Aversion to cold according to Chinese Medicine

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Aversion to cold 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 aversion to cold 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 aversion to cold is often associated with loose stools, impotence and fatigue in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/yang-deficiency-or-empty-yang”. As you will see below, we have in record four patterns that can cause aversion to cold.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of aversion to cold 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 aversion to cold.

The four "patterns of disharmony" that can cause aversion to cold

In Chinese Medicine aversion to cold is a symptom for 4 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 Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/yang-deficiency-or-empty-yang

Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang

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

Tongue color: Pale

Yang Deficiency is an Empty-Cold condition characterized by Coldness and Deficiency. It can cause a general hypoactivity of Organ functions and Oedema. Qi and Blood is more likely to stagnate. Yang Deficiency is mostly related to Spleen Yang, Kidney Yang, Heart Yang or Lung Qi. It is a result of lack of activity or exercise, excessive sex, over-exposure to cold environments and bad diet.

In addition to aversion to cold, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/yang-deficiency-or-empty-yang include loose stools, impotence and fatigue.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/yang-deficiency-or-empty-yang is often treated with Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Ba Wei 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: "Tonifies Yang".

Read more about Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang here

Ephedra (Ma Huang) is the king ingredient for Ma Huang Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/exterior-cold

Exterior-Cold

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

In addition to aversion to cold, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/exterior-cold include fever, loose stools and stiff neck.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/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

Honeysuckle Flowers (Jin Yin Hua) is the king ingredient for Yin Qiao San, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/exterior-heat

Exterior-Heat

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Floating (Fu)

In addition to aversion to cold, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/exterior-heat include fever, headaches and body aches.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/exterior-heat is often treated with Yin Qiao San, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Honeysuckle Flowers - Jin Yin Hua - as a key herb). Yin Qiao San belongs to the category of "external formulas for external disorders", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Disperses Wind Heat".

Read more about Exterior-Heat here

Korean Mint (Huo Xiang) is the king ingredient for Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/summer-heat-with-dampness

Summer Heat with Dampness

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Soggy (Ru)

In addition to aversion to cold, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/summer-heat-with-dampness include fever, headaches and shortness of breath.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/summer-heat-with-dampness is often treated with Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, a herbal formula made of 11 herbs (including Korean Mint - Huo Xiang - as a key herb). Huo Xiang Zheng Qi 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: "Releases the Exterior".

Read more about Summer Heat with Dampness here

Five herbal formulas that might help with aversion to cold

Ba Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yang. Warms the Kidneys and lower extremities.

Why might Ba Wei Di Huang Wan help with aversion to cold?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/yang-deficiency-or-empty-yang' of which fear of cold is a symptom.

Read more about Ba Wei Di Huang Wan here

Ma Huang Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Releases exterior cold. Treats wheezing.

Why might Ma Huang Tang help with aversion to cold?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/exterior-cold' of which aversion to cold is a symptom.

Read more about Ma Huang Tang 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 aversion to cold?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/exterior-cold' of which aversion to cold is a symptom.

Read more about Gui Zhi Tang here

Yin Qiao San

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Disperses Wind Heat. Clears Heat. Resolves Toxicity.

Why might Yin Qiao San help with aversion to cold?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/exterior-heat' of which aversion to cold is a symptom.

Read more about Yin Qiao San here

Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Dampness. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Middle Burner.

Why might Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San help with aversion to cold?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/summer-heat-with-dampness' of which aversion to cold is a symptom.

Read more about Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San here

Acupuncture points used for aversion to cold

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat aversion to cold

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with aversion to cold?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat aversion to cold as a symptom, like Si Jun Zi Tang or Ma 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 Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with aversion to cold?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat aversion to cold as a symptom, like Wu Ling San or Si Jun Zi Tang for instance.

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

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 Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with aversion to cold?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat aversion to cold as a symptom, like Si Jun Zi Tang or Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

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

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

Why might Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi) help with aversion to cold?

Because Cinnamon Twig is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat aversion to cold as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Tang or Ma Huang Tang for instance.

Cinnamon Twigs is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Lung and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Adjusts the nutritive Ying and defensive Wei Qi. Relieves the Exterior through sweating. Warms and disperses Cold. Removes obstruction of Yang. Promotes the circulation of Yang Qi in the chest. Regulates and moves blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Twigs here

Why might Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang) help with aversion to cold?

Because Fresh Ginger is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat aversion to cold as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Tang or Ge Gen Tang for instance.

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

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