Pale lips according to Chinese Medicine

Pale lips 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 pale lips 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 pale lips is often associated with scanty periods, dizziness and insomnia in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record three patterns that can cause pale lips.

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

The three "patterns of disharmony" that can cause pale lips

In Chinese Medicine pale lips is a symptom for 3 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di huang) is the king ingredient for Si Wu Tang, a formula used for /tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency

Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

Someone has a Deficiency of Blood when their entire body, a part of body or a particular Organ is insufficiently nourished by Blood. This can be caused by blood-loss, a lack of of Spleen Qi (responsible to produce Blood) or congealed Blood which prevents new Blood from forming.

In addition to pale lips, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency include scanty periods, dizziness and insomnia.

From a Western Medicine standpoint /tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency is associated with health issues such as Late Menstruation or Scanty Menstruation.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency is often treated with Si Wu Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Si Wu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Restores and nourishes Blood".

Read more about Blood Deficiency here

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

Liver Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

Tongue color: Pale

The Liver stores Blood, that is the reason any Blood Deficiency often involves the Liver. This pattern has an impact on areas the Liver relates to, such as the tendons, eyes, nails and menstruation. It arises from the same causes of general Blood Deficiency, such as poor diet, hemorrhages or Kidney Qi or Essence Deficiency.

In addition to pale lips, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-deficiency include scanty periods, dizziness and insomnia.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-deficiency is often treated with Si Wu Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Si Wu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that tonify blood", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Restores and nourishes Blood".

Read more about Liver Blood Deficiency here

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

Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Fine (Xi)

In addition to pale lips, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-and-heart-blood-deficiency include scanty periods, dizziness and insomnia.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-and-heart-blood-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 Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency here

Five herbal formulas that might help with pale lips

Gui Pi Tang

Source date: 1529 AD

Number of ingredients: 12 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and nourish Qi and Blood. Tonifies Heart and Spleen.

Why might Gui Pi Tang help with pale lips?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/blood-deficiency' of which pale lips is a symptom.

Read more about Gui Pi Tang here

Si Wu Tang

Source date: 846 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Restores and nourishes Blood. Stimulates Blood circulation.

Why might Si Wu Tang help with pale lips?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-deficiency' of which pale lips is a symptom.

Read more about Si Wu Tang here

Sheng Yu Tang

Source date: 1336 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Qi and Blood. Preserves the Blood.

Why might Sheng Yu Tang help with pale lips?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-and-heart-blood-deficiency' of which pale lips is a symptom.

Read more about Sheng Yu Tang here

Zhen Zhu Mu Wan

Source date: 1132 AD

Number of ingredients: 11 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin and Blood . Sedates the Heart and calms the Mind . Calms the Liver. Anchors the yang.

Why might Zhen Zhu Mu Wan help with pale lips?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-and-heart-blood-deficiency' of which pale lips is a symptom.

Read more about Zhen Zhu Mu Wan here

Bu Gan Tang

Source date: 1742 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies and regulates the Blood. Nourishes the Liver Yin.

Why might Bu Gan Tang help with pale lips?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/liver-blood-deficiency' of which pale lips is a symptom.

Read more about Bu Gan Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat pale lips

Why might Dong Quai (Dang Gui) help with pale lips?

Because Dong Quai is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pale lips as a symptom, like Sheng Yu Tang or Si Wu Tang for instance.

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

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 Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with pale lips?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pale lips as a symptom, like Si Wu Tang or Da Bu Yuan Jian 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

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with pale lips?

Because Ginseng is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pale lips as a symptom, like Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang or Gui Pi Tang for instance.

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

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

Why might White Peony Root (Bai Shao) help with pale lips?

Because White Peony Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pale lips as a symptom, like Si Wu Tang or Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang for instance.

White Peony Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood and preserves the Yin. Nourishes the Liver and assists in the smooth flow of Qi. Regulates the meridians and eases the pain.

Read more about White Peony Roots here

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with pale lips?

Because Liquorice is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat pale lips as a symptom, like Gui Pi Tang or Bu Gan Tang 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