Spleen Yang Deficiency

Home > Patterns of disharmony > Spleen Yang Deficiency

At a glance

Key attributes

Chinese name: 脾阳虚      Pinyin name: Pí Yáng Xū

Pattern nature: Empty

Pattern hierarchy: Specific pattern under Yang Deficiency

Common combinations: Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Gas Chills Bloating Lassitude Cold limbs and six other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue description: Pale and wet tongue

Treatment

Treatment principle: Tonify and warm Spleen Yang.

Common formulas: Zhen Wu Tang Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Yi Huang Tang

Pathology

Generally speaking, Spleen Yang Deficiency often develops from Spleen Qi Deficiency, but it is more extensive and severe. The common manifestations are these related to digestive functions such as loose stools, poor appetite, slight abdominal distension and pain after eating, gas and bloating. Since the Spleen fails to transport the Food Qi to the body, patients also suffer from general fatigue, lassitude, weak limbs, pale tongue and face. Patients prefers to lie down. 

On top of above, the Yang Deficiency also brings in additional Cold symptoms, such as a cold feeling and cold limbs. It is because Spleen Yang fails to warm the body and Organs. Therefore, the body metabolism get slower and some food are not digested properly and passes directly into the stools.

Since the Spleen fails to perform the function of transforming and transporting fluids, the circulation of Body Fluids is disturbed, causing symptoms such as Oedema, vaginal discharge and Lung mucus. The Yang Deficiency pattern is even more likely to form Dampness and Phlegm.

Diagnosing Spleen Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), slow (Chi) or weak (Ruo)

Tongue description: Pale and wet tongue

Main symptoms: Gas Chills Bloating Lassitude Cold limbs Pale complexion Sallow complexion Desire to lie down curled up Undigested food in the stools Slight abdominal distension after eating Abdominal pain and distension relieved by pressure and warmth

Diagnosis commentary: The key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the loose stools, feeling cold and tiredness.

Treating Spleen Yang Deficiency

Treatment principle

Tonify and warm Spleen Yang.

Herbal formulas used to treat Spleen Yang Deficiency

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Source date: 1247

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner). Raises the Yang. Detoxifies. Lifts what has sunken.

Formula summary

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1247, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi.

Besides Spleen Yang Deficiency, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is also used to treat Qi Deficiency or Qi Collapsing or Qi Sinking.

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Zhen Wu Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies the Yang and Qi of the Spleen and Kidneys. Eliminates Dampness.

Formula summary

Zhen Wu Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform water and Dampness.

Besides Spleen Yang Deficiency, Zhen Wu Tang is also used to treat Oedema or Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency.

Read more about Zhen Wu Tang

Yi Huang Tang

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Strengthens the Spleen. Dries Dampness. Clears Heat. Stops vaginal discharge.

Formula summary

Yi Huang Tang is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1826 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge.

Besides Spleen Yang Deficiency, Yi Huang Tang is also used to treat Damp-Heat or Spleen Deficiency.

Read more about Yi Huang Tang

Diet recommendations

Eat beef, lamb, rice, millet, barley, whole grains, winter squash, cooked vegetables, greens and plenty of protein, all cooked foods and avoid raw or cold foods which are hard to digest.  

As for sports, try light exercises such as walking, swimming, bicycling, dancing Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Can also try Four Purifications, Ujjayi pranayam or Eight Brocades with special emphasis on exercises numbers 2, 3 and 7. 

As for therapies, try moxibustion over the navel, lower abdomen and Kidneys. 

Find a way to destress and working on the emotional problems.

Related conditions

Hypertension Pelvic inflammatory disease Trigeminal neuralgia Menieres disease Congestive heart failure Rheumatoid arthritis Lumbar disc disease Sciatica Chronic glomerulonephritis Hyperaldosteronism Hypothyroidism Ascites from cirrhosis Orthostatic hypotension Basilar insufficiency Osteoarthritis Piriformis syndrome Postconcussion headache