Lung Yin Deficiency

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 肺阴虚

Pinyin name: Fèi Yīn Xū

Associated TCM concepts: Lungs Yin Deficiency / Empty

Related conditions: Asthma Diabetes Pneumonia and eleven other conditions

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Insomnia Red lips Dry cough Dry mouth Tiredness and eleven other symptoms

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

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Exterior Heat and Dryness can invade the Lungs and exhausts the Body Fluids. If it is not dealt with for a long time, it leads to Lung Yin Deficiency. Other factors can cause this pattern such as the Deficiency of Kidneys or Stomach Yin as well as prolonged Lung Qi Deficiency due to excessive smoking or use of voice. Emotional stress such as sadness and grief may also deplete Lung Qi and Yin.

Empty Heat symptoms appear if the Lung Yin Deficiency condition is not treated for a while. Patients can feel malar flush, low-grade fever as well as Heat in the palms and chest, especially in the evenings. 

The treatment principle is to tonify Lung Yin, nourish Body Fluids and clear Empty Heat if it is needed. 

Related conditions

Absence of menstruation Peptic ulcers Hypertension Chronic bronchitis Asthma Pneumonia Pertussis Bronchiectasis Diabetes Laryngitis Lung atrophy Acute bronchitis Reactive lymphoid hyperplasia Radiation therapy side effects

Diagnosing Lung Yin Deficiency

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

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Possible symptoms: Insomnia Red lips Dry cough Dry mouth Tiredness Weak voice Dry throat Depression Blood spit Chest pain Malar flush Night sweats Frequent sighing Hot palms and soles Shortness of breath Thin body lacking strength

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 Lung Yin Deficiency will tend to exhibit rapid (Shu), empty (Xu) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a red tongue with complete absence of coating.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Lung Yin Deficiency might experience symptoms like dry cough, weak voice, dry mouth and dry throat (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Lung Yin Deficiency

Mai Men Dong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Stomach. Generates Body Fluids. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Formula summary

Mai Men Dong Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Dwarf Lilyturf Roots (Mai Dong) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that enrich Yin and moisten Dryness.

Besides Lung Yin Deficiency, Mai Men Dong Tang is also used to treat Stomach Yin Deficiency or Stomach Deficiency.

Read more about Mai Men Dong Tang

Bai He Gu Jin Tang

Source date: 1573 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Lung and Kidney Yin. Lubricates the Lung and clears phlegm.

Formula summary

Bai He Gu Jin Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Lily Bulbs (Bai He), Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) and Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1573 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that nourish Yin and tonify.

Besides Lung Yin Deficiency, Bai He Gu Jin Tang is also used to treat Body Fluids Deficiency or Lung and Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire.

Read more about Bai He Gu Jin Tang

Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang

Source date: the 18th century

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Improves throat. Resolves toxicity. Clears the Lungs.

Formula summary

Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang is a 8-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in the 18th century, it belongs to the category of formulas that enrich Yin and moisten Dryness.

Read more about Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang

Diet recommendations

Pay attention to avoid foods that are hot, spicy, fried and greasy. Eat grains, protein, vegetables and greens and, if digestion functions well, some fruit (especially pears) and juices. Some specific foods are recommended such as asparagus, duck, black beans and milk. 

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

Lily Bulbs (Bai He) is the key herb for Bai He Gu Jin Tang, a formula used for absence of menstruation caused by Lung Yin Deficiency

Typical symptoms for absence of menstruation caused by Lung Yin Deficiency: Red lips Dry cough Depression Blood spit Chest pain Malar flush Frequent sighing Shortness of breath Hot palms and soles

Recommended herbal formula: Bai He Gu Jin Tang

An excessive amount of grief and sadness injures the Lung Qi and leads to a situation where the Lungs fail to circulate and disseminate Qi around the body. Qi is the driving force for the Blood flow in vessels and channels. This results in Blood Deficiency and the absence of menstruation.

It typically progresses from a Lung Qi Deficiency that is not treated for a while and degenerates into Lung Yin Deficiency.

The treatment principle is to moisten the Lungs, nourish Lung Yin and Liver Blood,...Read more about absence of menstruation