Lung Qi Deficiency

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 肺气虚      Pinyin name: Fèi Qì Xū

Pattern nature: Empty

Pattern hierarchy: Specific pattern under Qi Deficiency

Common combinations: Spleen and Lung Qi Deficiency Lung and Heart Qi Deficiency

Causes

Precursor patterns: Spleen Qi Deficiency Spleen Yang Deficiency Spleen Qi Sinking and three other possible precursors

Common causes: 1. Weak constitution, 2. Emotional stress, 3. Bad life habits, 4. Excessive use of voice, 5. External Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat, 6. Drug

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Aversion to speak Spontaneous daytime sweating

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue description: Pale or normal color tongue

Treatment

Treatment principle: Tonify Lung Qi, warm Yang

Common formulas: Si Jun Zi Tang

Pathology

The Lungs govern Qi and respiration. Therefore there will be shortness of breath and coughing in case of Lung Qi Deficiency. However the condition is not severe as it is mostly on exertion and not full-blown symptoms of bronchitis or asthma.

Symptoms like coughing can also appear if Lungs' Qi downwards directing function is impaired due to Rebellious Lung Qi

In case of Lung Qi Deficiency, Qi's protecting, dispersing and descending function can not be performed properly and thus patients feel tired, weak, dislike speaking and they are very easy to catch bad cold or flu. They also experiences spontaneous sweating. 

Causes

Precursor patterns: Lung Qi Deficiency can derive from Spleen Qi Deficiency Spleen Yang Deficiency Spleen Qi Sinking Heart Qi Deficiency Spleen Blood Deficiency Spleen not controlling Blood

Weak constitution: Hereditary Lung weakness can lead to this pattern, especially if one of the parents suffered from tuberculosis.

Emotional stress: Emotional stress, especially sadness and grief, depletes Lung Qi. If this situation persists over a long period of time without being treated properly, it can develop further to Lung Qi Stagnation as the Deficient Qi fails to move in the
chest.

Bad life habits: If a person often stoops over a desk for long hours, breathing can be easily constricted and, in the long run, cause Lung Qi Deficiency.

Excessive use of voice: Excessive use of voice over many years can also deplete Lung Qi.

External Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat: External Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat can attack the Lungs directly. If they are not treated properly, as some pathogenic factors stay in the body, it can cause Lung Qi Deficiency in the long run.

Drug: Over dosage of drugs such as antibiotics can constrain Coldness inside the Lungs and case Lung Qi Deficiency.

Diagnosing Lung Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue description: Pale or normal color tongue

Main symptoms: Aversion to speak Spontaneous daytime sweating

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the slight short of breath and am Empty Lung pulse.

Treating Lung Qi Deficiency

Treatment principle

Tonify Lung Qi, warm Yang

Herbal formulas used to treat Lung Qi Deficiency

Si Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach.

Formula summary

Si Jun Zi Tang is a 4-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1107 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi.

Besides Lung Qi Deficiency, Si Jun Zi Tang is also used to treat Qi Deficiency or Stomach Qi Deficiency.

Read more about Si Jun Zi Tang

Diet recommendations

It is recommended to eat only cooked foods and not iced drinks. Eat sufficient protein at each meal such as black bean, soup with ginseng, garlic and onions, cooked vegetables and greens and plenty of grains and especially rice. Avoid cold or raw foods as well as drinks, salads, fruit, juices, alcohol and caffeine. 

Avoid excessive stooping or leaning over tables or desks. Dress warmly according to the season, especially with a scarf around the neck. Avoid overwork or excessive sexual activities. Go to bed early and take plenty of rest properly. Work on emotional problems and try to avoid being sad and worried. Try nasal wash if necessary. 

As for other therapies, try moxibustion especially over the lower abdomen or breathing exercises. 

As for sports, try light to moderate exercise within the body's limits. It is better to avoid intensive aerobic sports, but rather try walking, swimming, cycling, Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong. 

Related conditions

Anemia Hepatitis Nervous exhaustion Habitual miscarriage Ulcers

Consequence patterns

Spleen not controlling Blood

If left untreated Lung Qi Deficiency can lead to Spleen not controlling Blood

Spleen Blood Deficiency

If left untreated Lung Qi Deficiency can lead to Spleen Blood Deficiency

Kidneys failing to receive Qi

If prolonged, Lung Qi Deficiency may lead to Kidneys failing to receive Qi

Lung Yang Deficiency

When Lung Qi is Deficient for a long term, it can hurt Lung Yang. 

Spleen Qi Deficiency

According to Five Phases theory, Earth (the Spleen) is the Mother of Metal (the Lungs).  Therefore  Spleen Qi Deficiency often leads to Lung Qi Deficiency and vice versa. 

Spleen Qi Sinking

According to Five Phases theory, Earth (the Spleen) is the Mother of Metal (the Lungs).  Therefore Spleen Qi Deficiency or Sinking often leads to Lung Qi Deficiency and vice versa. 

Lung Yin Deficiency

If Lung Qi Deficiency persists for a long time, it can eventually develop to the Yin Deficiency in the Lungs.