Bright-white complexion according to Chinese Medicine

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Bright-white complexion 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 bright-white complexion 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 bright-white complexion is often associated with feeling of cold, loose stools and cold limbs in the pattern “Kidney Yang Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause bright-white complexion.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of bright-white complexion we’ve identified four 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 bright-white complexion.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause bright-white complexion

In Chinese Medicine bright-white complexion is a symptom for 3 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

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

Kidney Yang Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Kidney Yang Deficiency causes Internal Cold and weakness.

In addition to bright-white complexion, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency include feeling of cold, loose stools and cold limbs.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Kidney Yang Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Late Menstruation, Menopausal Syndrome or Irregular Menstruation.

Kidney Yang Deficiency 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 Kidney Yang Deficiency here

Ginseng (Ren Shen) is the king ingredient for Shen Fu Tang, a formula used for Collapse of Yang

Collapse of Yang

Pulse type(s): Scattered (San), Slow (Chi), Hidden (Fu)

In addition to bright-white complexion, other symptoms associated with Collapse of Yang include feeling of cold, loose stools and cold limbs.

Collapse of Yang is often treated with Shen Fu Tang, a herbal formula made of 2 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Shen Fu 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: "Restores Yang".

Read more about Collapse of Yang here

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

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency

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

In addition to bright-white complexion, other symptoms associated with Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency include feeling of cold, loose stools and lower back pain.

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency is often treated with Li Zhong Wan, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Dried Ginger - Gan Jiang - as a key herb). Li Zhong Wan 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 the Middle Burner".

Read more about Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency here

Four herbal formulas that might help with bright-white complexion

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Why might You Gui Wan help with bright-white complexion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' of which bright-white complexion is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yang Deficiency include feeling of cold, loose stools and cold limbs.

Read more about You Gui Wan here

Shen Fu Tang

Source date: 1445 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Restores Yang. Strongly tonifies the source Qi. Saves Qi from collapsing due to devastated Yang.

Why might Shen Fu Tang help with bright-white complexion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Collapse of Yang' of which bright-white complexion is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Collapse Of Yang include feeling of cold, loose stools and cold limbs.

Read more about Shen Fu Tang here

Li Zhong Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Middle Burner. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach.

Why might Li Zhong Wan help with bright-white complexion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency' of which bright-white complexion is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney And Spleen Yang Deficiency include feeling of cold, loose stools and lower back pain.

Read more about Li Zhong Wan here

Shen Qi Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and warms Kidney Yang.

Why might Shen Qi Wan help with bright-white complexion?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' of which bright-white complexion is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yang Deficiency include feeling of cold, loose stools and cold limbs.

Read more about Shen Qi Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat bright-white complexion

Why might Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) help with bright-white complexion?

Because Prepared Aconite is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bright-white complexion as a symptom, like You Gui Wan or Shen Qi Wan for instance.

Prepared Aconite is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Raises the collapse of Yang. Warms the meridians and relieves pain caused by Cold. Reduces Damp caused by Deficiency in Yang.

Read more about Prepared Aconite here

Why might Yam (Shan Yao) help with bright-white complexion?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bright-white complexion as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or Shen Qi Wan for instance.

Yam is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach. Tonifies the Lung Qi and nourishes the Lung Yin. Nourishes the Kidneys and consolidates Jing.

Read more about Yam here

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with bright-white complexion?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bright-white complexion as a symptom, like Shen Fu Tang or Li Zhong Wan 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

Why might Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with bright-white complexion?

Because Mudan Peony Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bright-white complexion as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or Shen Qi Wan 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 Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with bright-white complexion?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bright-white complexion as a symptom, like Er Xian Tang or You Gui Wan 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