Night urination according to Chinese Medicine

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Night urination 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 night urination 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 night urination is often associated with feeling of cold, premature ejaculation and fatigue in the pattern “Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang”. As you will see below, we have in record four patterns that can cause night urination.

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

The four "patterns of disharmony" that can cause night urination

In Chinese Medicine night urination is a symptom for 4 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them 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 night urination, other symptoms associated with Yang Deficiency or Empty Yang include feeling of cold, premature ejaculation 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

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

Kidney Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Kidney Yang Deficiency causes Internal Cold and weakness.

In addition to night urination, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency include dizziness, feeling of cold and premature ejaculation.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Kidney Yang Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Late Menstruation, Menopausal Syndrome or Irregular Menstruation.

Kidney Yang Deficiency 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 Kidney Yang Deficiency here

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

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

In addition to night urination, other symptoms associated with Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency include feeling of cold, premature ejaculation and lower back pain.

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency is often treated with Li Zhong Wan, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Dried Ginger - Gan Jiang - as a key herb). Li Zhong Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Middle Burner".

Read more about Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency here

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

Spleen or Kidney Qi Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue color: Pale

In addition to night urination, other symptoms associated with Spleen or Kidney Qi Deficiency include dizziness, feeling of cold and fatigue.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Spleen or Kidney Qi Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Early Menstruation.

Spleen or Kidney Qi Deficiency is often treated with Gui Pi Tang, a herbal formula made of 12 herbs (including Ginseng - Ren Shen - as a key herb). Gui Pi Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify qi and blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood".

Read more about Spleen or Kidney Qi Deficiency here

Four herbal formulas that might help with night urination

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 night urination?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Spleen or Kidney Qi Deficiency' of which night urination is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Spleen or Kidney Qi Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Early Menstruation.

Read more about Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang 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 night urination?

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

Other symptoms characteristic of Yang Deficiency Or Empty Yang include feeling of cold, premature ejaculation and fatigue.

Read more about Ba Wei Di Huang Wan here

Shen Qi Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and warms Kidney Yang.

Why might Shen Qi Wan help with night urination?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' of which night urination is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yang Deficiency include dizziness, feeling of cold and premature ejaculation.

Read more about Shen Qi Wan here

Li Zhong Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Middle Burner. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach.

Why might Li Zhong Wan help with night urination?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency' of which night urination is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney And Spleen Yang Deficiency include feeling of cold, premature ejaculation and lower back pain.

Read more about Li Zhong Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat night urination

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with night urination?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat night urination as a symptom, like Er Xian Tang or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang for instance.

Dong Quai is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Lubricates the Intestines. Relieve constipation. Promotes circulation and dispels Bi Pain. Reduce Dysmenorrhea and help with irregular menstruation.

Read more about Dong Quai here

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

Because Prepared Aconite is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat night urination as a symptom, like You Gui Wan or Shen Qi 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 Goji Berry (Gou Qi Zi) help with night urination?

Because Goji Berry is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat night urination as a symptom, like Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan or You Gui Wan for instance.

Goji Berries is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Yin of the Liver and Yin of the Kidneys. Brightens the eyes. Moistens the Lungs.

Read more about Goji Berries here

Why might Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi) help with night urination?

Because Cinnamon Twig is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat night urination as a symptom, like Shen Qi Wan or Ba Wei Di Huang Wan for instance.

Cinnamon Twigs is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Adjusts the nutritive Ying and defensive Wei Qi. Relieves the Exterior through sweating. Warms and disperses Cold. Removes obstruction of Yang. Promotes the circulation of Yang Qi in the chest. Regulates and moves blood.

Read more about Cinnamon Twigs here

Why might Milkvetch Root (Huang Qi) help with night urination?

Because Milkvetch Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat night urination as a symptom, like Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang or Gui Pi Tang for instance.

Milkvetch Roots is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Wei Qi and stops perspiration. Tonifies the Spleen Qi and the Yang Qi of the Earth Element. Tonifies the Qi and Blood. Expels pus and assists in the healing of wounds. Helps to regulate water metabolism in the body and reduce edema.

Read more about Milkvetch Roots here

Conditions associated with night urination

Early menstruation