Weak legs according to Chinese Medicine

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Weak legs 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 weak legs 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 weak legs is often associated with lower back pain, cold and weak knees and feeling of cold in the pattern “Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of weak legs we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Li Zhong Wan can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause weak legs

In Chinese Medicine weak legs is a symptom for the pattern "Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

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

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

In addition to weak legs, other symptoms associated with Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency include lower back pain, cold and weak knees and feeling of cold.

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency is often treated with Li Zhong Wan, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Dried Ginger - Gan Jiang - as a key herb). Li Zhong Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Warms the Middle Burner".

Read more about Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency here

A herbal formula that might help with weak legs

Li Zhong Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Warms the Middle Burner. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach.

Why might Li Zhong Wan help with weak legs?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency' of which weak legs is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney And Spleen Yang Deficiency include lower back pain, cold and weak knees and feeling of cold.

Read more about Li Zhong Wan here

The four Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat weak legs

Why might Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang) help with weak legs?

Because it is a key herb in Li Zhong Wan, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency' (a pattern with weak legs as a symptom)

Dried Ginger is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Stomach, the Heart, the Kidney and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen and expels Cold. Restores collapse of Yang and expels Interior Cold. Warms the Lungs and assists expectoration of Cold Phlegm. Stops chronic bleeding caused by Cold.

Read more about Dried Ginger here

Why might Areca Peel (Da Fu Pi) help with weak legs?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat weak legs as can be seen on Areca Peel's page.

Areca Peel is a Warm herb that tastes Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Large intestine and the Small intestine.

Its main actions are: Assists in the downward movement of Qi and relieves Food Stagnation. Removes Stagnation of Water by draining downward.

Read more about Areca Peel here

Why might Evodia Fruit (Wu Zhu Yu) help with weak legs?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat weak legs as can be seen on Evodia Fruit's page.

Evodia Fruits is a Hot herb that tastes Bitter and Pungent. It targets the Spleen, the Stomach, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Warms the Spleen, expels Cold, relieves pain and helps the Liver. Directs Rebellious Qi downward

Read more about Evodia Fruits here

Why might Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bo) help with weak legs?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat weak legs as can be seen on Phellodendron Bark's page.

Phellodendron Bark is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Bladder, the Kidney and the Large intestine.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. Clears Kidney Yin Deficient Heat. Applied externally or toxic Fire, especially associated with Dampness.

Read more about Phellodendron Bark here