Abnormal absence of thirst according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Abnormal absence of thirst

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 absence of sweating, coughing of copious thin and white sputum and generalized body pain in the pattern “Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs”. 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.

Ephedra (Ma Huang) is the king ingredient for Da Qing Long Tang, a formula used for Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs

Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick white coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

This is when Body Fluids stagnate in the four limbs instead of flowing in the body and getting released as sweat.

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs include absence of sweating, coughing of copious thin and white sputum and generalized body pain.

Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs is often treated with Da Qing Long Tang, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Ephedra - Ma Huang - as a key herb). Da Qing Long 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: "Promotes sweating".

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs here

Ephedra (Ma Huang) is the king ingredient for Xiao Qing Long Tang, a formula used for Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm

Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

This is when, often due to a stagnant Qi, the Body Fluids are retained in the chest and Lungs.

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm include absence of sweating, coughing of copious thin and white sputum and generalized body pain.

Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm is often treated with Xiao Qing Long Tang, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Ephedra - Ma Huang - as a key herb). Xiao Qing Long 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 the Exterior".

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm here

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

Stomach Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Stomach Yin Deficiency causes Dryness and Heat, which harms the Organ's ability of receiving and ripening foods and drinks. It is the result of prolonged unbalanced diet and irregular eating habits.

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Stomach Yin Deficiency include epigastric pain, dry mouth and poor appetite.

Stomach Yin Deficiency is often treated with Mai Men Dong Tang, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Dwarf Lilyturf Roots - Mai Dong - as a key herb). Mai Men Dong Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that enrich yin and moisten dryness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nourishes the Stomach".

Read more about Stomach Yin Deficiency here

Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) is the king ingredient for Fu Zi Tang, a formula used for Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp

Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Deep (Chen), Minute (Wei), Slow (Chi)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp include generalized body pain, aching bones and joints and cold extremities.

Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp is often treated with Fu Zi Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Prepared Aconite - Zhi Fu Zi - as a key herb). Fu Zi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that warm and transform water and dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Meridians".

Read more about Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp here

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

Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

In addition to abnormal absence of thirst, other symptoms associated with Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat include palpitations, anxiety and indeterminate gnawing hunger.

Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat is often treated with Wen Dan Tang, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Wen Dan 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: "Clears Hot-Phlegm".

Read more about Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat here

Five herbal formulas that might help with abnormal absence of thirst

Da Qing Long Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Promotes sweating. Releases the Exterior. Clears Interior Heat.

Why might Da Qing Long Tang help with abnormal absence of thirst?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Fluids In The Limbs include absence of sweating, coughing of copious thin and white sputum and generalized body pain.

Read more about Da Qing Long Tang here

Xiao Qing Long Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Warms the Lungs. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Why might Xiao Qing Long Tang help with abnormal absence of thirst?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Fluids Above The Diaphragm include absence of sweating, coughing of copious thin and white sputum and generalized body pain.

Read more about Xiao Qing Long Tang here

Fu Zi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Meridians. Assists the Yang. Dispels Cold. Transforms Dampness.

Why might Fu Zi Tang help with abnormal absence of thirst?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Yang Deficiency With Cold-Damp include generalized body pain, aching bones and joints and cold extremities.

Read more about Fu Zi Tang here

Mai Men Dong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Stomach. Generates Body Fluids. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Why might Mai Men Dong Tang help with abnormal absence of thirst?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Stomach Yin Deficiency include epigastric pain, dry mouth and poor appetite.

Read more about Mai Men Dong Tang here

Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Hot-Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder heat. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Wen Dan Tang help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat' of which abnormal absence of thirst is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Qi Stagnation In Gallbladder And Stomach With Phlegm Heat include palpitations, anxiety and indeterminate gnawing hunger.

Read more about Wen Dan 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 Mai Men Dong Tang or Da Qing Long Tang 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 Ephedra (Ma Huang) help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because Ephedra is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat abnormal absence of thirst as a symptom, like Da Qing Long Tang or Xiao Qing Long Tang for instance.

Ephedra is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Bladder and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Releases the surface through sweating. Promotes the circulation of Lung Qi and stop wheezing. Promotes urination.

Read more about Ephedra here

Why might Dwarf Lilyturf Root (Mai Dong) help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because Dwarf Lilyturf Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat abnormal absence of thirst as a symptom, like Mai Men Dong Tang or Yi Wei Tang for instance.

Dwarf Lilyturf Roots is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Replenishes Yin Essence and promotes secretions. Lubricates and nourishes the Stomach. Soothes the Lung. Nourishes the Heart.

Read more about Dwarf Lilyturf Roots 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 Wen Dan Tang or Mai Men Dong 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 White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with abnormal absence of thirst?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat abnormal absence of thirst as a symptom, like Fu Zi Tang or Xiao Qing Long Tang for instance.

White Peony Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Spleen and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain.

Read more about White Peony Roots here