Spleen Blood Deficiency

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 脾血虚

Pinyin name: Pí Xuè Xū

Associated TCM concepts: Spleen Blood Deficiency / Empty


Common symptoms: Fatigue Insomnia Lassitude Thin body Weak Limbs and seven other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Pale, Thin and slightly dry

"Spleen-Blood deficiency" is often excluded as a pattern from the literature because it's technically Spleen Qi Deficiency that leads to Blood Deficiency

As such it presents all the symptoms of of Spleen-Qi deficiency such as poor appetite, slight abdominal distension after eating, fatigue, lassitude, dull-pale complexion, weakness of the limbs and loose stools. On top of those, there are symptoms of Blood Deficiency such as scanty or no periods, a thin tongue and a Choppy or Fine pulse.

There is some depression and insomnia as the Blood Deficiency may affect the Heart (where the Mind resides).

Also a key difference from pure Spleen Qi Deficiency is that the body is likely to be thin due to the Blood deficiency as opposed to tending to obesity in Spleen Qi Deficiency alone.

Diagnosing Spleen Blood Deficiency

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

Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi)

Tongue description: Pale, Thin and slightly dry

Possible symptoms: Fatigue Insomnia Lassitude Thin body Weak Limbs Depression Amenorrhea Loose stools Poor appetite Scanty periods Pale complexion Slight abdominal distention after eating

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 Blood Deficiency will tend to exhibit fine (Xi) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Spleen Blood Deficiency might experience symptoms like poor appetite, fatigue, lassitude and pale complexion (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Spleen 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 Blood Deficiency, Gui Pi Tang is also used to treat Qi Deficiency or Blood Deficiency.

Read more about Gui Pi Tang

Diet recommendations

A key change one can make to avoid or treat Spleen Blood Deficiency is to incorporate a lot of grains and meat in their diet since those are Blood-forming foods.

It's also important to get rid of poor dietary habits that might lead to Spleen Qi Deficiency, a precursor to Spleen Blood Deficiency. Habits such as the excessive consumption of cold and raw foods (like salads or cold drinks), eating at irregular times or eating chronically too much or too little.

Most important herbs used to treat Spleen Blood Deficiency