Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

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At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 阴虚火旺      Pinyin name: Yīn Xū Huǒ Wàng

Pattern nature: Empty

Pattern hierarchy: General pattern

Common combinations: Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Dry mouth Chest heat Dry stools Malar flush Night sweats and five other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu), Floating (Fu)

Tongue description: Red tongue with no coating

Treatment

Treatment principle: Clear Empty-Heat, nourish Yin, supply Body Fluids

Common formulas: Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang Huang Lian E Jiao Tang

Pathology

Yin Deficiency involves the excessive consumption of Body Fluids, Essence and Blood. The main cause is overwork, which usually develops very gradually and slowly over several years. The only exception to a rapid Yin Deficiency is when Pathological Heat consumes Body Fluids and Yin very fast. 

If Yin Deficiency persists for a long time, like many years, it eventually leads to the development of Interior Heat of an Empty nature. The Heat occurs due to lack of Yin rather than Yang Excess, which is the precursor of Full-Heat. Both patterns have Heat features, but in different way. The Full-Heat manifestation exists all the time and is easy to be seem. The Empty-Heat's symptoms are comparatively less strong, like body heat but mostly in palms and soles, mild feeling of heat but only in the afternoon or evening, a dry mouth and desire to drink but only in small sips, red face but only malar flush, fever but only low-grade in the afternoon. 

As for mental related symptoms, Empty-Heat just causes some mild restlessness which gets worse in the afternoon or evening. However, Full-Heat gives rise to severe mental restlessness, agitation, anxiety, insomnia with agitated sleep. Full-Heat happens more for acute diseases while Empty type is more chronic. Also, Empty-Heat is more comment among women, especially the elderly or these with weak constitution. 

Please be aware that Empty-Heat does not necessarily always happen with Yin Deficiency. Tongue color is also an important indicator. Yin Deficiency manifests on the tongue with a lack of coating. A tongue without coating but of a normal colour reflects Yin Deficiency (without Empty-Heat). A red tongue without coating indicates Yin Deficiency with Empty-Heat. 

Diagnosing Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu)

Tongue description: Red tongue with no coating

Main symptoms: Dry mouth Chest heat Dry stools Malar flush Night sweats Dry throat at night Hot palms and soles Scanty dark urination Desire to drink in small sips Feeling of heat in the afternoon

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the feeling of Heat in the afternoon or evening, malar flush, hot palms and soles as well as heavy night sweating.

Treating Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

Treatment principle

Clear Empty-Heat, nourish Yin, supply Body Fluids 

Herbal formulas used to treat Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Clears Heat.

Formula summary

Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1798 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that clear Heat from Deficiency.

Besides Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang is also used to treat Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Huang Lian E Jiao Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Enriches the Yin. Causes Fire to descend. Eliminates irritability. Calms the spirit.

Formula summary

Huang Lian E Jiao Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish the Heart and calm the Mind.

Besides Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Huang Lian E Jiao Tang is also used to treat Lesser Yin Heat Transformation.

Read more about Huang Lian E Jiao Tang

Diet recommendations

Avoid spicy, fat and hot foods. Avoiding sea foods.