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: 肝阴虚
Pinyin name: Gān Yīn Xū
This is a type of Empty-Heat pattern arising out of Liver Blood Deficiency or Kidney Yin Deficiency. It shares similar symptoms as Liver Blood Deficiency, but with extra signs of Dryness and Yin-Deficient Heat.
When Liver Yin Deficiency is quite developed as a pattern, it causes Empty-Heat. The Heat is called "Empty" because it appears not due to an Excess of Yang energy but rather due to lack of Yin-cooling factors in the body. This causes the cheekbones to get redder, thirst with desire to drink in small sips, night sweats and a feeling of heat in the palm. Patients' mental health also sometimes gets affected. When there is Liver Yin Deficiency and Empty-Heat at the same time, it disturbs the Ethereal Soul which loses its root. Therefore, it ‘comes and goes’ excessively, resulting in anxiety, insomnia, mental restlessness and an excessive mental activity in terms or plans, projects, dreams, aims which are pursued in a rather ‘scattered’ way.
Liver Yin Deficiency can be caused by excessive activity, overwork, 'burning the candle at both ends' without sufficient rest, and poor and irregular diet. Many menopausal symptoms fit this category.
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 Liver 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 Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), empty (Xu), wiry (Xian) or floating (Fu)
Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating
Tongue color: Red points on the sides
Possible symptoms: Cramps Insomnia Dry hair Dry skin Dry eyes Dizziness Dry throat Menopausal Amenorrhea Depression Malar flush Blurred vision Scanty periods Muscle weakness Floaters in eyes Numbness in the limbs Dream disturbed sleep Feeling of aimlessness Diminished night vision Hot sensation in the palms Withered and brittle nails Dull-pale complexion without lustre but with red cheekbones
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 Liver Yin Deficiency will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu), wiry (Xian) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red points on the sides tongue with complete absence of coating.
Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Liver Yin Deficiency might experience symptoms like dry throat, blurred vision, scanty periods and dizziness (full list here above).
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.
Besides Liver Yin Deficiency, Qi Ju Di Huang Wan is also used to treat Liver Yang Rising or Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising.
Eat plenty of grains, legumes, a little meat, cooked vegetables, greens, milk and black and aduki beans. Avoid spicy, greasy and fried foods, caffeinated foods and drinks including coffee, black tea, cocoa, colas and chocolate, nuts and nut butters, chips of all kinds, avocados, dairy (except warm milk with cardamom and honey), alcohol, drugs, chips of all kinds, turkey and red meats and stimulants. The foods which decongest and aid the Liver include vegetables, bitter foods, dark leaf greens, such as kale, collards, dandelion, beet and mustard greens. Lemons also clear Heat and congestion from the Liver.