Kidney-Deficiency

Pattern factsheet

Related conditions: Scanty menstruation

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Tinnitus Back pain Knee pain Dizziness Sore back and three other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Kidney-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 Kidney-Deficiency gives rise to such diverse symptoms as scanty periods, pale menstrual blood, back pain and knee pain (as well as four others).

To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Kidney-Deficiency patients tend to exhibit deep (Chen) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Patterns aren't exactly the Chinese Medicine equivalent to Western diseases, they're rather the underlying causes behind diseases or health conditions. Here Kidney-Deficiency is thought to sometimes induce conditions such as scanty menstruation.

Diagnosing Kidney-Deficiency

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

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen) or weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Possible symptoms: Tinnitus Back pain Knee pain Dizziness Sore back Scanty periods Frequent urination Pale menstrual blood

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 Kidney-Deficiency will tend to exhibit deep (Chen) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Kidney-Deficiency might experience symptoms like scanty periods, pale menstrual blood, back pain and knee pain (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Kidney-Deficiency

He Che Da Zao Wan

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies the Kidneys. Strengthens the Directing and Penetrating Vessels. Regulates the periods.

Formula summary

He Che Da Zao Wan is a 11-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Human Placentas (Zi He Che) as a principal ingredient. It belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Yin and Yang.

Besides Kidney-Deficiency, He Che Da Zao Wan is also used to treat Spleen or Kidney Qi Deficiency or Liver Blood and Kidney Essence Deficiency.

Read more about He Che Da Zao Wan

Dang Gui Di Huang Yin

Source date: 1640 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Blood. Tonifies Kidney and Liver Yin. Regulates the menstrual cycle.

Formula summary

Dang Gui Di Huang Yin is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Dong Quai (Dang Gui) and Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1640 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Blood.

Besides Kidney-Deficiency, Dang Gui Di Huang Yin is also used to treat Kidney Yin Deficiency or Liver Blood and Kidney Essence Deficiency.

Read more about Dang Gui Di Huang Yin

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

Read more about Shi Quan Da Bu Tang

Special highlight: the link between scanty menstruation and Kidney-Deficiency

Dong Quai (Dang Gui) is the key herb for Dang Gui Di Huang Yin, a formula used for scanty menstruation caused by Kidney-Deficiency

Kidney Yin Deficiency can be the result of hereditary weakness, overwork under stress or having too many children or abortions too close to each other. With this pattern, Body Fluids is depleted and Kidney Essence fails to fill the 'Sea of Blood' and the Penetrating and Directing Vessels. Thus periods become scanty. 

Even though the mentioned symptoms are typically caused by Kidney Yin Deficiency, this pattern name is just Kidney Deficiency. It is because Kidney Yang and Yin are interdependent...Read more about scanty menstruation