The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Chinese name: 肾阴虚
Pinyin name: Shèn Yīn Xū
Kidney Yin Deficiency causes false Heat symptoms, such as night sweats, thirst and five palm heat. These signs are from a depletion of Body Fluids and Essence. It can also lead to an insufficient amount of Marrow to fill the Brain, causing poor memory and dizziness. Yin Deficiency of the Kidneys is often paired together with Deficient Liver Yin and/or Deficient Lung Yin.
It can be caused by overwork over a period of several years. Another common cause is excessive sexual activity that consumes both Kidney Essence and Kidney Yin. Other causes include chronic long term illness, consumption of Body Fluids by Heat, prolonged blood loss, overdosage of Yang tonic herbs, smoking and Kidney-depleting foods such as coffee, alcohol, sugar and fruit juices.
Please keep in mind that a Western Medicine condition can be caused by several Chinese Medicine patterns of disharmony and vice versa. As such a patient suffering from one of the conditions below will not necessarily be suffering from Kidney Yin Deficiency, it is just one pattern that's commonly associated with the condition. Click on a condition to learn what other patterns it's associated with.
The Kidneys is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu)
Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating
Tongue color: Red
Tongue shape: Cracked
Possible symptoms: Vertigo Itching Tinnitus Dry hair Dry skin Dizziness Dry mouth Bone ache Back pain Sore back Dry throat Sore knees Weak knees Dry tongue Dry stools Limbs pain Poor memory Malar flush Night sweats Constipation Irritability Scanty periods Blurred vision Weak lower back Feeling of heat Nocturnal emissions Hot palms and soles White vaginal discharge Feeling of heat in the evening
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 Yin Deficiency will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red tongue with complete absence of coating.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Kidney Yin Deficiency might experience symptoms like tinnitus, vertigo, dizziness and night sweats (full list here above).
Source date: 1119 AD
Number of ingredients: 6 herbs
Key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1119 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.
Source date: 1350 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Key actions: Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin. Improves vision.
Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1350 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.
Source date: 1534 AD
Number of ingredients: 2 herbs
Key actions: Nourishes Liver Yin. Nourishes Kidney Yin.
Er Zhi Wan is a 2-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Glossy Privet Fruits (Nu Zhen Zi) and Eclipta Herbs (Mo han lian) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1534 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.
Besides Kidney Yin Deficiency, Er Zhi Wan is also used to treat Kidney Deficiency or Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency causing Heat in the Blood.
Same as Kidney Essence Deficiency pattern, it is recommended to eat a lot of whole grains with protein complement such as legumes or meat, cooked vegetables and greens to support the Kidneys. Pork, duck, milk and congee are especially useful. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated foods and drinks, alcohol, sugar and tobacco smoking.
Typical symptoms for menopausal syndrome caused by Kidney Yin Deficiency: Itching Tinnitus Dry hair Dry skin Dizziness Sore back Dry mouth Sore knees Weak knees Dry throat Dry tongue Malar flush Night sweats Constipation Irritability Weak lower back Hot palms and soles
The Kidneys govern the bones and generate the marrow. In case of Kidney Yin Deficiency, the Yin and Essence fails to nourish the lower parts of the body properly, therefore the lower back and knees become weak and sore. It can even result in some atrophy of the lower extremities the most severe...Read more about menopausal syndrome
Having too many children too close to each other or prolonged overwork without proper rest can harm Kidney Yin. It can lead to Empty Heat if the Deficient condition is not addressed for a long time. Then the Blood get agitated by the Heat and leaks out of vessels continuously even when the periods should have ended.
The treatment principle is to nourish Yin, consolidates the Kidneys, clear Empty Heat, stop bleeding and regulates the periods.Read more about prolonged periods