Lesser Yin Cold Transformation

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 少阴寒化      Pinyin name: Shǎo Yīn Hán Huà

Pattern nature: Empty


Precursor patterns: Greater Yin stage

Common causes: External pathogenic factor


Common symptoms: Chills Diarrhea No thirst Cold limbs Listlessness and four other symptoms

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

Tongue description: Pale and wet tongue with white coating


Treatment principle: Tonify Kidney-Yang, expel Cold.

Common formulas: Si Ni Tang


This is one of the two patterns of the Lesser Yin stage, the second Yin stage of the Six Stages theory

The Lesser Yin stage is where the disharmony mainly affects the Kidney Channel.

The Kidneys are considered the root of Yin and Yang in the body. As such, this stage has two patterns, called "Cold transformation" and "Heat transformation" that describe respectively a Kidney Yang Deficiency (with Empty-Cold symptoms) and a Kidney Yin Deficiency (with Empty-Heat symptoms).

This being the "Cold transformation" patterns, the pathology of this pattern is essentially Kidney Yang Deficiency with Empty-Cold symptoms like a feeling of cold, frequent pale urination or diarrhea. 


Precursor patterns: Lesser Yin Cold Transformation can derive from Greater Yin stage

External pathogenic factor: The main cause of this pattern is when an external pathogen, typically Wind-Cold, has invaded the body and had progressed in the Interior.

Diagnosing Lesser Yin Cold Transformation

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), slow (Chi) or weak (Ruo)

Tongue description: Pale and wet tongue with white coating

Main symptoms: Chills Diarrhea No thirst Cold limbs Listlessness Feeling of cold Desire to sleep Lying with body curled Frequent pale urination

Treating Lesser Yin Cold Transformation

Treatment principle

Tonify Kidney-Yang, expel Cold.

Herbal formulas used to treat Lesser Yin Cold Transformation

Si Ni Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Rescues devastated Yang. Warms the Middle Burner. Stops diarrhea.

Formula summary

Si Ni Tang is a 3-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that rescue devastated Yang.

Read more about Si Ni Tang

Consequence patterns

Terminal Yin

If left untreated Lesser Yin Cold Transformation can lead to Terminal Yin