Feeling of hunger according to Chinese Medicine

Home > Symptoms list > Feeling of hunger

indeterminate gnawing hunger redirects here

Feeling of hunger 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 feeling of hunger 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 feeling of hunger is often associated with epigastric pain, dry mouth and poor appetite in the pattern “Stomach Yin Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause feeling of hunger.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of feeling of hunger we’ve identified three herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the three medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat feeling of hunger.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause feeling of hunger

In Chinese Medicine feeling of hunger 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.

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 feeling of hunger, other symptoms associated with Stomach Yin Deficiency include epigastric pain, dry mouth and poor appetite.

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

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

Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Yellow coating

In addition to feeling of hunger, other symptoms associated with Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat include palpitations, anxiety and focal distention of the chest.

Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat is often treated with Wen Dan Tang, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Wen Dan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Hot-Phlegm".

Read more about Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat here

Three herbal formulas that might help with feeling of hunger

Mai Men Dong Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Stomach. Generates Body Fluids. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Why might Mai Men Dong Tang help with feeling of hunger?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Stomach Yin Deficiency' of which feeling of hunger is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Stomach Yin Deficiency include epigastric pain, dry mouth and poor appetite.

Read more about Mai Men Dong Tang here

Wen Dan Tang

Source date: 1174 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Clears Hot-Phlegm. Clears Gallbladder heat. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.

Why might Wen Dan Tang help with feeling of hunger?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat' of which feeling of hunger is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Qi Stagnation In Gallbladder And Stomach With Phlegm Heat include palpitations, anxiety and focal distention of the chest.

Read more about Wen Dan Tang here

Yi Wei Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Strengthen the Stomach. Creates Body Fluids.

Why might Yi Wei Tang help with feeling of hunger?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Stomach Yin Deficiency' of which feeling of hunger is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Stomach Yin Deficiency include epigastric pain, dry mouth and poor appetite.

Read more about Yi Wei Tang here

The three Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat feeling of hunger

Why might Dwarf Lilyturf Root (Mai Dong) help with feeling of hunger?

Because Dwarf Lilyturf Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat feeling of hunger as a symptom, like Mai Men Dong Tang or Yi Wei Tang for instance.

Dwarf Lilyturf Roots is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Replenishes Yin Essence and promotes secretions. Lubricates and nourishes the Stomach. Soothes the Lung. Nourishes the Heart.

Read more about Dwarf Lilyturf Roots here

Why might Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) help with feeling of hunger?

Because it is a key herb in Yi Wei Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Stomach Yin Deficiency' (a pattern with feeling of hunger as a symptom)

Unprepared Rehmannia is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes.

Read more about Unprepared Rehmannia here

Why might Crow-Dipper Rhizome (Ban Xia) help with feeling of hunger?

Because it is a key herb in Wen Dan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Qi Stagnation in Gallbladder and Stomach with Phlegm Heat' (a pattern with feeling of hunger as a symptom)

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Drains Dampness and reduces Phlegm. Reverses the flow of Rebellious Qi. Reduces hardenings and relieves distention.

Read more about Crow-Dipper Rhizomes here