Abnormal absence of thirst according to Chinese Medicine

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Abnormal absence of thirst can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like abnormal absence of thirst here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.

A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here abnormal absence of thirst is often associated with feeling of cold, cold limbs and listlessness in the pattern “Lesser Yin Cold Transformation”. As you will see below, we have in record five patterns that can cause abnormal absence of thirst.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of abnormal absence of thirst we’ve identified five herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the five medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat abnormal absence of thirst.

The five "patterns of disharmony" that can cause abnormal absence of thirst

In Chinese Medicine abnormal absence of thirst is a symptom for 5 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) is the king ingredient for Si Ni Tang, a formula used for Lesser Yin Cold Transformation

Lesser Yin Cold Transformation

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

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Lesser Yin Cold Transformation include feeling of cold, cold limbs and listlessness.

Lesser Yin Cold Transformation is often treated with Si Ni Tang, a herbal formula made of 3 herbs (including Prepared Aconite - Zhi Fu Zi - as a key herb). Si Ni Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that rescue devastated yang", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Rescues devastated Yang".

Read more about Lesser Yin Cold Transformation here

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

Cold-Damp invading the Spleen

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Slow (Chi)

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Cold-Damp invading the Spleen include loose stools, poor appetite and tiredness.

Cold-Damp invading the Spleen is often treated with Ping Wei San, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Black Atractylodes Rhizomes - Cang Zhu - as a key herb). Ping Wei San belongs to the category of "formulas that transform dampness and harmonize stomach", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dries Dampness".

Read more about Cold-Damp invading the Spleen here

Ephedra (Ma Huang) is the king ingredient for Ma Huang Tang, a formula used for Exterior-Cold

Exterior-Cold

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Floating (Fu)

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Exterior-Cold include aversion to cold, loose stools and fever.

Exterior-Cold is often treated with Ma Huang Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Ephedra - Ma Huang - as a key herb). Ma Huang Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear wind-cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Releases exterior cold".

Read more about Exterior-Cold here

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

Stomach Deficient and Cold

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

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Stomach Deficient and Cold include cold limbs, poor appetite and tiredness.

Stomach Deficient and Cold is often treated with Xiao Jian Zhong Tang, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Maltose - Yi Tang - as a key herb). Xiao Jian Zhong Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms and tonifies the Middle Burner (Spleen and Stomach)".

Read more about Stomach Deficient and Cold here

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) is the king ingredient for Er Chen Tang, a formula used for Damp-Phlegm

Damp-Phlegm

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua)

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Damp-Phlegm include sticky taste in the mouth, nausea and focal distention of the chest.

Damp-Phlegm is often treated with Er Chen Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Er Chen Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm".

Read more about Damp-Phlegm here

Five herbal formulas that might help with abnormal absence of thirst

Si Ni Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Rescues devastated Yang. Warms the Middle Burner. Stops diarrhea.

Why might Si Ni Tang help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Lesser Yin Cold Transformation' of which abnormal absence of thirst is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Lesser Yin Cold Transformation include feeling of cold, cold limbs and listlessness.

Read more about Si Ni Tang here

Ping Wei San

Source date: 1051 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Dries Dampness. Improves the Spleen's transportive function. Promotes the movement of Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Ping Wei San help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Cold-Damp invading the Spleen' of which abnormal absence of thirst is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Cold-Damp Invading The Spleen include loose stools, poor appetite and tiredness.

Read more about Ping Wei San here

Gui Zhi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Releases pathogens from the muscle layer. Regulates the Nutritive and Protective Qi.

Why might Gui Zhi Tang help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Exterior-Cold' of which abnormal absence of thirst is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Exterior-Cold include aversion to cold, loose stools and fever.

Read more about Gui Zhi Tang here

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.

Why might Xiao Jian Zhong Tang help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Stomach Deficient and Cold' of which abnormal absence of thirst is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Stomach Deficient And Cold include cold limbs, poor appetite and tiredness.

Read more about Xiao Jian Zhong Tang here

Er Chen Tang

Source date: 1148 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm. Regulates Qi and harmonizes the Middle Burner (Stomach and Spleen).

Why might Er Chen Tang help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Phlegm' of which abnormal absence of thirst is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Phlegm include sticky taste in the mouth, nausea and focal distention of the chest.

Read more about Er Chen Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat abnormal absence of thirst

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat abnormal absence of thirst as a symptom, like Si Ni Tang or Ping Wei San for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs.

Read more about Liquorice here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat abnormal absence of thirst as a symptom, like Wu Ling San or Er Chen Tang for instance.

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.

Read more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms here

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because Crow-Dipper Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat abnormal absence of thirst as a symptom, like Er Chen Tang or Wen Dan Tang for instance.

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Drains Dampness and reduces Phlegm. Reverses the flow of Rebellious Qi. Reduces hardenings and relieves distention.

Read more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes here

Why might Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang) help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because Fresh Ginger is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat abnormal absence of thirst as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Tang or Xiao Jian Zhong Tang for instance.

Fresh Ginger is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Warms and circulates Qi in the Middle Burner. Calms a restless fetus and treats morning sickness. Treats seafood poisoning.

Read more about Fresh Ginger here

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat abnormal absence of thirst as a symptom, like Shen Fu Tang or Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

Ginseng is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit).

Read more about Ginseng here