Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency

TCM Education Center > Patterns of disharmony > Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency

Pattern factsheet

Related conditions: Lupus

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Loose stools Oedema of face Pale complexion Oedema of limbs Cold extremities and three other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency is a pattern of disharmony in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine views the human body as a complex system that tends toward harmony. A pattern of disharmony is a disorder that prevents that harmony from occurring.

Patterns give rise to symptoms that may at first glance seem unrelated from a Western standpoint but that actually make a lot of sense when one understands Chinese Medicine theory. For instance here Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency gives rise to such diverse symptoms as pale complexion, oedema of face, oedema of limbs and abdominal distention and fullness (as well as four others).

To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency patients tend to exhibit deep (Chen), weak (Ruo) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Patterns aren't exactly the Chinese Medicine equivalent to Western diseases, they're rather the underlying causes behind diseases or health conditions. Here Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency is thought to sometimes induce conditions such as lupus.

Diagnosing Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency

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

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), weak (Ruo) or fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

Possible symptoms: Loose stools Oedema of face Pale complexion Oedema of limbs Cold extremities Frequent urination Shortness of breath Abdominal distention and fullness

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 Kidney Yang Deficiency will tend to exhibit deep (Chen), weak (Ruo) or fine (Xi) pulses as well as a pale tongue.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency might experience symptoms like pale complexion, oedema of face, oedema of limbs and abdominal distention and fullness (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency

Wu Ling San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes urination,. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Promotes Qi transformation function. Drains Dampness. Clears edema.

Formula summary

Wu Ling San is a 5-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Water Plantain (Ze Xie) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that promote urination and leach out Dampness.

Besides Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency, Wu Ling San is also used to treat Yin Excess or Phlegm.

Read more about Wu Ling San

Special highlight: the link between lupus and Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency

Water Plantain (Ze Xie) is the key herb for Wu Ling San, a formula used for lupus caused by Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency

Typical symptoms for lupus caused by Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency: Loose stools Oedema of face Pale complexion Oedema of limbs Cold extremities Frequent urination Shortness of breath Abdominal distention and fullness

Recommended herbal formula: Wu Ling San

The treatment principle for Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency when it comes to Lupus is to warm and tonify the Spleen and Kidney as well as promote urination.

Read more about lupus

Most important herbs used to treat Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency