Absence of menstruation according to Chinese Medicine

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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, abdominal pain and scanty periods in the pattern “Blood Stagnation”. 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.

Peach Kernels (Tao Ren) is the king ingredient for Tao He Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for Blood Stagnation

Blood Stagnation

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Wiry (Xian), Firm (Lao)

Tongue color: Reddish-Purple

Blood Stagnation, like the name indicates, is when Blood flow becomes Stagnant. It can happen in the whole body or in specific Organs.

It is one of the most important diagnostic conditions in Chinese Medicine because it is frequently the cause of intractable pain syndromes anywhere in the body.

In addition to absence of menstruation, other symptoms associated with Blood Stagnation include dizziness, abdominal pain and scanty periods.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Blood Stagnation is associated with health issues such as Scanty Menstruation, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding or Heavy Menstruation.

Blood Stagnation is often treated with Tao He Cheng Qi Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Peach Kernels - Tao Ren - as a key herb). Tao He Cheng Qi 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: "Dispels Heat and".

Read more about Blood Stagnation 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 Kidneys is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine

Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

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

From a Western Medicine standpoint Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Absence Of Menstruation, Menopausal Syndrome or Vaginal Itching.

Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency is often treated with Zuo Gui Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Zuo Gui 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 the Yin".

Read more about Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency 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

Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi) is the king ingredient for Wen Jing Tang, a formula used for Cold in the Uterus

Cold in the Uterus

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Soggy (Ru)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

There are two types of cold patterns: Full Cold or Empty Cold. Full cold refers to actual Cold Evil invading the Uterus and Dampness Stagnation often come along with this Full pattern. Empty cold is the result of Yang Deficiency, especially the Spleen and Kidney Yang.

In addition to absence of menstruation, other symptoms associated with Cold in the Uterus include irregular menstruation, abdominal pain and scanty periods.

Cold in the Uterus is often treated with Wen Jing Tang, a herbal formula made of 12 herbs (including Cinnamon Twigs - Gui Zhi - as a key herb). Wen Jing 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: "Warms the Uterus and vessels".

Read more about Cold in the Uterus here

Five herbal formulas that might help with absence of menstruation

Tao He Cheng Qi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Dispels Heat and. Eliminates Blood Stagnation.

Why might Tao He Cheng Qi Tang help with absence of menstruation?

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

According to Chinese Medicine, Blood Stagnation can contribute to many health issues, including Abnormal Uterine Bleeding.

Read more about Tao He Cheng Qi Tang here

Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes Blood and lymphatic circulation, thus eleminates Blood Stagnation. Softens and resolves hard lumps such as cysts and fibroids.

Why might Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan 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.

According to Chinese Medicine, Qi And Blood Stagnation can contribute to many health issues, including Menopausal Syndrome.

Read more about Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan here

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 'Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency' of which absence of menstruation is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Menopausal Syndrome.

Read more about Si Wu 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 absence of menstruation is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Liver Blood Deficiency include dizziness, depression and insomnia.

Read more about Bu Gan Tang here

Wen Jing Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Uterus and vessels. Nourishes Blood. Dispels Cold. Dispels Blood Stagnation.

Why might Wen Jing Tang help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Cold in the Uterus' of which absence of menstruation is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Cold In The Uterus include irregular menstruation, abdominal pain and scanty periods.

Read more about Wen Jing Tang here

Acupuncture points used for absence of menstruation

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

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

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat absence of menstruation and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom (such as Si Wu Tang for instance).

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

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 Szechuan Lovage Root (Chuan Xiong) help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat absence of menstruation and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom (such as Bu Gan Tang for instance).

Szechuan Lovage Roots is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Gallbladder, the Liver and the Pericardium.

Its main actions are: Regulates and moves the Blood. Relieves Wind-Cold and pain. Circulates the Qi in the Upper Burner, relieving headaches.

Read more about Szechuan Lovage Roots here

Why might Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat absence of menstruation and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom (such as Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang for instance).

Mudan Peony Bark is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis.

Read more about Mudan Peony Bark here

Why might Peach Kernel (Tao Ren) help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat absence of menstruation and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom (such as Tao He Cheng Qi Tang for instance).

Peach Kernels is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Large intestine and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Moves Blood and breaks up Stasis. Moistens the Intestines. Relieves coughing.

Read more about Peach Kernels here

Why might Safflower (Hong Hua) help with absence of menstruation?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat absence of menstruation and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat absence of menstruation as a symptom (such as Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang for instance).

Safflowers is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Moves Stagnant Blood and regulates menses. Relieves pain caused by Blood Stasis.

Read more about Safflowers here