Erectile dysfunction according to Chinese Medicine

Home > Symptoms list > Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction 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 erectile dysfunction 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 erectile dysfunction is often associated with poor bone development, late closure of fontanelle and weak limbs in the pattern “Kidney Essence Deficiency”.

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

Kidney Essence Deficiency, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause erectile dysfunction

In Chinese Medicine erectile dysfunction is a symptom for the pattern "Kidney Essence Deficiency". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Kidney Essence Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Pale

Kidney Essence (Jing 精) Deficiency usually involves Deficiency of Kidney Yin and, to some extent, Kidney Yang. Its symptoms are typically in relation to growth, development, reproduction, sexuality, bones, marrow, the brain, teeth, memory and hair.

In addition to erectile dysfunction, other symptoms associated with Kidney Essence Deficiency include poor bone development, late closure of fontanelle and weak limbs.

Kidney Essence 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 Essence Deficiency here

A herbal formula that might help with erectile dysfunction

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 erectile dysfunction?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Essence Deficiency' of which erectile dysfunction is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Essence Deficiency include poor bone development, late closure of fontanelle and weak limbs.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan here

The two Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat erectile dysfunction

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with erectile dysfunction?

Because it is a key herb in Zuo Gui Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney Essence Deficiency' (a pattern with erectile dysfunction as a symptom)

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 Saffron (Xi Hong Hua) help with erectile dysfunction?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat erectile dysfunction as can be seen on Saffron's page.

Saffron is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Activates Blood circulation and eliminates Blood stasis. Cools the Blood and detoxifies. Calms the mind.

Read more about Saffron here