Limbs pain according to Chinese Medicine

Home > Symptoms list > Limbs pain

Limbs pain 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 limbs pain 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 limbs pain is often associated with scanty periods, dizziness and irritability in the pattern “Kidney Yin Deficiency”.

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

Kidney Yin Deficiency, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause limbs pain

In Chinese Medicine limbs pain is a symptom for the pattern "Kidney Yin Deficiency". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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 limbs pain, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yin Deficiency include scanty periods, dizziness and irritability.

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

Two herbal formulas that might help with limbs pain

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 limbs pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yin Deficiency' of which limbs pain is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Kidney Yin Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Irregular Menstruation.

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 limbs pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yin Deficiency' of which limbs pain is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Kidney Yin Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Irregular Menstruation.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan here

The three Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat limbs pain

Why might Cornelian Cherry (Shan Zhu Yu) help with limbs pain?

Because Cornelian Cherry is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat limbs pain 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 Yam (Shan Yao) help with limbs pain?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat limbs pain as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo 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 Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with limbs pain?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat limbs pain 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