Excessive sexual desire according to Chinese Medicine

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Excessive sexual desire 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 excessive sexual desire 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 excessive sexual desire is often associated with insomnia, dizziness and tinnitus in the pattern “Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause excessive sexual desire.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of excessive sexual desire 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 excessive sexual desire.

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause excessive sexual desire

In Chinese Medicine excessive sexual desire 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 Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing

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

In addition to excessive sexual desire, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing include insomnia, dizziness and tinnitus.

Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing 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 Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing here

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

Kidney Yin Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Tongue shape: Cracked

Kidney Yin Deficiency causes false Heat symptoms, such as night sweats, thirst and five palm heat. These signs are from a depletion of Body Fluids and Essence. It can be caused by prolonged overwork, excessive sexual activity, chronic long term illnesses, consumption of Body Fluids by Heat, prolonged blood loss, overdosage of Kidney Yang tonics herbs, smoking and Kidney depleting foods such as coffee, alcohol, sugar, and fruit juices.

In addition to excessive sexual desire, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yin Deficiency include insomnia, dizziness and tinnitus.

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

Kidney 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 Kidney 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 excessive sexual desire, other symptoms associated with Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency include insomnia, dizziness and tinnitus.

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 excessive sexual desire

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 excessive sexual desire?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing' of which excessive sexual desire is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing include insomnia, dizziness and tinnitus.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan 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 excessive sexual desire?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yin Deficiency' of which excessive sexual desire is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yin Deficiency include insomnia, dizziness and tinnitus.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan 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 excessive sexual desire?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Empty-Heat Or Fire Caused By Yin Deficiency include insomnia, dizziness and tinnitus.

Read more about Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang here

Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1584 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yin. Drains Fire.

Why might Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan help with excessive sexual desire?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing' of which excessive sexual desire is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing include insomnia, dizziness and tinnitus.

Read more about Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat excessive sexual desire

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with excessive sexual desire?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat excessive sexual desire 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 Cornelian Cherry (Shan Zhu Yu) help with excessive sexual desire?

Because Cornelian Cherry is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat excessive sexual desire as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo Gui 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 Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with excessive sexual desire?

Because Mudan Peony Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat excessive sexual desire as a symptom, like Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang or Liu Wei Di Huang 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 Anemarrhena Rhizome (Zhi Mu) help with excessive sexual desire?

Because Anemarrhena Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat excessive sexual desire as a symptom, like Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan or Yu Nu Jian for instance.

Anemarrhena Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Stomach, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and Fire from the Qi level. Clears Heat and Fire from the Lung and Stomach. Clears Heat and tonifies the Yin.

Read more about Anemarrhena Rhizomes here

Why might Achyranthes Root (Niu Xi) help with excessive sexual desire?

Because Achyranthes Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat excessive sexual desire as a symptom, like Yu Nu Jian or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Achyranthes Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Moves Blood and relieves pain in the raw state. Tonic to the Liver and Kidneys and strengthens the bones and sinews. Reduces Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. Regulates the flow of reckless Blood caused by either ascendant Liver Yang or Yin Deficient Fire.

Read more about Achyranthes Roots here