SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: Asthenia, in Chinese medicine, is called Xu Lao, or Xu Sun. It means deficiency, consumption, fatigue, or exhaustion. It shows a group of deficient symptoms which may be seen in various chronic, or consumptive, or immune disordered diseases, or simply by congenital weak body constitution, or some other energy consuming and exhausting activities, such as working too hard, or excessive sexual activities, or any extreme and prolonged activities. In western medicine, it refers to various chronic, consumptive diseases, immune deficiency, fatigue, low energy, neurasthenia, paralysis, muscle atrophy, sexual dysfunctions, etc.
ETIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY: There is much research on this issue in ancient Chinese medical books. The earliest Chinese medical book, Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic), mentions the "Wu Lao Shuo Sun" (Injury by Five Consumptions), and Wu Xu Shi (Dead of Five Exhaustions). Nan Jing (The Difficulty Classic) has the theory of Wu Sun (Five Injuries) based on the five Zhang organs, which are heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney. In the book of Jin Gui Yao Lue (Synopsis In the Golden Chamber) by Han doctor Zhong Jing Zhang, there is a special chapter, Xu Lao (Deficiency and Exhaustion)which states several kinds of deficient, consumptive, or exhaustive diseases. Another book, called Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun (General Treatise on the Etiology and Symptomatology of Diseases), a big encyclopedia book by Yuan-fanf Chao written about 605 - 617 A. D., has a chapter of Xu Lao syndrome. It holds the theory of Wu Lao (five consumptions, includes the consumption of lung, liver, heart, spleen, and of kidney), Liu Ji (Six Extremes, includes the extreme of Qi, blood, tendon, bone, muscle, and of Jin, essence), and Qi Sun (Seven Injuries, include the Yin coldness, Yin impotence, internal consumption, spermatorrhea, scanty sperm and dampness at lower parts of the body, watery essence, frequent urination, and impotence). There is more research on this issue by medical practitioners, such as Dong Yuan Li's Pi Wei Lun (The Treatise On Spleen and Stomach) written about 1180- 1252 A.O., Dan Xi Chu's Dan Xi Xin Fa (The Theory of Dan Xi), Shi Yao ShenShu (The Magic Ten Herb Books), etc.
General speaking, the symptoms of asthenia, or Xu Lao, usually is caused by the deficiency of internal organs, which lead to the Qi, blood, Yin or Yang exhaustion at last. The reasons are mostly as follows: Congenital weakness from parent heredity; male nourishment or improper nourishment; all consumptive situation at the late stage of chronic diseases. Its pathological changes are the deficiency of Qi, blood, Yin and Yang, or combined situations. The principle of treatment is to tonify, or strengthen, or nourish the deficiency.
1. The Deficiency of Qi:
(1). The Deficiency of Heart Qi:
Indications: Weakness, shortness of breath, palpitation, fatigue, insomnia, pale and dry tongue, no tongue coating, uneven, intermittent, or feeble and rapid pulse.
Treatment & Formula: Tonify the heart Qi and regulate the heartbeat.
- Zhi Gan Cao Tang (Baked Licorice Combination, Item No. 2119): This is a very good formula to treat palpitation, dyspnea, cardiac disease by tonifying the heart Qi.
(2). The Deficiency of Lung Qi:
Indications: Fatigue, spontaneous sweating, shortness of breath, fever and chills in exchange, lower voice, or chronic cough, easily to chilled, pale or whitish face, pale tongue, weak and soft pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the lung Qi.
- Si Jun Zi Tang (Major Four Herbs Combination, Item No. 2062): Strengthen the lung Qi by tonifying the spleen Qi since spleen is the mother of lung according to the theory of five element in Chinese medicine
- Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Ginseng and Astragalus Combination, Item No. 2225): Tonify the lung Qi by promoting the function of spleen and stomach.
(3). The Deficiency of Spleen Qi:
Indications: General fatigue, poor appetite, uncomfortable feeling in stomach after eating, loose stools, dull and yellowish face, pale tongue, thin coating, weak and soft pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the spleen Qi.
- Shen Ling Bai Zhu San (Ginseng and Atractylodes Formula, Item No. 2173): This tonifies the Qi and eliminates the dampness by promoting the function of spleen and stomach.
- Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Ginseng and Astragalus Combination, Item No. 2225): This is a very good formula to tonify the middle Qi
(the Qi of spleen and stomach).
- Liu Jun Zi Tang (Major Six Herb Combination, Item No. 2050): This is very good to treat weakness, anemia, poor spleen and stomach function, gastroptosis, gastric ulcer, etc.
2. The Deficiency of Blood:
(1 ). The Deficiency of Heart Blood:
Indications: Palpitation, insomnia, dream sleep, forgetfulness, dull and pale face, pale tongue, thready or intermittent or uneven pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify blood and tranquilize the spirit.
- Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang (Ginseng Nutritive Combination, Item No. 2007)
- Gui Pi Tang (Ginseng and Longan Combination, Item No. 2261): Both of these formulas are to nourish the heart blood by promoting the function of spleen and stomach, since spleen is supposed to be the mother of all Qi and blood by its transforming and transporting of food essence into Qi and blood.
(2). The Deficiency of Liver Blood:
Indications: Dizziness, blurry vision, tinnitus, fullness and pain at hypochondriac regions, worried emotion, irregular menstruation, or amenorrhea, rough skin, whitish face, pale or purple tongue, wiry and thready pulse, or thready and unsmooth pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the liver blood.
- Si Wu Tang (Tang-kuei Four Combination, Item No. 2060): This is the standard formula to tonify the liver blood; or it can be combined with Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang (Paeonia and Licorice Combination, Item No. 2097) which is a very good formula to harmonize or soften the liver by tonify the liver Yin and blood.
- Xiong Gui Jiao Ai Tang (Tang-kuei and Gelatin Combination, Item No. 2100): This is a very good formula to treat uterine bleeding, hemorrhoidal bleeding, hematuria, anemia due to the liver blood deficiency and slightly blood stagnation as well.
- Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang (Ginseng Nutritive Combination, Item No. 2007): Tonify the Qi and blood, promote the function of spleen and heart.
3. The Yang Deficiency:
(1 ). The Deficiency of Heart Yang:
Indications: Palpitation, spontaneous sweating, fatigue, constant fatigue, cold body and limbs, oppression and fullness of chest, shortness of breath, pale face, pale or purple dark tongue, thready and weak, or intermittent, or big and weak pulses.
Treatment & Formulas: Warms and tonify the heart Yang and promote the circulation.
- Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang (Hoelen and Atractylodes Combination, Item No. 2130): This warms the heart or spleen Yang, promotes the circulation of Qi and body fluid so as to relieve the Yang deficiency symptoms.
- Gui Zhi Jia Ling Zhu Fu Tang (Cinnamon Atractylodes and Aconite Combination, Item No. 2160): This warms the original kidney Yang so as to warm the heart, strengthens the defending Yang to protect the body.
(2). The Deficiency of Spleen Yang:
Indications: Pale and dull face, poor appetite, cold body, fatigue, low energy, shortness of breath, lazy to speak, coldness and pain at abdomen, gurgling sound, loose stool, or with indigestible food, or diarrhea, indigestion symptoms showing up after getting cold or taking unhealthy food, pale tongue, white coating, weak pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the spleen Yang.
- Li Zhong Tang (Ginseng and Ginger Combination, Item No. 2191 ): It tonifies the spleen Yang by promoting the function of spleen and stomach. It is very good for fatigue, diarrhea, cold limbs, hemoptysis, gastritis, gastroptosis, which are caused by deficiency of spleen Yang.
- Chi Pi Wan (Ginseng and Hawthorn Formula, Item No. 2193): This is a very good formula to treat indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, etc. by strengthening the function of spleen Yang.
- Da Jian Zhong Tang (Major Zanthoxylum Combination, Item No. 2037): It tonifies the spleen Yang and Qi. It is very effective for cold water retention in the stomach or large intestine; symptoms show gurgling sound, weak and cold extremities, stomach pain, vomiting.
- Xiao Jian Zhong Tang (Minor Cinnamon and Paeonia Combination, Item No. 2030): This is a very good formula for children or elderly with weak stomach and poor digestion.
- Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang (Saussurea Cardamon Combination, Item No. 2125): This tonifies the spleen Qi, warms the spleen Yang, and helps indigestible food. It is often used for abdominal pain, chest fullness, belching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, emaciation.
(3). The Deficiency of Kidney Yang:
Indications: Pale or whitish face, cold body and four limbs, watery stool with totally indigestible food, diarrhea or loose stools in the early morning, sore and weak sensation at lumbar region and knees, impotence, emission, early ejaculation of sperm, or enuresis, frequent or loss control of urination, pale and swollen tongue with teeth markings, white tongue coating, deep and slow pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the kidney Yang, and strengthen the kidney Yin and essence at the same time.
- Zhen Wu Tang (Vitality Combination, Item No. 2170): This tonifies the kidney Yang and eliminates the excessive water and dampness caused by the Yang deficiency. It is a very effective formula for kidney Yang deficiency symptoms, such as endocrine disorders, constant sweating, vertigo, palpitation, cold limbs, chronic diarrhea, gastrointestinal weakness, chronic nephritis, edema, etc.
- Ba Wei Di Huang Wan (Rehmannia Eight Formula, Item No. 2011 ): It tonifies the kidney Yang and Yin at the same time. lttreats edematous and weak lower extremities, lower back pain, impotence, renal atrophy, cataracts, cystitis.
