood Deficiency here

The Heart is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Heart in Chinese Medicine

Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Recommended herbal formula: Jiao Tai Wan

Symptoms: Anxiety Insomnia Irritability Restlnessness Coolness of the lower limbs Severe and continuous palpitations

Nervous exhaustion might be due to Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as irritability, restlnessness, severe and continuous palpitations and coolness of the lower limbs. Similarly, patients with Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency typically exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

Read more about Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency here

The Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen in Chinese Medicine

Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency

Nervous exhaustion might be due to Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as palpitations, forgetfulness, restlnessness at night and feverishness.

Read more about Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency here

The Lungs is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Lungs in Chinese Medicine

Lung Qi Deficiency

Recommended herbal formula: Ba Zhen Tang

Symptoms: Weak voice Aversion to speak Shortness of breath

Nervous exhaustion might be due to Lung Qi Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as shortness of breath, weak voice and aversion to speak.

Read more about Lung Qi Deficiency here

The Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen in Chinese Medicine

Spleen Qi Deficiency

Recommended herbal formula: Ba Zhen Tang

Symptoms: Weak Limbs Poor appetite

Nervous exhaustion might be due to Spleen Qi Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as poor appetite and weak limbs.

Read more about Spleen Qi Deficiency here

Ginseng (Ren Shen) is the key herb for Ba Zhen Tang, a formula used for Blood and Qi Deficiency

Blood and Qi Deficiency

Recommended herbal formula: Ba Zhen Tang

Symptoms: Vertigo Pale face Pale lips Pale tongue Palpitations

Nervous exhaustion might be due to Blood and Qi Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as palpitations, vertigo, pale face and pale lips.

Read more about Blood and Qi Deficiency here

The seven herbal formulas that might help with nervous exhaustion

Ba Zhen Tang

Source date: 1326 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and augments Qi. Tonifies and augments Blood.

Why might Ba Zhen Tang help with nervous exhaustion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help with the patterns Lung Qi Deficiency, Spleen Qi Deficiency and Blood and Qi Deficiency which are sometimes associated with nervous exhaustion. If any of these patterns look like something you might suffer from, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Ba Zhen Tang here

Gui Pi Tang

Source date: 1529 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood. Tonifies Heart and Spleen.

Why might Gui Pi Tang help with nervous exhaustion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Heart and Spleen Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with nervous exhaustion. If it looks like you might suffer from Heart and Spleen Deficiency, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Gui Pi Tang here

Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan

Source date: 16th century

Number of ingredients: 14 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic: Nourishes Yin, Blood and Vital Essence of the Heart and Kidney. Clears away pathogenic Heat, clears Deficient Heat. Sedative.

Why might Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan help with nervous exhaustion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Yin and Blood Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with nervous exhaustion. If it looks like you might suffer from Yin and Blood Deficiency, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan here

Jiao Tai Wan

Source date: 1522 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Restores the functional communication between the Heart and the Kidneys.

Why might Jiao Tai Wan help with nervous exhaustion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with nervous exhaustion. If it looks like you might suffer from Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Jiao Tai Wan here

Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 14 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi and Blood. Nourishes the Heart. Calms the spirit.

Why might Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang help with nervous exhaustion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with nervous exhaustion. If it looks like you might suffer from Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang here

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidneys. Binds up the semen.

Why might Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan help with nervous exhaustion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat , a pattern sometimes associated with nervous exhaustion. If it looks like you might suffer from , this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan here

Shi Quan Da Bu Tang

Source date: 1180 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Qi. Warms and tonifies Blood.

Why might Shi Quan Da Bu Tang help with nervous exhaustion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat , a pattern sometimes associated with nervous exhaustion. If it looks like you might suffer from , this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Shi Quan Da Bu Tang here