Loss of taste according to Chinese Medicine

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Loss of taste 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 loss of taste 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 loss of taste is often associated with poor appetite, loose stools and fatigue in the pattern “Stomach Qi Deficiency”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of loss of taste we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Si Jun Zi Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Stomach Qi Deficiency, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause loss of taste

In Chinese Medicine loss of taste is a symptom for the pattern "Stomach Qi Deficiency". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Stomach Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu)

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to loss of taste, other symptoms associated with Stomach Qi Deficiency include poor appetite, loose stools and fatigue.

Stomach Qi Deficiency is often treated with Si Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Si Jun Zi 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".

Read more about Stomach Qi Deficiency here

A herbal formula that might help with loss of taste

Si Jun Zi Tang

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach.

Why might Si Jun Zi Tang help with loss of taste?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Stomach Qi Deficiency' of which loss of taste is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Stomach Qi Deficiency include poor appetite, loose stools and fatigue.

Read more about Si Jun Zi Tang here

Ginseng might help with loss of taste

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with loss of taste?

Because it is a key herb in Si Jun Zi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Stomach Qi Deficiency' (a pattern with loss of taste as a symptom)

Ginseng is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Very strongly tonifies the Qi. Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen. Assists the body in the secretion of Fluids and stops thirst. Strengthens the Heart and calms the Shen (mind/spirit).

Read more about Ginseng here

Other symptoms often associated with loss of taste

Poor appetite Loose stools Fatigue Weak Limbs Epigastrium discomfort