Thirst without a desire to drink

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Thirst without a 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 thirst without a 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 thirst without a desire to drink is often associated with feeling of heaviness, scanty and dark urine and bitter taste in the mouth in the pattern “Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause thirst without a desire to drink.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of thirst without a desire to drink we’ve identified two herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the four medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat thirst without a desire to drink.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause thirst without a desire to drink

In Chinese Medicine thirst without a desire to drink 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 Bladder is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Bladder in Chinese Medicine

Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

In addition to thirst without a desire to drink, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder include feeling of heaviness, scanty and dark urine and bitter taste in the mouth.

Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder is often treated with Yin Chen Hao Tang, a herbal formula made of 3 herbs (including Virgate Wormwood - Yin Chen - as a key herb). Yin Chen Hao Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat and expel dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears heat".

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder here

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

Damp-Heat invading the Spleen

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Slippery (Hua)

In addition to thirst without a desire to drink, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat invading the Spleen include feeling of heaviness, scanty and dark urine and bitter taste in the mouth.

Damp-Heat invading the Spleen is often treated with Lian Po Yin, a herbal formula made of 7 herbs (including Goldthread Rhizomes - Huang Lian - as a key herb). Lian Po Yin belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat and expel dampness", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat".

Read more about Damp-Heat invading the Spleen here

Two herbal formulas that might help with thirst without a desire to drink

Yin Chen Hao Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 3 herbs

Key actions: Clears heat. Resolves dampness. Reduces jaundice.

Why might Yin Chen Hao Tang help with thirst without a desire to drink?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder' of which thirst without a desire to drink is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat In The Gallbladder include feeling of heaviness, scanty and dark urine and bitter taste in the mouth.

Read more about Yin Chen Hao Tang here

Lian Po Yin

Source date: 1862 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat. Transforms Dampness. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Middle Burner.

Why might Lian Po Yin help with thirst without a desire to drink?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat invading the Spleen' of which thirst without a desire to drink is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Damp-Heat Invading The Spleen include feeling of heaviness, scanty and dark urine and bitter taste in the mouth.

Read more about Lian Po Yin here

The four Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat thirst without a desire to drink

Why might Cape Jasmine Fruit (Zhi Zi) help with thirst without a desire to drink?

Because Cape Jasmine Fruit is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat thirst without a desire to drink as a symptom, like Yin Chen Hao Tang or Lian Po Yin for instance.

Cape Jasmine Fruits is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Lung and the Sanjiao.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and calms spirit. Drains Damp-Heat affecting the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears Heat in the Blood and stops bleeding. Anti-inflammatory.

Read more about Cape Jasmine Fruits here

Why might Goldthread Rhizome (Huang Lian) help with thirst without a desire to drink?

Because it is a key herb in Lian Po Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat invading the Spleen' (a pattern with thirst without a desire to drink as a symptom)

Goldthread Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart, the Large intestine and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Lower Burner. Eliminates Fire toxicity especially when there is associated Dampness. Acts as a sedative by eliminating Heart Fire. Eliminates Stomach Fire. Expel parasites

Read more about Goldthread Rhizomes here

Why might Virgate Wormwood (Yin Chen) help with thirst without a desire to drink?

Because it is a key herb in Yin Chen Hao Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Gallbladder' (a pattern with thirst without a desire to drink as a symptom)

Virgate Wormwood is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Stomach and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Drains Damp and clears Heat, especially from the Liver and Gallbladder. Eliminates Heat and relieves the Exterior. Relieve Jaundice.

Read more about Virgate Wormwood here

Why might Houpu Magnolia Bark (Hou Pu) help with thirst without a desire to drink?

Because it is a key herb in Lian Po Yin, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat invading the Spleen' (a pattern with thirst without a desire to drink as a symptom)

Houpu Magnolia Bark is a Warm herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Moves Rebellious Qi downward, dries Dampness and relieves Food Stagnation. Transforms Phlegm and redirects Rebellious Qi of the Lung.

Read more about Houpu Magnolia Bark here