Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

TCM Education Center > Patterns of disharmony > Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

Pattern factsheet

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Tics Vertigo Fatigue Tinnitus Insomnia and twenty one other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Kidney and Liver Yin 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 and Liver Yin Deficiency gives rise to such diverse symptoms as soreness and weakness in the lower back, lightheadedness, vertigo and tinnitus (as well as twenty two others).

To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency patients tend to exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

Patterns aren't exactly the Chinese Medicine equivalent to Western diseases, they're rather the underlying causes behind diseases or health conditions. Here Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency is thought to sometimes induce conditions such as vaginal itching, menopausal syndrome or absence of menstruation (as well as eighteen others).

Related conditions

Vaginal itching Menopausal syndrome Absence of menstruation Hypertension Perimenopausal syndrome Atherosclerosis Hyperthyroid Coronary artery disease Chronic glomerulonephritis Chronic nephritis Prostate diseases Urinary tract infection Renal tuberculosis Diabetes mellitus Diabetes insipidus Cataract Glaucoma Central retinopathy Optic nerve atrophy Optic neuritis Retarded growth in children

Diagnosing Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

The Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver 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 and Liver Yin Deficiency will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a red tongue with partial absence of coating.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency might experience symptoms like soreness and weakness in the lower back, lightheadedness, vertigo and tinnitus (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

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 and Liver Yin Deficiency, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan is also used to treat Blood Deficiency or Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Si Wu Tang

Source date: 846 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.

Formula summary

Si Wu Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) and White Peony Roots (Bai Shao) as principal ingredients. Invented in 846 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Blood.

Besides Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Si Wu Tang is also used to treat Blood Deficiency or Blood Stagnation.

Read more about Si Wu Tang

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1350 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin. Improves vision.

Formula summary

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.

Besides Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is also used to treat Liver Yang Rising or Liver Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

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

Read more about He Che Da Zao Wan

Tiao Gan Tang

Source date: 1827 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin.

Formula summary

Tiao Gan Tang is a 7-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Dong Quai (Dang Gui) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1827 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.

Besides Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Tiao Gan Tang is also used to treat Liver Blood and Kidney Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Tiao Gan Tang

Gui Shao Di Huang Tang

Source date: 1706 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Blood. Nourishes Yin.

Formula summary

Gui Shao Di Huang Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1706 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.

Besides Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Gui Shao Di Huang Tang is also used to treat Liver Blood and Kidney Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Gui Shao Di Huang Tang

Zuo Gui Yin

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Tonifies the Kidneys.

Formula summary

Zuo Gui Yin is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1624 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.

Besides Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Zuo Gui Yin is also used to treat Kidney Yin Deficiency.

Read more about Zuo Gui Yin

Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1584 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yin. Drains Fire.

Formula summary

Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Anemarrhena Rhizomes (Zhi Mu), Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo) and Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1584 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.

Read more about Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan

Special highlight: the link between absence of menstruation and Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

Dong Quai (Dang Gui) is the key herb for Tiao Gan Tang, a formula used for absence of menstruation caused by Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

Typical symptoms for absence of menstruation caused by Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency: Fatigue Tinnitus Insomnia Dry eyes Dizziness Dry mouth Night sweats Blurred vision Lower back pain

Recommended herbal formulas: Tiao Gan Tang, Gui Shao Di Huang Tang, He Che Da Zao Wan, Zuo Gui Yin, Si Wu Tang

Liver and Kidney Yin Deficiency are some of the most common Yin Deficiency pattern. Blood is a Yin elements and Yin Deficiency dries the 'Sea of Blood' of the Penetrating Vessel. Therefore the menstruation ceases. This pattern is the result of overwork, chronic disease or giving birth to too many children too close together. It happens more amongst women who are over 30 years old, in contrast to the patterns of Kidney Essence and Liver Blood Deficiency which happens more to younger girls. 

The...Read more about absence of menstruation

Special highlight: the link between menopausal syndrome and Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) is the key herb for Qi Ju Di Huang Wan, a formula used for menopausal syndrome caused by Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

The symptoms under this pattern are very similar to those under Kidney Yin Deficiency but the condition is much more severe. The Kidney Yin is so Deficient that it dries up the Liver Yin

Prolonged Yin Deficiency leads to Liver Yang Rising, as the Yang can not be kept under control. Sometime it can even agitate Liver Wind Internally. Then symptoms such as dizziness, tics, headache and tinnitus appear. Blurred vision is also a typical sign, as Liver opens into the eyes. The Liver houses the...Read more about menopausal syndrome