The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Chinese name: 血虚
Pinyin name: Xuè Xū
A Deficiency of Blood occurs when their entire body, a part of body or a particular Organ is insufficiently nourished by Blood. This can be caused by a loss of blood, insufficient Spleen Qi to produce Blood or congealed Blood which prevents new Blood from forming.
The Organs most likely to be affected by Blood Deficiency include the Heart (since it "governs Blood"), the Spleen (since it "controls Blood") and the Liver (since it "stores Blood"). Liver Blood Deficiency is the most common one and it is especially common in women with symptoms such as scanty periods or absence of periods (amenorrhoea).
In severe and long-term cases, Blood Deficiency can induce Dryness as Blood is part of Yin. This causes dry skin, dry hair, dry tongue and/or withered nails. In come cases, a long-term Dryness due to Blood Deficiency can lead to Wind in the skin, which, combined with Dryness, can cause some skin diseases characterized by dry and itchy skin.
Blood (Xue) is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Blood in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se) or fine (Xi)
Tongue color: Pale
Possible symptoms: Numbness Tingling Insomnia Dry skin Dizziness Pale face Pale lips Amenorrhea Depression Poor memory Late period Palpitations Scanty periods Blurred vision Pale complexion Tingling of limbs Pale menstrual blood Lower abdominal pain Feeling of bearing down
Diagnosing a pattern in Chinese Medicine is no easy feat and should be left to professional practitioners.
In particular one has to know how to differentiate between different types of pulses and tongue coatings, shapes and colors. Here patients with Blood Deficiency will tend to exhibit choppy (Se) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Blood Deficiency might experience symptoms like amenorrhea, scanty periods, dizziness and numbness (full list here above).
Source date: 1119 AD
Number of ingredients: 6 herbs
Key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1119 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.
Source date: 846 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.
Si Wu Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) and White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) as principal ingredients. Invented in 846 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Blood.
Source date: 1529 AD
Number of ingredients: 12 herbs
Key actions: Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood. Tonifies Heart and Spleen.
Gui Pi Tang is a 12-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ginseng (Ren Shen), Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi), Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) and Liquorice (Gan Cao) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1529 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi and Blood.
Typical symptoms for late menstruation caused by Blood Deficiency: Insomnia Pale face Pale lips Dizziness Late period Palpitations Scanty periods Blurred vision Pale complexion Pale menstrual blood Lower abdominal pain
Blood Deficiency leads to an insufficient amount of Blood in the Directing (Ren Mai 任脉) and Penetrating (Chong Mai 冲脉) Vessels. As they're the Vessels directing and coordinating Blood to the Uterus, the sheer lack of Blood means the periods will fail to happen at the expected time and get delayed consistently.
There can be several underlying reasons for this pattern but chronic illnesses or excessive work are typically the major ones because they impair the Spleen's transforming function. The...Read more about late menstruation
Typical symptoms for scanty menstruation caused by Blood Deficiency: Insomnia Dry skin Dizziness Pale face Poor memory Palpitations Scanty periods Blurred vision Tingling of limbs Pale menstrual blood Feeling of bearing down
Blood Deficiency is an obvious pattern for scanty periods. It is often due to a malfunction of the Spleen which is the base of Blood making. Spleen rules transformation and transportation of food Essences (nutrition), Qi, and Body Fluids and their distribution to other Zang Organs. Unhealthy or poor diet can hurt the Spleen Qi and impair its function. For example, a diet lacking in Blood-creating ingredients can cause Blood Deficiency. This is the reason some vegans sometimes have scanty...Read more about scanty menstruation