Desire to drink in small sips according to Chinese Medicine

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Desire to drink in small sips 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 desire to drink in small sips 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 desire to drink in small sips is often associated with dry stools, anxiety and insomnia in the pattern “Yin Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause desire to drink in small sips.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of desire to drink in small sips 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 desire to drink in small sips.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause desire to drink in small sips

In Chinese Medicine desire to drink in small sips 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.

Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) is the king ingredient for Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, a formula used for Yin Deficiency

Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Red

In the case of Yin Deficiency, the body is short in the cooling, moistening and nurturing aspects. This leads to Heat and Dryness accompanied by weakness and lack of strength and resistance. Yin becomes Deficient by over-working, lack of sleep, over-exercising, overindulgence in sex, long-term chronic diseases, internal injury due to the seven emotions, and the over-eating of dry and hot-natured foods.

In addition to desire to drink in small sips, other symptoms associated with Yin Deficiency include dry stools, anxiety and insomnia.

Yin Deficiency is often treated with Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Liu 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: "Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system)".

Read more about Yin Deficiency here

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

Stomach Yin Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Stomach Yin Deficiency causes Dryness and Heat, which harms the Organ's ability of receiving and ripening foods and drinks. It is the result of prolonged unbalanced diet and irregular eating habits.

In addition to desire to drink in small sips, other symptoms associated with Stomach Yin Deficiency include dry stools, feeling of heat in the afternoon and dry mouth.

Stomach Yin Deficiency is often treated with Mai Men Dong Tang, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Dwarf Lilyturf Roots - Mai Dong - as a key herb). Mai Men Dong Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that enrich yin and moisten dryness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nourishes the Stomach".

Read more about Stomach Yin Deficiency here

Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

When Yin Deficiency lasts for a long it may lead to Interior Heat

In addition to desire to drink in small sips, other symptoms associated with Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency include dry stools, anxiety and insomnia.

Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency is often treated with Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Softshell Turtle Shells - Bie Jia - as a key herb). Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from deficiency", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nourishes the Yin and clears Heat".

Read more about Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency here

Four herbal formulas that might help with desire to drink in small sips

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1119 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).

Why might Liu Wei Di Huang Wan help with desire to drink in small sips?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Yin Deficiency' of which desire to drink in small sips is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yin Deficiency include dry stools, anxiety and insomnia.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan here

Shen Ling Bai Zhu San

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Augments the Qi. Strengthens the Spleen. Leaches out Dampness. Stops diarrhea.

Why might Shen Ling Bai Zhu San help with desire to drink in small sips?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Stomach Yin Deficiency' of which desire to drink in small sips is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Stomach Yin Deficiency include dry stools, feeling of heat in the afternoon and dry mouth.

Read more about Shen Ling Bai Zhu San here

Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin and clears Heat.

Why might Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang help with desire to drink in small sips?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' of which desire to drink in small sips is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Empty-Heat Or Fire Caused By Yin Deficiency include dry stools, anxiety and insomnia.

Read more about Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang here

Zuo Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Strengthens the Kidneys. Fills the Essence. Augments the marrow.

Why might Zuo Gui Wan help with desire to drink in small sips?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Yin Deficiency' of which desire to drink in small sips is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yin Deficiency include dry stools, anxiety and insomnia.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat desire to drink in small sips

Why might Yam (Shan Yao) help with desire to drink in small sips?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat desire to drink in small sips as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo Gui 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 desire to drink in small sips?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat desire to drink in small sips as a symptom, like Shen Ling Bai Zhu San or Mai Men Dong Tang 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 Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with desire to drink in small sips?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat desire to drink in small sips as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Prepared Rehmannia is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Tonifies the Yin of the Kidneys.

Read more about Prepared Rehmannia here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with desire to drink in small sips?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat desire to drink in small sips as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Shen Ling Bai Zhu San for instance.

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

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 Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with desire to drink in small sips?

Because Mudan Peony Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat desire to drink in small sips as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Qing Hao Bie Jia 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