Tearfulness according to Chinese Medicine

Tearfulness 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 tearfulness 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 tearfulness is often associated with insomnia, feeling of guilt and loss of libido in the pattern “Heart Blood Deficiency”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of tearfulness we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Gui Pi Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Heart Blood Deficiency, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause tearfulness

In Chinese Medicine tearfulness is a symptom for the pattern "Heart Blood Deficiency". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Heart Blood Deficiency

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

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Thin

Heart Blood Deficiency hurts the Mind (神 Shen) and it causes insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, anxiety, poor memory, dizziness and tendency to be scared. It can be caused by Deficient Spleen Qi that fails to produce Blood, long-term anxiety and worry, a severe blood loss and excessive workload.

In addition to tearfulness, other symptoms associated with Heart Blood Deficiency include insomnia, feeling of guilt and loss of libido.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Heart Blood Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Postpartum Depression.

Heart 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 Heart Blood Deficiency here

A herbal formula that might help with tearfulness

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 tearfulness?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heart Blood Deficiency' of which tearfulness is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Heart Blood Deficiency can contribute to many health issues, including Postpartum Depression.

Read more about Gui Pi Tang here

The four Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat tearfulness

Why might Atractylodes Rhizome (Bai Zhu) help with tearfulness?

Because it is a key herb in Gui Pi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heart Blood Deficiency' (a pattern with tearfulness as a symptom)

Atractylodes Rhizomes is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Spleen and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen Qi. Fortifies the Spleen Yang and dispels Damp through urination. Tonifies Qi and stops sweating. Calms restless fetus when due to Deficiency of Spleen Qi.

Read more about Atractylodes Rhizomes here

Why might Milkvetch Root (Huang Qi) help with tearfulness?

Because it is a key herb in Gui Pi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heart Blood Deficiency' (a pattern with tearfulness as a symptom)

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

Why might Ginseng (Ren Shen) help with tearfulness?

Because it is a key herb in Gui Pi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heart Blood Deficiency' (a pattern with tearfulness as a symptom)

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

Why might Liquorice (Gan Cao) help with tearfulness?

Because it is a key herb in Gui Pi Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heart Blood Deficiency' (a pattern with tearfulness as a symptom)

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

Conditions associated with tearfulness

Postpartum depression