Frigidity according to Chinese Medicine

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Frigidity 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 frigidity 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 frigidity is often associated with impotence, infertility and fatigue in the pattern “Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of frigidity we’ve identified two 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 frigidity.

Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause frigidity

In Chinese Medicine frigidity is a symptom for the pattern "Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Empty (Xu), Slow (Chi), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

Yang Deficiency is an Empty-Cold condition characterized by Coldness and Deficiency. It can cause a general hypoactivity of Organ functions and Oedema. Qi and Blood is more likely to stagnate. Yang Deficiency is mostly related to Spleen Yang, Kidney Yang, Heart Yang or Lung Qi. It is a result of lack of activity or exercise, excessive sex, over-exposure to cold environments and bad diet.

In addition to frigidity, other symptoms associated with Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang include impotence, infertility and fatigue.

Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang is often treated with Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Ba 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: "Tonifies Yang".

Read more about Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang here

Two herbal formulas that might help with frigidity

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Why might You Gui Wan help with frigidity?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang' of which frigidity is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yang Deficiency Or Empty Yang include impotence, infertility and fatigue.

Read more about You Gui Wan here

Ba Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yang. Warms the Kidneys and lower extremities.

Why might Ba Wei Di Huang Wan help with frigidity?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang' of which frigidity is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yang Deficiency Or Empty Yang include impotence, infertility and fatigue.

Read more about Ba Wei Di Huang Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat frigidity

Why might Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) help with frigidity?

Because Prepared Aconite is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat frigidity as a symptom, like You Gui Wan or Ba Wei Di Huang Wan for instance.

Prepared Aconite is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Raises the collapse of Yang. Warms the meridians and relieves pain caused by Cold. Reduces Damp caused by Deficiency in Yang.

Read more about Prepared Aconite here

Why might Yam (Shan Yao) help with frigidity?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat frigidity as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or You 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 Cornelian Cherry (Shan Zhu Yu) help with frigidity?

Because Cornelian Cherry is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat frigidity as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or You 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 Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with frigidity?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat frigidity as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or You 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 Deer Antler Glue (Lu Jiao Jiao) help with frigidity?

Because it is a key herb in You Gui Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang' (a pattern with frigidity as a symptom)

Deer Antler Glue is a Warm herb that tastes Salty and Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Yang tonification of the Kidneys and Liver, and to nourish vital Essence and Blood

Read more about Deer Antler Glue here