Cold sensation according to Chinese Medicine

Cold sensation 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 cold sensation 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 cold sensation is often associated with impotence, lower back pain and cold and weak knees in the pattern “Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of cold sensation we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Li Zhong Wan can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause cold sensation

In Chinese Medicine cold sensation is a symptom for the pattern "Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency

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

In addition to cold sensation, other symptoms associated with Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency include impotence, lower back pain and cold and weak knees.

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

A herbal formula that might help with cold sensation

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 cold sensation?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency' of which sensation of cold in the back is a symptom.

Read more about Li Zhong Wan here

Acupuncture points used for cold sensation

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

Why might Cornelian Cherry (Shan Zhu Yu) help with cold sensation?

Because Cornelian Cherry is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat cold sensation as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or Shen Qi Wan for instance.

Cornelian Cherries is a Warm herb that tastes Sour. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Preserves and tonifies the Kidney, Liver and Essence. Stops sweating and benefits the Yang and Qi. Assists menstruation and stops bleeding.

Read more about Cornelian Cherries here

Why might Goji Berry (Gou Qi Zi) help with cold sensation?

Because Goji Berry is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat cold sensation as a symptom, like Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan or You Gui Wan for instance.

Goji Berries is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Yin of the Liver and Yin of the Kidneys. Brightens the eyes. Moistens the Lungs.

Read more about Goji Berries here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with cold sensation?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat cold sensation as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or Shen Qi Wan 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 Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with cold sensation?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat cold sensation 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 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 Yam (Shan Yao) help with cold sensation?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat cold sensation 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 Kidney, the Lung and the Spleen.

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