Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty Heat Blazing

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 肾阴虚 蓄热

Pinyin name: Shèn Yīn Xū Xù Rè

Associated TCM concepts: Kidneys Yin Deficiency / Empty Heat pattern


Common symptoms: Insomnia Tinnitus Dizziness Dry throat Dry stools and fourteen other symptoms

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

Tongue description: Red, cracked with a red tip, without coating

This pattern is when Kidney Yin Deficiency, because of the depletion of Fluids and Essence (both Yin in nature), has given rise to pronounced Empty-Heat with symptoms such as night sweats, thirst, five palm heat, dry throat at night, scanty urine and dry stools.

The afternoon fever is typical of Empty-Heat; it can also simply be a feeling of heat in the afternoon, rather than an actual fever.

Heat rises in nature and may ascend to disturb the Mind housed in the Heart, creating symptoms of insomnia and mental restlessness. In this type of insomnia patients fall asleep easily but wake up in the middle of the night several times, or early in the morning.

In severe cases, the Heat reaches the Blood which causes it to escape the vessels, resulting in blood in the urine.

The deficiency of Essence (a Yin substance housed in the Kidneys) is what creates the nocturnal emissions. It is accompanied by strong sexual dreams because of the agitating effect of the Empty Heat on the Mind and creates a strong sexual desire.

There may also be an insufficiency of Marrow to fill the brain, causing memory weakness and forgetfulness.

Diagnosing Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty Heat Blazing

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

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 With Empty Heat Blazing will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty Heat Blazing might experience symptoms like malar flush, restlnessness, insomnia and night sweats (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty Heat Blazing

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

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).

Formula summary

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.

Besides Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty Heat Blazing, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan is also used to treat Blood Deficiency or Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Diet recommendations

Eat plenty of whole grains with meat and cooked vegetables. Pork, duck, milk and congee are especially beneficial. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated foods and drinks, alcohol, sugar and tobacco smoking.

Lifestyle habits are very important in preserving Kidney health. Prolonged stress, staying up late, excessive sexual activity, excessive mental work, eating late at night, overwork and lack of rest all damage Kidney Yin. 

Rest is one of the best ways to replenish Yin. Exercise should be mild and gentle, such as swimming, walking, Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong.

Most important herbs used to treat Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty Heat Blazing