Heart and Spleen Deficiency

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 心脾虚      Pinyin name: Xīn Pí Xū

Pattern nature: Empty


Common symptoms: Fatigue Anxiety Insomnia Pale face Pale lips and eleven other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale


Common formulas: Gui Pi Tang


The Spleen rules transformation and transportation of food, Qi, and Body Fluids and their distribution to other Zang Organs. It is the origin of Blood production and keeps it running inside the vessels. 

The Heart's main function in Chinese Medicine is to govern the flow of Blood, the Blood vessels and to house the Spirit / Mind (Shen - 神).

The Heart can receive sufficient Blood from the Spleen, if the latter's transformation and transportation function work properly, providing sufficient nutrients for growth and development. In turn, Heart Blood circulates and supplies the Spleen with nutrients to better perform its functions.

In the Five Phases theory, the Heart is the Mother of the Spleen. In case of Heart Blood or Qi Deficiency, mental anxiety occurs and it can disturb the Spleen's transforming and transporting functions. Then it results in irregular distribution of nutrients for growth and development. It can also damage the Spleen's ability to keep the Blood flowing within the vessels.

In return, a combination of Heart and Spleen symptoms such as palpitation, insomnia, anorexia, fatigue and pallor can further damage Heart Blood and Spleen Qi or Blood. To treat it, herbs to invigorate the Spleen and nourish the Heart are used, such as Ginseng and Longan Combination (Gui Pi Tang). 

Diagnosing Heart and Spleen Deficiency

Treating Heart and Spleen Deficiency

Herbal formulas used to treat Heart and Spleen Deficiency

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. Invented in 1529 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi and Blood.

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

Read more about Gui Pi Tang

Diet recommendations

Eat a balanced diet including lamb, Dang Gui and ginger soup, bone marrow soup, milk, whole grains, protein, legumes (especially adzuki beans), congee. Eat only cooked foods and room temperature drinks. Avoid raw and cold foods and juices. Do not skip meals.

Related conditions

Peptic ulcers Anemia Perimenopausal syndrome Allergic purpura Congestive heart failure Depression Insomnia Postconcussion headache Nervous exhaustion Myasthenia gravis Colitis Supraventricular tachycardia Cervicitis Anxiety