Premature aging according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Premature aging

Premature aging 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 premature aging 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 premature aging is often associated with tinnitus, dizziness and night sweats in the pattern “Kidney Yin Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause premature aging.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of premature aging we’ve identified two 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 premature aging.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause premature aging

In Chinese Medicine premature aging 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 Yin Deficiency

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

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Tongue shape: Cracked

Kidney Yin Deficiency causes false Heat symptoms, such as night sweats, thirst and five palm heat. These signs are from a depletion of Body Fluids and Essence. It can be caused by prolonged overwork, excessive sexual activity, chronic long term illnesses, consumption of Body Fluids by Heat, prolonged blood loss, overdosage of Kidney Yang tonics herbs, smoking and Kidney depleting foods such as coffee, alcohol, sugar, and fruit juices.

In addition to premature aging, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yin Deficiency include tinnitus, dizziness and night sweats.

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

Kidney Yin Deficiency 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 Kidney Yin Deficiency 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 premature aging, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency include tinnitus, dizziness and night sweats.

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

Two herbal formulas that might help with premature aging

Zuo Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Strengthens the Kidneys. Fills the Essence. Augments the marrow.

Why might Zuo Gui Wan help with premature aging?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yin Deficiency' of which premature aging is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Kidney Yin Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Menopausal Syndrome.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan here

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Why might You Gui Wan help with premature aging?

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

According to Chinese Medicine, Kidney Yang Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Menopausal Syndrome.

Read more about You Gui Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat premature aging

Why might Goji Berry (Gou Qi Zi) help with premature aging?

Because Goji Berry is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat premature aging as a symptom, like Zuo Gui 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 Cuscuta Seed (Tu Si Zi) help with premature aging?

Because Cuscuta Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat premature aging as a symptom, like Zuo Gui Wan or You Gui Wan for instance.

Cuscuta Seeds is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Spleen, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies Kidney Yang and Essence. Nourishes the Liver.

Read more about Cuscuta Seeds here

Why might Cornelian Cherry (Shan Zhu Yu) help with premature aging?

Because Cornelian Cherry is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat premature aging as a symptom, like Zuo Gui Wan or You Gui Wan for instance.

Cornelian Cherries is a Warm herb that tastes Sour. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Preserves and tonifies the Kidney, Liver and Essence. Stops sweating and benefits the Yang and Qi. Assists menstruation and stops bleeding.

Read more about Cornelian Cherries here

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with premature aging?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat premature aging as a symptom, like Zuo Gui Wan or You Gui Wan 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 Deer Antler Glue (Lu Jiao Jiao) help with premature aging?

Because Deer Antler Glue is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat premature aging as a symptom, like You Gui Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Deer Antler Glue is a Warm herb that tastes Salty and Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Yang tonification of the Kidneys and Liver, and to nourish vital Essence and Blood

Read more about Deer Antler Glue here

Conditions associated with premature aging

Menopausal syndrome