Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 脾肝血虚      Pinyin name: Pí Gān Xuè Xū

Pattern nature: Empty combined pattern

Pattern(s) it combines from: Spleen Blood Deficiency Liver Blood Deficiency

Causes

Precursor patterns: Spleen Qi Deficiency

Common causes: Diet

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Cramps Insomnia Dry hair Dry skin Tiredness and nineteen other symptoms

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

Tongue description: Pale dry body especially on the sides, which, in extreme cases, can assume an orange color

Treatment

Treatment principle: Tonify Spleen Qi and nourish Liver Blood.

Common formulas: Gui Pi Tang

Pathology

The Spleen is the origin of Blood because Grain Qi (Gu Qi) produced by the Spleen is Blood's key component. As a result if Spleen Qi is Deficient (an indispensable precondition for Spleen Blood Deficiency), not enough Blood is produced which is what leads to the Blood Deficiency. 

Quite a few of the symptoms here such as loose stools, poor appetite and weak limbs, are typical of Spleen Qi Deficiency which again is always a precondition for Spleen Blood Deficiency.

The Liver stores Blood. When Liver Blood is Deficient one gets symptoms like dizziness, blurred vision, numbness in the limbs, scanty periods or, in the worst cases, amenorrhea (a total absence of periods).

The slight depression and feeling of aimlessness are also due to the Liver Blood Deficiency. The lack of Blood prevents the Ethereal Soul (Hun) from being properly "rooted" in Blood.

Causes

Precursor patterns: Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency can derive from Spleen Qi Deficiency

Diet: A diet lacking in nourishment, like a badly-executed vegan diet, or excessive in cold and raw foods is the most common cause for this pattern.

Diagnosing Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se) or fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Pale dry body especially on the sides, which, in extreme cases, can assume an orange color

Main symptoms: Cramps Insomnia Dry hair Dry skin Tiredness Lassitude Thin body Dizziness Pale lips Weak Limbs Amenorrhea Depression Loose stools Poor appetite Scanty periods Blurred vision Muscle weakness Floaters in eyes Dull-pale complexion Numbness in the limbs Feeling of aimlessness Diminished night vision Withered and brittle nails Slight abdominal distention after eating

Diagnosis commentary: The key characteristic symptoms are the loose stools, scanty periods, blurred vision and the pale sides of the tongue. The first three of those are enough in and of themselves to diagnose Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency.

Treating Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency

Treatment principle

Tonify Spleen Qi and nourish Liver Blood.

Herbal formulas used to treat Spleen and Liver 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. Invented in 1529 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi and Blood.

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

Read more about Gui Pi Tang

Diet recommendations

Diet is an important cause of this pattern. Pay careful to eat nourishing foods, particularly grains and meats, and to avoid an excessive amount (or regular consumption) of cold and raw foods.

Consequence patterns

Heart Blood Deficiency

If left untreated Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency can lead to Heart Blood Deficiency