Spleen Deficiency

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Pattern factsheet

Related conditions: Abnormal vaginal discharge

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Edema Tiredness Dull face Sore back Depression and seven other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Spleen 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 Deficiency gives rise to such diverse symptoms as sticky vaginal discharge, tiredness, depression and cold limbs (as well as eight others).

To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Spleen Deficiency patients tend to exhibit weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thick white coating.

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

Diagnosing Spleen Deficiency

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

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Possible symptoms: Edema Tiredness Dull face Sore back Depression Cold limbs Amenorrhea Weak Limbs Loose stools Poor appetite White vaginal discharge Sticky vaginal discharge

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 Deficiency will tend to exhibit weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thick white coating.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Spleen Deficiency might experience symptoms like sticky vaginal discharge, tiredness, depression and cold limbs (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Spleen 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 with Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 1247, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi.

Besides Spleen 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

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 with Yam (Shan Yao) and Foxnut Seeds (Qian Shi) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1826 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge.

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

Read more about Yi Huang Tang

Wan Dai Tang

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies the Middle Burner. Removes Dampness. Stops vaginal discharge. Strengthens the Spleen.

Formula summary

Wan Dai Tang is a 10-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) and Yam (Shan Yao) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1826 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge.

Read more about Wan Dai Tang

Special highlight: the link between abnormal vaginal discharge and Spleen Deficiency

Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) is the key herb for Wan Dai Tang, a formula used for abnormal vaginal discharge caused by Spleen Deficiency

This pattern can be further divided into Spleen Qi Deficiency, Spleen Yang Deficiency and Spleen Qi Sinking. The first one can develop as a consequence of the latter two if they linger for a while without proper treatment. Spleen Yang Deficiency can also lead to Kidney Yang Deficiency

The typical symptoms are excessive and continuous vaginal discharge with a white or pale yellow color. Normally there is no smell. The consistency is sticky, which suggests Dampness (which is the case here) or Read more about abnormal vaginal discharge