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 “Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record two 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 three 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 two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause excessive sexual desire

In Chinese Medicine excessive sexual desire is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

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

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

Three herbal formulas that might help with excessive sexual desire

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

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

Huang Lian E Jiao Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Enriches the Yin. Causes Fire to descend. Eliminates irritability. Calms the spirit.

Why might Huang Lian E Jiao 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 Huang Lian E Jiao Tang here

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

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 Donkey-Hide Gelatin (E Jiao) help with excessive sexual desire?

Because it is a key herb in Huang Lian E Jiao Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' (a pattern with excessive sexual desire as a symptom)

Donkey-Hide Gelatin is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies and nourishes Blood. Stops bleeding. Moistens and lubricates Yin.

Read more about Donkey-Hide Gelatin here

Why might Sweet Wormwood Herb (Qing Hao) help with excessive sexual desire?

Because it is a key herb in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' (a pattern with excessive sexual desire as a symptom)

Sweet Wormwood Herbs is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Treats malaria. Treats summer Heat and clears symptoms of deficient Heat. Clears Blood Heat and stops bleeding.

Read more about Sweet Wormwood Herbs here

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

Because it is a key herb in Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty Heat Blazing' (a pattern with excessive sexual desire 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 Softshell Turtle Shell (Bie Jia) help with excessive sexual desire?

Because it is a key herb in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' (a pattern with excessive sexual desire as a symptom)

Softshell Turtle Shells is a Neutral herb that tastes Salty. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Nourishes Yin and subdues exuberant Yang. Resolves hardness.

Read more about Softshell Turtle Shells here