Oliguria according to Chinese Medicine

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Oliguria 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 oliguria 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 oliguria is often associated with dry mouth, dizziness and tinnitus in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-and-lung-yin-deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause oliguria.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of oliguria 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 oliguria.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause oliguria

In Chinese Medicine oliguria is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

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

Kidney and Lung Yin Deficiency

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

In addition to oliguria, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-and-lung-yin-deficiency include dry mouth, dizziness and tinnitus.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-and-lung-yin-deficiency is often treated with Ba Xian Chang Shou Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Ba Xian Chang Shou 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: "Treats Yin Deficiency of the Lungs and Kidneys".

Read more about Kidney and Lung Yin Deficiency here

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

Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising

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

Tongue color: Red

Liver Yang Rising can create Interior Wind if the condition is not treated for a long time. It can be divided to three categories based on the cause of the pattern: Liver Yin Deficiency, Liver and Kidney Yin Deficiency or Liver Blood Deficiency.

In addition to oliguria, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising include insomnia, hypertension and convulsions.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising 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 Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising here

Five herbal formulas that might help with oliguria

Ba Xian Chang Shou Wan

Source date: 1615 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Treats Yin Deficiency of the Lungs and Kidneys.

Why might Ba Xian Chang Shou Wan help with oliguria?

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

Read more about Ba Xian Chang Shou Wan here

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 oliguria?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising' of which scanty urination is a symptom.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan 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 oliguria?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising' of which scanty urination is a symptom.

Read more about Qi Ju Di Huang Wan here

E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang

Source date: the Qing dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes Yin. Nourishes Blood. Calms the Liver. Extinguishes Wind.

Why might E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang help with oliguria?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising' of which scanty urination is a symptom.

Read more about E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang here

Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang

Source date: 1918 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Sedates the Liver. Axtinguishes Wind. Nourishes the Yin. Anchors the yang.

Why might Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang help with oliguria?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-wind-agitating-internally-due-to-liver-yang-rising' of which scanty urination is a symptom.

Read more about Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat oliguria

Why might Poria-Cocos Mushroom (Fu Ling) help with oliguria?

Because Poria-Cocos Mushroom is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat oliguria as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Qi Ju Di Huang Wan for instance.

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

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 Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with oliguria?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat oliguria as a symptom, like E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang or Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San for instance.

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

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 Mudan Peony Bark (Mu Dan Pi) help with oliguria?

Because Mudan Peony Bark is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat oliguria as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Qi Ju Di Huang Wan for instance.

Mudan Peony Bark is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, activates Blood circulation and resolves Blood stasis.

Read more about Mudan Peony Bark here

Why might Oyster Shell (Mu Li Ke) help with oliguria?

Because Oyster Shell is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat oliguria as a symptom, like Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang or E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang for instance.

Oyster Shells is a Cold herb that tastes Salty. It targets the Bladder, the Gallbladder, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Calms and anchors the spirit. Moistens Dryness. Softens and removes lumps. Nourish the Yin and subdues the overflowing of the Yang,

Read more about Oyster Shells here

Why might Host-Wood Poria (Fu Shen) help with oliguria?

Because Host-Wood Poria is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat oliguria as a symptom, like E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang or Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin for instance.

Host-Wood Poria is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Heart.

Its main actions are: Calms the Mind (Shen) and promote urination.

Read more about Host-Wood Poria here