- Fu Tu Dan (Hoelen and Cuscuta Formula, Item No. 2141): This is a formula for sexual dysfunctions, premature ejaculation, enlarged prostate gland, colloid urine, spermatorrhea by tonifying the kidney Yang and Yin, and astringent for kidney essence.
- Jin Suo Gu Jin Wan (Lotus Stamen Formula, Item No. 2114): This is an astringent formula for nocturnal emissions, spermatorrhea, bedwetting, sexual neurasthenia, nervous exhaustion.
4. The Yin Deficiency:
(1). The Deficiency of Lung Yin:
Indications: Cough without sputum, dry throat, or loss of voice, tidal fever during afternoon or night, flushed face, red and dry tongue, scanty or no coating, thready and rapid pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the Yin and moisture the lung.
- Bai He Gu Jin Tang (Lily Combination, Item No. 2092): This is a typical formula for the symptoms of lung Yin deficiency and dry lung by its moisturizing function.
- Qing Zao Jiu Fei Tang (Eriobotrya and Ophiopogon Combination, Item No. 2186): This is atypical formula for dry symptoms of lung. So it is often used during the fall season when it is supposed to be dry and belongs to the lung organ according to the theory of the five elements.
(2). The Deficiency of Heart Yin:
Indications: Palpitation, insomnia, tidal fever, night sweating, flushed face, red blisters or petechiae of the tongue, scanty coating, thready and rapid pulse.
Treatment & Formula: Tonify the Yin and nourish the heart.
- Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan (Ginseng and Zizyphus Formula, Item No. 2055).
(3). The Deficiency of Spleen (or Stomach) Yin:
Indications: Dry mouth and lips, no appetite, constipation, or vomiting without content, hiccups, flushed face, red and mirror like tongue, thready and rapid pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the Yin and harmonize the stomach.
(4). The Deficiency of Liver Yin:
Indications: Headache, dizziness, tinnitus, aversion to light, blurry vision, or reduced visual ability, restlessness, easily angered, or numbness of limbs, twitching muscle or tendon, red and dry tongue, wiry, thready and rapid pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the liver Yin.
(5). The Deficiency of Kidney Yin:
Indications: Easy loss of hair, easy teeth moving or other problems, dizziness, tinnitus or even deafness, dry mouth, and pain throat, tidal fever, flushed cheeks, or emission, weak and sore lumbar regions, weak or atrophy of legs, red tongue, scanty coating, deep and thready pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the Yin and strengthen the kidney essence
- Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Rehmannia Six Formula, Item No. 2051 ): A typical formula to nourish the kidney Yin.
- Zi Shen Tung Er Wan (Scute Formula, Item No. 2207): This is a very good formula to treat tinnitus, or hearing loss, or otitis media due to kidney deficiency, especially for elderly or women at menopausal period.
- Ji Ju Di Huang Wan (Lycium, Chrysanthemum and Rehmannia Six Formula, Item No. 2290): General tonic that improves adrenal,
or hepatic function, so as to treat the kidney and hepatic disorders
- Huan Sao Dan (Lycium Formula, Item No. 2264): As a tonic for heart, kidneys, spleen, stomach, symptoms show anorexia, weakness, soreness and pain at lumbar region, fatigue, uterine disease, decreased libido.
- Zi Shen Min Mu Tang ( Chrysanthemum Combination, Item No. 2206): Treat visual disturbances in lingering disease, cataract, eye fatigue, etc.
- Zhi Po Ba Wei Wan (Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia Formula, Item No. 2123): Tonify the kidney Yin and clear the deficient fire.
- Min Tong's products: Reishi Mushroom and Siberian Ginseng have been proved to be very effective for general health improvement and preventive functions.
Modern research has discovered that Reishi contains high amounts of organic Germanium. Germanium has been shown to enhance cell oxygen utilization and promote metabolic activity. Reishi also contains abundant specific Triterpenoids called Ganoderic acids. Recent studies have shown that Ganoderic acids may be helpful for treating high cholesterol, normalizing blood pressure, regulating the circulatory system and dealing with allergies.
Reishi also has high amounts of Polysaccharides which are essential to the body's immune system. Polysaccharides are also believed to be tumor fighters, which is probably why many cancer patients in Asia use Reishi as part of their diet. Adenosine is another component of Reishi. Adenosine is a nucleotide which can prevent blood platelets from clumping, and can dilate the blood vessels, which in tum helps control the release of adrenaline, thus helping the body to relax.
Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero) granule extract is made from the world's best naturally-grown variety from northeast China. Siberian Ginseng is the best known for its ability to help extend the body's endurance of stress and to release exhaustion and fatigue, so it is widely used in Asia to enhance endurance when people are doing physical activities. Much research has been done in China and Russia to find out if Eleuthero can help enhance the immune system. It also contains an abundance of adaptogenic compounds, which help normalize and regulate all the body's systems in stress conditions.