Blood and Qi Deficiency

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Pattern factsheet

Related conditions: Anemia Ulcers Hepatitis and five other conditions

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Edema Vertigo Fatigue Anxiety Dry skin and thirty six other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo), Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Pale

Blood and Qi Deficiency is a pattern of disharmony in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine views the human body as a complex system that tends toward harmony. A pattern of disharmony is a disorder that prevents that harmony from occurring.

Patterns give rise to symptoms that may at first glance seem unrelated from a Western standpoint but that actually make a lot of sense when one understands Chinese Medicine theory. For instance here Blood and Qi Deficiency gives rise to such diverse symptoms as lower abdominal pain, pale complexion, lethargic and withdrawn state and palpitations (as well as thirty seven others).

To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Blood and Qi Deficiency patients tend to exhibit weak (Ruo) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue with partial absence of coating.

Patterns aren't exactly the Chinese Medicine equivalent to Western diseases, they're rather the underlying causes behind diseases or health conditions. Here Blood and Qi Deficiency is thought to sometimes induce conditions such as absence of menstruation, menstrual cramps or low breast milk supply (as well as five others).

Related conditions

Absence of menstruation Menstrual cramps Low breast milk supply Anemia Hepatitis Nervous exhaustion Habitual miscarriage Ulcers

Diagnosing Blood and Qi Deficiency

Qi is one of Chinese Medicine's vital subtances. Learn more about Qi in Chinese Medicine

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 and Qi Deficiency will tend to exhibit weak (Ruo) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue with partial absence of coating.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Blood and Qi Deficiency might experience symptoms like lower abdominal pain, pale complexion, lethargic and withdrawn state and palpitations (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Blood and Qi Deficiency

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Source date: 1247

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner). Raises the Yang. Detoxifies. Lifts what has sunken.

Formula summary

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1247, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi.

Besides Blood and Qi Deficiency, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is also used to treat Qi Deficiency or Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking.

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Si Wu Tang

Source date: 846 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.

Formula summary

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.

Besides Blood and Qi Deficiency, Si Wu Tang is also used to treat Blood Deficiency or Blood Stagnation.

Read more about Si Wu Tang

Gui Pi Tang

Source date: 1529 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

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

Formula summary

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.

Besides Blood and Qi Deficiency, Gui Pi Tang is also used to treat Qi Deficiency or Blood Deficiency.

Read more about Gui Pi Tang

Ba Zhen Tang

Source date: 1326 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

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

Formula summary

Ba Zhen Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ginseng (Ren Shen) and Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1326 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi and Blood.

Besides Blood and Qi Deficiency, Ba Zhen Tang is also used to treat Lung Qi Deficiency or Spleen Qi Deficiency.

Read more about Ba Zhen Tang

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.

Formula summary

Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang is a 14-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ginseng (Ren Shen) and White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1174 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify.

Besides Blood and Qi Deficiency, Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang is also used to treat Blood Deficiency or Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency.

Read more about Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang

Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 9 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi and Blood. Invigorates the Blood.

Formula summary

Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang is a 9-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Motherwort Herbs (Yi Mu Cao), Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) and Ginseng (Ren Shen) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify.

Besides Blood and Qi Deficiency, Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang is also used to treat Blood and Qi Deficiency with Blood Stagnation.

Read more about Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang

Shi Quan Da Bu Tang

Source date: 1180 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

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

Formula summary

Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1180 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Yin and Yang.

Besides Blood and Qi Deficiency, Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is also used to treat Kidney-Deficiency.

Read more about Shi Quan Da Bu Tang

Sheng Yu Tang

Source date: 1336 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi and Blood. Preserves the Blood.

Formula summary

Sheng Yu Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Dong Quai (Dang Gui) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1336 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Blood.

Read more about Sheng Yu Tang

Tong Ru Dan

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies the Qi and Blood. Removes Stagnation from the breast connecting Meridians.

Formula summary

Tong Ru Dan is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ginseng (Ren Shen) and Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1826 AD, it belongs to the categories of formulas that regulate Blood, formulas that regulate Qi and formulas that tonify Qi and Blood.

Read more about Tong Ru Dan

Special highlight: the link between low breast milk supply and Blood and Qi Deficiency

Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) is the key herb for Si Wu Tang, a formula used for low breast milk supply caused by Blood and Qi Deficiency

Traditional Chinese Herbalism believes that a lack of milk or a low quality milk supply is often due to low level of Qi and Blood. It's normal, a nursing mother needs much more Qi and Blood than usual and her supplies have been depleted during the act of birth-giving. Qi and Blood are the main ingredients of all Body Fluids, which include breast milk. Therefore, Qi and Blood Deficiency will naturally lead to very little or no breast milk after delivering the baby. 

When breast ducts are empty...Read more about low breast milk supply

Special highlight: the link between menstrual cramps and Blood and Qi Deficiency

Motherwort Herbs (Yi Mu Cao) is the key herb for Ba Zhen Yi Mu Tang, a formula used for menstrual cramps caused by Blood and Qi Deficiency

Qi and Blood Deficiency often only causes dull menstrual cramps. Even in painful periods caused by a Deficiency there is often also an element of Stagnation because Qi can not move Blood properly, which is what leads to dysmenorrhea. It often come along with a dragging feeling around the perineum that can be relieved by massage. There are no clots in the menstrual blood, but the blood is scanty and thin with a pale color.

The cramps often happen towards the end of or after the period. It is...Read more about menstrual cramps