Impaired vision according to Chinese Medicine

blurred vision, poor eyesight and superficial visual obstruction redirect here

Impaired vision 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 impaired vision 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 impaired vision is often associated with dizziness, insomnia and scanty periods in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record five patterns that can cause impaired vision.

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

The five "patterns of disharmony" that can cause impaired vision

In Chinese Medicine impaired vision is a symptom for 5 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) is the king ingredient for Si Wu Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency

Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

Someone has a Deficiency of Blood when their entire body, a part of body or a particular Organ is insufficiently nourished by Blood. This can be caused by blood-loss, a lack of of Spleen Qi (responsible to produce Blood) or congealed Blood which prevents new Blood from forming.

In addition to impaired vision, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency include dizziness, insomnia and scanty periods.

From a Western Medicine standpoint /tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency is associated with health issues such as Late Menstruation or Scanty Menstruation.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency is often treated with Si Wu Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Si Wu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Restores and nourishes Blood".

Read more about Blood Deficiency here

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

Liver Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

The Liver stores Blood, that is the reason any Blood Deficiency often involves the Liver. This pattern has an impact on areas the Liver relates to, such as the tendons, eyes, nails and menstruation. It arises from the same causes of general Blood Deficiency, such as poor diet, hemorrhages or Kidney Qi or Essence Deficiency.

In addition to impaired vision, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-deficiency include dizziness, insomnia and scanty periods.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-deficiency is often treated with Si Wu Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Si Wu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Restores and nourishes Blood".

Read more about Liver Blood Deficiency here

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

Liver Yin Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red points on the sides

This is a type of empty Fire pattern arising out of Liver Blood Deficiency or Kidney Yin Deficiency. It shares similar symptoms as Liver Blood Deficiency, but with extra signs of Dryness and Yin-Deficient Heat. It can be caused by excessive activity, overwork, 'burning the candle at both ends' without sufficient rest, and poor and irregular diet.

In addition to impaired vision, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-yin-deficiency include dizziness, insomnia and scanty periods.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-yin-deficiency is often treated with Qi Ju Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Qi Ju 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: "Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin".

Read more about Liver Yin Deficiency 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 impaired vision, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency include dizziness, tinnitus and insomnia.

From a Western Medicine standpoint /tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency is associated with health issues such as Menopausal Syndrome, Prolonged Periods or Irregular Menstruation.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/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

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

Liver Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Weak (Ruo)

In addition to impaired vision, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-qi-deficiency include dizziness, depression and irritability.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-qi-deficiency is often treated with Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Milkvetch Roots - Huang Qi - as a key herb). Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner)".

Read more about Liver Qi Deficiency here

Five herbal formulas that might help with impaired vision

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 impaired vision?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency' of which blurred vision is a symptom.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan here

Si Wu Tang

Source date: 846 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.

Why might Si Wu Tang help with impaired vision?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-deficiency' of which blurred vision is a symptom.

Read more about Si Wu Tang here

Qi Ju Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1350 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Kidney and Liver Yin. Improves vision.

Why might Qi Ju Di Huang Wan help with impaired vision?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-yin-deficiency' of which blurred vision is a symptom.

Read more about Qi Ju 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 impaired vision?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency' of which blurred vision is a symptom.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan here

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Source date: 1247

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi of the Spleen and Stomach (Middle Burner). Raises the Yang. Detoxifies. Lifts what has sunken.

Why might Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang help with impaired vision?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-qi-deficiency' of which blurred vision is a symptom.

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang here

Acupuncture points used for impaired vision

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat impaired vision

Why might Dragon Bone (Long Gu) help with impaired vision?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat impaired vision and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat impaired vision as a symptom (such as Zhen Zhu Mu Wan for instance).

Dragon Bones is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Calms the spirit. Anchors ascendant Liver Yang. Stops leakage of Bodily Fluids.

Read more about Dragon Bones here

Why might Abalone Shell (Shi Jue Ming) help with impaired vision?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat impaired vision and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat impaired vision as a symptom (such as Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin for instance).

Abalone Shells is a Cold herb that tastes Salty. It targets the Kidney, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and calms ascending Liver Yang. Clears Liver Heat that is obstructing the vision.

Read more about Abalone Shells here

Why might Hematite (Dai Zhe Shi) help with impaired vision?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat impaired vision and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat impaired vision as a symptom (such as Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang for instance).

Hematite is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Stomach, the Heart, the Liver and the Pericardium.

Its main actions are: Calms the Liver, anchors uprising Yang and clears Liver Fire. Moves Qi downward. Cools the Blood, stops bleeding.

Read more about Hematite here

Why might Saiga Antelope's Horn (Ling Yang Jiao) help with impaired vision?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat impaired vision and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat impaired vision as a symptom (such as Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang for instance).

Saiga Antelope's Horns is a Cold herb that tastes Salty. It targets the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Clears Internal Liver Wind, subdues Yang. Clears Liver Fire and brightens the eyes. Eliminates toxins and reduces fever.

Read more about Saiga Antelope's Horns here

Why might Mother Of Pearl (Zhen Zhu Mu) help with impaired vision?

Because it is both specifically indicated to treat impaired vision and also because it is an ingredient in herbal formulas known to treat impaired vision as a symptom (such as Zhen Zhu Mu Wan for instance).

Mother Of Pearl is a Cold herb that tastes Salty and Sweet. It targets the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Subdues Liver Yang. Clears Liver Heat and brightens the eyes.

Read more about Mother Of Pearl here