From the founder of the Holosapiens Project

cover Yana 

 on Amazon





  • chronic illness
  • internal dampness
  • excessive sexual activity
  • old age


To understand the cause for Kidney Yang deficiency we need to quickly review the concept of Yin and Yang in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Since Yang in nature represents activity, light, warmth it logically represents function/warming faculty in the human body. Since Yin in nature represents rest, quiet, slowness in the human body it translates to structure, substance, matter. In other words Yin represents blood, body fluids and matter, while Yang is the force that gives them live.

There is good health when Yin and Yang are in balance. When there is deficiency of Yang, Yin instantly becomes excessive and vice versa – when there is deficiency of Yin, Yang becomes excessive. Yang deficiency manifests in coldness, lethargy and overflow as there is "deficiency of warmth and energy" which struggles to contain the matter. A main symptom in Kidney Yang deficiency pattern is coldness. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Kidney is the root organ of the body. Thus it is the foundation of all Yin and all Yang qualities in the body. This means that the state of “Kidney Yin” determines the state of Yin in the other organs and the state of “Kidney Yang” determines the state of Yang in the other organs, and in the body as a whole.


Kidney Yang


There are many causes that lead to Kidney Yang deficiency. Chronic illness may consume the warming faculty of the body, as this is the energy the body uses to fight the pathogen. “Internal dampness” cools the warming faculty. Excessive sexual activity also leads to the exhaustion of Kidney Yang. The most common reason for Kidney Yang depletion is old age (1)

If you want to learn more about the Kidney and its functions from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine you can read the material "The Kidney in Traditional Chinese Medicine" in the Physiology chapter.




  • aversion to cold
  • sensation of cold in the back
  • cold knees
  • lassitude
  • mental lethargy
  • lack of sexual desire
  • sterility
  • loose stools
  • frequent urination
  • edema
  • clear vaginal discharge in women
  • irregular menstruation in women


As mentioned above the main manifestation of Kidney Yang deficiency is “coldness”. Aversion to cold, sensation of cold in the back, and cold knees are all typical symptoms of Kidney yang deficiency. As the force and warming principle are diminished lassitude, mental lethargy, and poor spirit manifest. There is lack of sexual desire and there may be sterility. Since there is not enough energy to hold and contain there is loose stools, frequent urination and edema. Women have clear vaginal discharge, and the menses may be irregular.  (2)






The treatment principle of Kidney Yang deficiency is to tonify Yang and warm the body. Warm/hot foods, herbs and spices are needed.  


To unlock the rest of this article select "Yes, I want to learn!" below.


Food Therapy


Food therapy is the most economical and non-toxic biochemical approach to illness and disease. Food is something we continuously use to sustain our lives. Learning what foods are healing (and what disruptive) for each condition has the potential to convert every meal into therapy.   


Yes, I want to learn!



(1) Maciocia, Giovanni (1989). The Foundations of Chinese Medicine. Nanjing: Harcourt Publishers Limited

(2) Pitchford, Paul (2002). Healing with Whole Foods. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books


Related Articles:

The Kidney and fear

The Kidney, season winter, and foods that benefit the Kidney during winter

Herbs that tonify Yang and benefit Kidney Yang deficiency

Deficiency of Kidney Yin

Herbs that tonify Yin and benefit Kidney Yin deficiency

Deficiency of Kidney Qi

Herbs that tonify Qi and benefit Kidney Qi deficiency

Deficiency of Kidney Essence

Astringent herbs

Please read our Disclaimer


Try Our TCM Food Therapy Programs:





Food Therapy for Women's Health 

Honor Woman Sm

Tell me more...

Food Therapy for Children's Health 

Child For Yin And Yang2 

Tell me more...

Food Therapy for Chronic Emotional Disharmony 


Tell me more...

Food Therapy for Body Pain and Inflammation


Tell me more...

Seasonal Menu (New!)

Dq21158003 Z

Tell me more...

Acupressure Therapy Programs 

    Included in all of the above options as well as:


Open Point Calculator


Tell me more...

Acupressure Point Location Videos

Kin Head Meridian

Tell me more...