No desire to drink according to Chinese Medicine

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No desire to drink 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 no desire to drink 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 no desire to drink is often associated with shortness of breath, coughing and oedema in the pattern “Phlegm-Fluids”. As you will see below, we have in record five patterns that can cause no desire to drink.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of no desire to drink 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 no desire to drink.

The five "patterns of disharmony" that can cause no desire to drink

In Chinese Medicine no desire to drink 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.

Crow-Dipper Rhizomes (Ban Xia) is the king ingredient for Er Chen Tang, a formula used for Phlegm-Fluids

Phlegm-Fluids

Pulse type(s): Wiry (Xian)

In addition to no desire to drink, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Fluids include shortness of breath, coughing and oedema.

Phlegm-Fluids is often treated with Er Chen Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Crow-Dipper Rhizomes - Ban Xia - as a key herb). Er Chen Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm".

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids here

Ephedra (Ma Huang) is the king ingredient for Da Qing Long Tang, a formula used for Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs

Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Thick white coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

This is when Body Fluids stagnate in the four limbs instead of flowing in the body and getting released as sweat.

In addition to no desire to drink, other symptoms associated with Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs include coughing of copious thin and white sputum, swollen limbs and feeling of heaviness.

Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs is often treated with Da Qing Long Tang, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Ephedra - Ma Huang - as a key herb). Da Qing Long Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear wind-cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Promotes sweating".

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs here

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

Lung Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Slow (Chi), Slowed-down (Huan), Wiry (Xian)

In addition to no desire to drink, other symptoms associated with Lung Yang Deficiency include cold limbs, poor appetite and frequent urination.

Lung Yang Deficiency is often treated with Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang, a herbal formula made of 2 herbs (including Dried Ginger - Gan Jiang - as a key herb). Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that warm interior cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Lungs".

Read more about Lung Yang Deficiency here

Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) is the king ingredient for Si Ni Tang, a formula used for Lesser Yin Cold Transformation

Lesser Yin Cold Transformation

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

In addition to no desire to drink, other symptoms associated with Lesser Yin Cold Transformation include cold limbs, feeling of cold and listlessness.

Lesser Yin Cold Transformation is often treated with Si Ni Tang, a herbal formula made of 3 herbs (including Prepared Aconite - Zhi Fu Zi - as a key herb). Si Ni Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that rescue devastated yang", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Rescues devastated Yang".

Read more about Lesser Yin Cold Transformation here

Water Plantain (Ze Xie) is the king ingredient for Wu Ling San, a formula used for Yin Excess

Yin Excess

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Tight (Jin), Wiry (Xian), Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Excess Yin is a Full Yin state pattern. Its symptoms are like those of the Cold and Damp Heat Pernicious Influences such as Edema. It is a result of over-exposure to cold environments and bad diet.

In addition to no desire to drink, other symptoms associated with Yin Excess include cold limbs, poor appetite and loose stools.

Yin Excess is often treated with Wu Ling San, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Water Plantain - Ze Xie - as a key herb). Wu Ling San belongs to the category of "formulas that promote urination and leach out dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Promotes urination,".

Read more about Yin Excess here

Five herbal formulas that might help with no desire to drink

Er Chen Tang

Source date: 1148 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Dries Damp and dispels Phlegm. Regulates Qi and harmonizes the Middle Burner (Stomach and Spleen).

Why might Er Chen Tang help with no desire to drink?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids' of which no desire to drink is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Fluids include shortness of breath, coughing and oedema.

Read more about Er Chen Tang here

Xiao Qing Long Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Warms the Lungs. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Why might Xiao Qing Long Tang help with no desire to drink?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Phlegm-Fluids in the limbs' of which no desire to drink is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Phlegm-Fluids In The Limbs include coughing of copious thin and white sputum, swollen limbs and feeling of heaviness.

Read more about Xiao Qing Long Tang here

Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 2 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Lungs. Strengthens the Stomach.

Why might Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang help with no desire to drink?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Lung Yang Deficiency' of which no desire to drink is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Lung Yang Deficiency include cold limbs, poor appetite and frequent urination.

Read more about Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang here

Si Ni Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Rescues devastated Yang. Warms the Middle Burner. Stops diarrhea.

Why might Si Ni Tang help with no desire to drink?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Lesser Yin Cold Transformation' of which no desire to drink is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Lesser Yin Cold Transformation include cold limbs, feeling of cold and listlessness.

Read more about Si Ni Tang here

Wu Pi Yin

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Reduces edema, diuretic. Regulates and strengthens Spleen Qi.

Why might Wu Pi Yin help with no desire to drink?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Yin Excess' of which no desire to drink is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yin Excess include cold limbs, poor appetite and loose stools.

Read more about Wu Pi Yin here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat no desire to drink

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with no desire to drink?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat no desire to drink as a symptom, like Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang or Si Ni Tang for instance.

Liquorice is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Basal Qi and nourishes the Spleen Qi. Clears Heat and dispels toxicity. Moistens the Lungsexpel phlegm and stop coughing. Relieves spasms and alleviates pain. Harmonizes and moderates the effects of other herbs.

Read more about Liquorice here

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with no desire to drink?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat no desire to drink as a symptom, like Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang or Wu Pi Yin for instance.

Poria-Cocos Mushrooms is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.

Read more about Poria-Cocos Mushrooms here

Why might Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang) help with no desire to drink?

Because Fresh Ginger is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat no desire to drink as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Tang or Da Qing Long Tang for instance.

Fresh Ginger is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Relieves the Exterior and disperses Cold. Warms and circulates Qi in the Middle Burner. Calms a restless fetus and treats morning sickness. Treats seafood poisoning.

Read more about Fresh Ginger here

Why might Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi) help with no desire to drink?

Because Cinnamon Twig is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat no desire to drink as a symptom, like Gui Zhi Tang or Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang 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 Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with no desire to drink?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat no desire to drink as a symptom, like Shen Fu Tang or Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang for instance.

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