Stomach Deficient and Cold

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Pattern factsheet

Chinese name: 胃阳虚

Pinyin name: Wèi Yáng Xū

Associated TCM concepts: Stomach Yang Deficiency / Empty Cold pattern


Common symptoms: No thirst Tiredness Weak limbs Cold limbs Poor appetite and four other symptoms

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

Tongue description: Pale and wet

Also called Stomach Yang Deficiency, this pattern is normally associated with Spleen-Yang Deficiency, which leads to Internal Cold, resulting in cold limbs, loose stools, vomiting of clear fluids, no thirst, preference for warm drinks and foods and a Weak pulse.

When Stomach-Qi is deficient, it may be made worse by the bowel movement, hence the aggravation of the feeling of discomfort in the epigastrium after a bowel movement.

Because the discomfort is caused by a Deficiency condition, it is better with eating and better after pressure or massage.

Diagnosing Stomach Deficient and Cold

The Stomach is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Stomach 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 Stomach Deficient and Cold will tend to exhibit deep (Chen), slow (Chi) or weak (Ruo) pulses.

Practitioners also learn to read from a long list of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Here patients with Stomach Deficient and Cold might experience symptoms like epigastric pain relieved with pressure or eating, poor appetite, preference for warm drinks and foods and vomiting of clear fluids (full list here above).

Herbal formulas used to treat Stomach Deficient and Cold

Xiao Jian Zhong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies the Middle Burner (Spleen and Stomach). Tonifies Qi. Relieves spasmodic pain.

Formula summary

Xiao Jian Zhong Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula with Maltose (Yi Tang) as a principal ingredient. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm the middle and dispel Cold.

Besides Stomach Deficient and Cold, Xiao Jian Zhong Tang is also used to treat Small Intestine Deficient and Cold.

Read more about Xiao Jian Zhong Tang

Most important herbs used to treat Stomach Deficient and Cold