Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 心脾血虚

Pinyin name: Xīn Pí Xuè Xū

Associated TCM concepts: Spleen Heart Blood Deficiency / Empty


Common symptoms: Anxiety Insomnia Dizziness Pale lips Tiredness and nine other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Pale and Thin

The symptoms described here are of course a mix of symptoms from Spleen Blood Deficiency and Heart Blood Deficiency.

Heart Blood Deficiency symptoms include the so-called "psychological" symptoms since the Heart houses the Mind

Spleen Blood Deficiency is not really a pattern per se, more of a consequence of Spleen Qi Deficiency. It describes what happens when a deficient Spleen cannot generate enough Food-Qi (Gu Qi) which in turn induces a depressed production of Blood.

As such the symptoms of Spleen Blood Deficiency are basically the same as for Spleen Qi Deficiency when it leads to not enough Blood being produced.

Diagnosing Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency

The Spleen is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Spleen 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 Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency will tend to exhibit choppy (Se) or fine (Xi) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency might experience symptoms like palpitations, dizziness, insomnia and dream disturbed sleep (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency

Gui Pi Tang

Source date: 1529 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood. Tonifies Heart and Spleen.

Formula summary

Gui Pi Tang is a 12-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Ginseng (Ren Shen), Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi), Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) and Liquorice (Gan Cao) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1529 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi and Blood.

Besides Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency, Gui Pi Tang is also used to treat Qi Deficiency or Blood Deficiency.

Read more about Gui Pi Tang

Diet recommendations

To counter Spleen Blood Deficiency, it's important to eat a diet rich in Blood-nourishing foods like meats and grains. 

It's also important to steer away from excessive physical activity, at work or sport. It injures the muscles and therefore the Spleen. Favor mild activities: if sport, Qigong is ideal.

Emotional stress is also very damaging for this pattern, particularly emotions like sadness, grief, anxiety and worry.

Most important herbs used to treat Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency