Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency

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

Pattern factsheet

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Edema Coughing Vomiting Tinnitus Dizziness and twelve other symptoms

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

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Tooth-marked, Swollen

Spleen or 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 or Kidney Yang Deficiency gives rise to such diverse symptoms as abdominal pain that worsens with cold, urinary difficulty, deep aching and heaviness in the extremities and dizziness (as well as thirteen others).

To diagnose a pattern, analyzing a patient's pulse as well as their tongue is common practice. In the case of Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency patients tend to exhibit deep (Chen) 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 or Kidney Yang Deficiency is thought to sometimes induce conditions such as intermenstrual bleeding, hypertension or pelvic inflammatory disease (as well as fifteen others).

Related conditions

Intermenstrual bleeding 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

Diagnosing Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency

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

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 or Kidney Yang Deficiency will tend to exhibit deep (Chen) 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 or Kidney Yang Deficiency might experience symptoms like abdominal pain that worsens with cold, urinary difficulty, deep aching and heaviness in the extremities and dizziness (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency

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 with Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm and transform water and Dampness.

Besides Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency, Zhen Wu Tang is also used to treat Phlegm in the Joints or Spleen Yang Deficiency.

Read more about Zhen Wu Tang

Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang

Source date: 1826 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi and Yang.

Formula summary

Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi), Ginseng (Ren Shen) and Atractylodes Rhizomes (Bai Zhu) as principal ingredients. Invented in 1826 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that tonify Qi and Blood.

Besides Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency, Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang is also used to treat Qi Deficiency.

Read more about Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang

Special highlight: the link between intermenstrual bleeding and Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency

Milkvetch Roots (Huang Qi) is the key herb for Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang, a formula used for intermenstrual bleeding caused by Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency

Typical symptoms for intermenstrual bleeding caused by Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency: Tinnitus Dizziness Back pain Knee pain Tiredness Depression Loose stools Feeling of cold Frequent urination

Recommended herbal formula: Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang

Mid-cycle bleeding under this pattern is characterized by red color menstruating Blood without clots. Normally there is no abdominal pain and the volume can be scanty or heavy. 

The Kidneys store the Essence and the Spleen controls the Blood. When these two Organs' Yang is Deficient, no sufficient Qi, which is a Yang element, is created to hold Blood in its vessels. It also injures the Directing and Penetrating Vessels. Thus unwanted bleeding is the result. 

Excessive physical activities,...Read more about intermenstrual bleeding

Most important herbs used to treat Spleen or Kidney Yang Deficiency