Kidney Qi not Firm

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 肾所不固      Pinyin name: Shèn Suǒ Bù Gù

Pattern nature: Empty

Pattern hierarchy: Specific pattern under Qi Deficiency

Causes

Precursor patterns: Spleen Yang Deficiency Damp-Cold

Common causes: 1. Excessive sexual activity, 2. Childbirth, 3. Physical over-exertion or over-exercising

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Fatigue Enuresis Cold limbs Spermatorrhoea Sore lower back and seven other symptoms

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

Tongue description: Slightly Pale tongue

Treatment

Treatment principle: Reinforce and stabilize Kidney Qi, raise Qi, tonify Kidney Yang

Common formulas: You Gui Wan Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan Fu Tu Dan and one other formulas

Pathology

This pattern is also called ‘Lower Original Qi (元气 Yuan Qi) not Firm’, to show that it is also caused by a shortage of the Original Qi. When Original Qi is weak in the Lower Burner, Qi cannot hold Body Fluids which leads to many 'leaking' symptoms of the sperm, vaginal discharge or urination. 

When Kidney Qi and Original Qi are Deficient, the Kidneys cannot provide enough Qi to the Bladder, hence the urine cannot be held and this causes frequent urination, incontinence, enuresis, weak-stream urination and dribbling after urination. When Kidney Qi is weak, it cannot hold the sperm or vaginal secretions in women, which leads to spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation, chronic vaginal discharge and nocturnal emissions without dreams.

The nocturnal emissions are without dreams because they are caused by a totally Qi Deficient situation, the sperm leaks out because Kidney Qi cannot hold it in. If nocturnal emissions happen at the same time as some vivid sexual dreams, this indicates some Empty Heat within the Kidneys arousing sexual desire.

'Leaking' is one of the two typical characteristics of this pattern. The other one is its 'Cold' symptoms like lower back pain sore and weakness, feeling of cold or cold limbs. It is because Qi is also a type of Yang element. 

Causes

Precursor patterns: Kidney Qi not Firm can derive from Spleen Yang Deficiency Damp-Cold

Excessive sexual activity: For men, this pattern is frequently caused by excessive sexual activity.

Childbirth: For women, too many children too close together can largely deplete Kidney Qi. It can also happen if childbirth is prolonged and difficult.

Physical over-exertion or over-exercising: Both excessive physical work or over-exercising can largely consume Kidney Yang, which then leads to Kidney Qi not Firm.

Diagnosing Kidney Qi not Firm

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

Tongue description: Slightly Pale tongue

Main symptoms: Fatigue Enuresis Cold limbs Spermatorrhoea Sore lower back Weak lower back Feeling of cold Abundant urination Weak stream urination Recurrent miscarriage White vaginal discharge Dragging down feeling of abdomen

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the back pain, chronic vaginal discharge and dribbling after urination.

Treating Kidney Qi not Firm

Treatment principle

Reinforce and stabilize Kidney Qi, raise Qi, tonify Kidney Yang

Herbal formulas used to treat Kidney Qi not Firm

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Formula summary

You Gui Wan is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm Yang and tonify.

Besides Kidney Qi not Firm, You Gui Wan is also used to treat Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang or Kidneys failing to receive Qi.

Read more about You Gui Wan

Fu Tu Dan

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidney Qi. Strengthens the Spleen. Stops leakage.

Formula summary

Fu Tu Dan is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1107 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that secure Essence and stop enuresis.

Besides Kidney Qi not Firm, Fu Tu Dan is also used to treat Spleen and Kidney Qi Deficiency.

Read more about Fu Tu Dan

Qing E Wan

Source date: 1107

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Warms and Reinforces Kidney Yang.

Formula summary

Qing E Wan is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1107, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm Yang and tonify.

Besides Kidney Qi not Firm, Qing E Wan is also used to treat Kidney Qi Deficiency.

Read more about Qing E Wan

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Stabilizes the Kidneys. Binds up the semen.

Formula summary

Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1682 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that secure Essence and stop enuresis.

Read more about Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan

Diet recommendations

Eat a balanced diet of all cooked foods and those with a warm energy such as whole grains, legumes (especially aduki beans), meat (especially lamb, beef and pork), cooked vegetables and greens. Drink walnut tea or use walnuts in cooking. Asparagus, black cherry juice, raspberries and millet all aid Kidney Qi.

Avoid any intake of cold and raw foods and drinks, frozen yogurt, ice cream, popsicles, iced and refrigerated drinks, juices, sodas, coffee and other caffeinated foods and drinks, sugar, alcohol, soy milk and tofu.

Consequence patterns

Kidney Yang Deficiency

If not treated for a long time, this pattern can give rise to Kidney Yang Deficiency. 

Lung and Heart Qi Deficiency

Kidney Qi not Firm can be a precursor pattern of Lung and Heart Qi Deficiency. 

Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency

Kidney Qi not Firm may sometimes be the precursor of this combination of patterns because the Kidneys are the mother of the Liver and Kidney Essence nourishes Liver Blood.

Heart Qi Deficiency

If left untreated Kidney Qi not Firm can lead to Heart Qi Deficiency