Herbs That Tonify Yin

Herbs That Tonify Yin:

  • Yin tonics are generally sweet, cold, enriching and cloying. They are inappropriate for spleen or stomach deficiency, internal dampness or phlegm, abdominal distension, and/or diarrhea.
  • General Symptoms by System:
    • Lung Yin Deficiency - dry cough, loss of voice, thirst, dry throat, dry skin, spitting up thick sputum, chronic cough, low-grade afternoon fevers, night sweats, coughing up blood, a thin rapid pulse.
    • Stomach Yin Deficiency - lack of appetite, irritability, thirst, dry mouth, constipation, occurs often after severe febrile diseases.
    • Liver Yin Deficiency - visual acuity, dry, dull eyes, night blindness, dizziness, tinnitus, dry nails, low grade sensation of heat, red tongue, dry mouth and throat, fast and thin pulse.
    • Kidney Yin Deficiency - many chronic diseases, dizziness, tinnitus, weakness of the lower back and knees, heat in the five palms, afternoon low-grade fever, diminished sexual function, scanty and ark urine, a red and dry tongue, and a thin pulse without strength (usually with liver yin deficiency).

Section Herbal Summary:

Chinese Herbsort icon Functions and Usage
Bai He (Lily Bulb)
  • Moisten the lungs, clear heat, and stop coughing - cough from dry lungs or lung heat, sore throat.
  • Clear heat and calm the spirit - low fever, insomnia, restlessness, irritability in the aftermath of a febrile disease, palpitations from qi and/or yin deficiency.
Bie Jia (Chinese Soft Turtle Shell)
  • Nourish yin, anchor yang - yin deficiency with fever, steaming bone, night sweats, often used when accompanied with internal liver wind symptoms.
  • Invigorate blood, promotes menses, dissipates nodules - chest and flank accumulations causing pain, amenorrhea, malarial disorders with palpable masses, excessive menses due to heat in the blood.
Gui Ban (Fresh Water Turtle Shell)
  • Nourish yin, anchor yang - yin deficiency with ascending yang, night sweats, dizziness, tinnitus, steaming bone disorder.
  • Liver and kidney yin deficiency - internal wind symptoms, facial spasms, hand and feet tremors.
  • Benefits kidneys, strengthens bone - sore back, weak legs, slow skeletal growth in children.
  • Cools the blood - stops uterine bleeding due to heat in the blood, excessive menses.
  • Tonify blood, nourish the heart, calm the heart - anxiety, insomnia.
Han Lian Cao (Eclipta)
  • Liver and kidney yin deficiency - dizziness, premature greying of hair, blurred vision.
  • Cools blood, stops bleeding - yin deficiency patterns with bleeding due to heat in the blood, vomiting or coughing up blood, nosebleed, blood in the stool, uterine bleeding, bloody urine.
Hei Zhi Ma (Black Sesame Seeds)
  • Tonify the yin of the liver and kidney systems.  Useful for vision disturbances (blurry vision), tinnitus, dizziness, vertigo, premature graying of the hair.
  • Nourish liver blood and clear liver wind - headaches, dizziness, numbness in the limbs.
  • Moisten and lubricate the intestines - constipation.
Luo Han Guo (Momordica Fruit)
  • Moistens and cools the lungs - hot coughs from lung yin deficiency.
  • Dissipates nodules - phlegm nodules in the neck, scrofula.
Mai Men Dong (Ophiopogon Tuber)
  • Moistens the lungs, stops cough - dry cough, coughing blood.
  • Augments stomach yin, generates fluids - dry tongue and mouth.
  • Clears heat and eliminates irritability due to yin deficiency or a warm-febrile disease in the ying level - particularly when symptoms are worse at night.
  • Moistens the intestines - constipation.
Nu Zhen Zi (Privet Fruit)
  • Liver and/or kidney yin deficiency - dizziness, floaters, weak knees and back, tinnitus, premature graying of hair.
  • Clears deficient heat.
  • Improves vision in patients with liver and/or kidney deficiency.
Sang Ji Sheng (Mulberry Mistletoe Stem)
  • Tonify liver and kidney yin, strengthen sinews and bones, expel wind-damp - lower back and knee pain, joint problems, atrophy of sinews and bones, bi-syndromes.
  • Nourish blood, calm the womb - uterine bleeding during pregnancy, dry and scaly skin.
  • Hypertension.
Sha Shen (Glehnia Root)
  • Moistens the lungs, stops cough - dry, non-productive cough due to lung yin deficiency.
  • Nourish the stomach, generate fluids, clear heat (after febrile disease or yin deficiency) - dry mouth or throat.
  • Moisten the exterior - dry itchy skin aggravated by cold and dry weather.
Shi Hu (Dendrobium Stem)
  • Nourish yin, clear heat, generate fluids - severe thirst, parched mouth, intractable fever associated with yin deficiency (occurring from injury to fluids from warm febrile disease).
  • Nourish stomach yin - dry heaves, stomach ache, xiao ke, shiny tongue with little coating.
  • Brighten vision, strengthen lower back.
Su Jiu Gui Ban (Deep Fried Fresh Water Turtle Shell)
  • This is the deep fried version of Gui Ban.  For more information see the Gui Ban page.  Deep frying helps to moderate the cold action of the herb.
Tian Men Dong (Asparagus Tuber)
  • Nourish kidney yin, clear lung heat - yin deficiency with heat signs in the upper warmer, dryness of mouth, thick or blood-streaked sputum that is difficult to expectorate.
  • Moisten the lungs, nourish kidneys, generate fluids - lung and kidney yin deficiency, especially xiao ke, low grade afternoon fever, constipation.
Xi Yang Shen (American Ginseng Root)
  • Benefits qi, generates fluids, nourishes yin - for yin deficiency with heat signs, weakness, irritability and thirst after a febrile disease.
  • Nurtures lung yin and clears fire from the lungs - wheezing, coughing up blood streaked sputum, loss of voice due to lung yin deficiency.
Yu Zhu (Solomon's Seal Rhizome, Polygonatum)
  • Nourish yin, moisten dryness - lung and stomach dry heat or yin deficiency patterns with cough, dry throat, thirst, irritability, steaming bone disorder, xiao ke, excess hunger, constipation.
  • Clear wind, softens and moistens the sinews - wind generated by insufficient fluids, leading to pain and spasms in the sinews, dizziness from yin deficiency and internal movement of wind.
  • Also useful for wind-heat in yin deficient constitution (not cloying herb).