Psoriasis According to Chinese Medicine (2 of 4: Blood Deficiency)

There are at least 7 different possible patterns of psoriasis according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  Some references site even more possibilities than that!  But I don’t want to bore you, so I will only cover the 4 most common ones seen in the clinic.  My last post talked about Heat in the Blood Stirs Up Wind.  Today I’ll cover about Blood Xu (Deficiency) Leads to Wind and Dryness.

Fang Feng (Radix Ledebourelliae Divaricatae) - This herb can Dispel Wind without much drying

When a patient has Heat in the Blood Stirs Up Wind, the episode appears abruptly and/or is progressive.  But Blood Deficiency Leads to Wind and Dryness occurs during the stable phase of common psoriasis – the lesions are not growing in size and there are not many new lesions appearing.   The skin is not bright red; rather the lesions are a paler red or even dull pink.  They are drier and have white (or silvery) scales and can be itchy.

Accompanying symptoms can include pale complexion, lassitude/fatigue, insomnia, dry skin (not just the psoriasis lesions), dry hair, dry eyes, brittle nails.  In women, the period might have scanty flow or there might be amenorrhea (no periods).  If you examine the tongue, it will most likely be pale with a thin coat or none at all.  It may be dry, not moist.  (Info for practitioners: the pulses will be thin or wiry).

Shu Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae Preparata) - Rehmannia root dry-fried in wine is used to Nourish Blood

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: don’t self diagnose.  If you aren’t certain you have psoriasis, see a dermatologist for a diagnosis.  Then you can educate yourself further about this skin disease.  And then you can use the info I provide here to figure out which TCM pattern most closely relates to your condition.   It is very important to find out if you actually do have psoriasis because psoriasis sufferers should not use certain medications (like prednisone).  Though very rare, certain drugs can trigger common psoriasis to develop into a potentially fatal form of the disease.

Last time I asked you to check out your tongue in the mirror.  Did you do it?  Since we often use tongue diagnosis in Chinese medicine, I am always checking out people’s tongues.  I actually get annoyed with myself because I can’t watch singers on TV without staring at their tongues (most of them have very unhealthy tongues, by the way!).  Take a look at your friends’ tongues next time you are talking to them – you will see a wide variety of colors/sizes/coatings.  Fascinating!

Tags: Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, dermatology, herbal medicine, herbal skin care, psoriasis, rashes, skin care

Topics: Chinese Medicine, Herbs for Skin Care, Psoriasis

Publish Date: June 18, 2010     *Articles may include updates since original publishing.

About the Author ()

Diana Hermann is a licensed acupuncturist and board certified in Chinese Herbal Medicine. She received her Master Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, OR and trained in China at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Diana treats patients in her Fort Collins, Colorado clinic and hand crafts herbal skin care products for her company Zi Zai Dermatology. In 2015, she completed the Diploma In Chinese Medicine Dermatology program from Avicenna in London, UK. She completed the program for a second time in 2019 in Chicago.

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