Absence of menstruation according to Chinese Medicine

amenorrhea, primary amenorrhoea, absence of periods, blocked menstruation, blocked periods, no menstruation and no periods redirect here

Absence of menstruation 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 absence of menstruation 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 absence of menstruation is often associated with dizziness, depression and insomnia in the pattern “Blood Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record five patterns that can cause absence of menstruation.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of absence of menstruation 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 absence of menstruation.

The five "patterns of disharmony" that can cause absence of menstruation

In Chinese Medicine absence of menstruation 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 Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) is the king ingredient for Si Wu Tang, a formula used for Blood Deficiency

Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

Someone has a Deficiency of Blood when their entire body, a part of body or a particular Organ is insufficiently nourished by Blood. This can be caused by blood-loss, a lack of of Spleen Qi (responsible to produce Blood) or congealed Blood which prevents new Blood from forming.

In addition to absence of menstruation, other symptoms associated with Blood Deficiency include dizziness, depression and insomnia.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Blood Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Late Menstruation or Scanty Menstruation.

Blood Deficiency is often treated with Si Wu Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Si Wu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Restores and nourishes Blood".

Read more about Blood Deficiency here

Peach Kernels (Tao Ren) is the king ingredient for Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, a formula used for Qi And Blood Stagnation

Qi And Blood Stagnation

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

In addition to absence of menstruation, other symptoms associated with Qi And Blood Stagnation include dizziness, depression and insomnia.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Qi And Blood Stagnation is associated with health issues such as Menstrual Cramps, Absence Of Menstruation or Menopausal Syndrome.

Qi And Blood Stagnation is often treated with Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Peach Kernels - Tao Ren - as a key herb). Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Invigorates the Blood".

Read more about Qi And Blood Stagnation here

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

Liver Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

The Liver stores Blood, that is the reason any Blood Deficiency often involves the Liver. This pattern has an impact on areas the Liver relates to, such as the tendons, eyes, nails and menstruation. It arises from the same causes of general Blood Deficiency, such as poor diet, hemorrhages or Kidney Qi or Essence Deficiency.

In addition to absence of menstruation, other symptoms associated with Liver Blood Deficiency include dizziness, depression and insomnia.

Liver Blood Deficiency is often treated with Si Wu Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Si Wu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Restores and nourishes Blood".

Read more about Liver Blood Deficiency here

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

Spleen Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Fine (Xi)

In addition to absence of menstruation, other symptoms associated with Spleen Blood Deficiency include depression, insomnia and fatigue.

Spleen Blood Deficiency is often treated with Gui Pi Tang, a herbal formula made of 12 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Gui Pi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi and blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood".

Read more about Spleen Blood Deficiency here

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

Liver Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu), Wiry (Xian), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red points on the sides

This is a type of empty Fire pattern arising out of Liver Blood Deficiency or Kidney Yin Deficiency. It shares similar symptoms as Liver Blood Deficiency, but with extra signs of Dryness and Yin-Deficient Heat. It can be caused by excessive activity, overwork, 'burning the candle at both ends' without sufficient rest, and poor and irregular diet.

In addition to absence of menstruation, other symptoms associated with Liver Yin Deficiency include dizziness, depression and insomnia.

Liver Yin Deficiency is often treated with Qi Ju Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Qi Ju Di Huang Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin".

Read more about Liver Yin Deficiency here

Five herbal formulas that might help with absence of menstruation

Si Wu Tang

Source date: 846 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.

Why might Si Wu Tang help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Blood Deficiency' of which amenorrhea is a symptom.

Read more about Si Wu Tang here

Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang

Source date: 1830 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Expels Cold and warm the menstruation Blood. Stops pain. Invigorates Blood. Dispels Blood stagnation.

Why might Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Qi And Blood Stagnation' of which absence of menstruation is a symptom.

Read more about Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang here

Bu Gan Tang

Source date: 1742 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and regulates the Blood. Nourishes the Liver Yin.

Why might Bu Gan Tang help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Blood Deficiency' of which amenorrhea is a symptom.

Read more about Bu Gan Tang here

Gui Pi Tang

Source date: 1529 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood. Tonifies Heart and Spleen.

Why might Gui Pi Tang help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Spleen Blood Deficiency' of which amenorrhea is a symptom.

Read more about Gui Pi Tang here

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1350 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin. Improves vision.

Why might Qi Ju Di Huang Wan help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Liver Yin Deficiency' of which amenorrhea is a symptom.

Read more about Qi Ju Di Huang Wan here

Acupuncture points used for absence of menstruation

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

Why might White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with absence of menstruation?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom, like Bu Gan Tang or Si Wu Tang for instance.

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

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

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

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom, like Gui Pi Tang or E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang for instance.

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

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 Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with absence of menstruation?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom, like Wen Jing Tang or Bu Gan Tang for instance.

Dong Quai is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation.

Read more about Dong Quai here

Why might Cuscuta Seed (Tu Si Zi) help with absence of menstruation?

Because Cuscuta Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom, like Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Cuscuta Seeds is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies Kidney Yang and Essence. Nourishes the Liver.

Read more about Cuscuta Seeds here

Why might Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang) help with absence of menstruation?

Because Dried Ginger is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom, like Da Jian Zhong Tang or Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang for instance.

Dried Ginger is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney, the Lung and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and expels Cold. Restores collapse of Yang and expels Interior Cold. Warms the Lungs and assists expectoration of Cold Phlegm. Stops chronic bleeding caused by Cold.

Read more about Dried Ginger here

Other symptoms often associated with absence of menstruation

Dizziness Depression Insomnia Night sweats Fatigue Blurred vision Palpitations Tinnitus Dry mouth Dry skin