Yang is the warming principle of the body. If the Kidney Yang is deficient the warmth of the body will diminish. Thus a deficient Kidney Yang will manifest as internal coldness.

There are many causes that lead to the exhaustion of Kidney Yang. Chronic illness may consume the warming faculty of the body, as this is the energy the body uses to fight pathogens. Internal dampness extinguishes the warming faculty. Excessive sexual activity or excessive activity of any kind will also lead to the exhaustion of Kidney Yang. Another common reason for Kidney Yang depletion is old age.


Yang deficient patterns will present with slowed metabolic processes such as hypothyroidism, and even shallow breath. It is common to experience a dull lower backache, soreness of the knees, and weak lower limbs. Social withdrawal, a tendency to catch colds easily, impotence, infertility, and loose morning stools are also indications of Yang Deficiency. Frequent urination and edema are also common signs of Kidney Yang Deficiency.

Kidney Yang deficiency affects many aspects of health including core energy, sexual energy, lower back strength, knee strength, hair and reproduction. Kidney Yang deficiency could also be marked by cold feet and hands, and general coldness of the body.

Someone suffering with Yang Deficiency may look pale or anemic, have dark circles or puffed sacks under their eyes, and will have a weak voice. Women who are Yang Deficient will likely have pale or watery menstrual blood and back aches associated with their period.

Summary of Kidney Yang Deficiency signs

Aversion to cold, Cold limbs, bright pale face

Soreness and Cold in the lumbar region

Weakness and cold of knees


Mental lethargy

Lack of sexual desire, impotence, or frigidity


Loose stool, especially early AM (cock’s crow diarrhea (

Copious clear urine, frequent urination or incontinence

Reduced urine and edema

Loose teeth


Asthma or shortness of breath on exertion

Clear vaginal discharge in women

Irregular menstruation in women

Tongue swollen,pale and flabby with thin white coat

Overlapping Western medicine conditions

Lumbago, chronic nephritis, incontinence, impotence, infertility, asthma, emphysema, cardiac insufficiency, edema, chronic ear problems, adrenal hypo-function, neurasthenia.


The main tool for balancing kidney Yang deficiency is augmenting the digestive fire, with foods and spices which warm the kidney yang:

Fenugreek seeds, black peppercorn, dried ginger root, cinnamon bark.

All members of the onion family (garlic, onions, chives, scallions, leeks) and root vegetables in general.

Well-cooked lamb, chicken, dark fish, beef, preferably as a stew or in a soup and in consumed in small amounts frequently.                                                                                                                                       

Buckwheat, short grain brown rice, sweet rice, barley, rye, spelt, and oats.

Walnuts and chestnuts

Kombu and Higiki

Avoid cooling foods and fruits, raw foods, and excessive caffeine intake, which exhaust the body’s ability to generate yang when regularly consumed.

Keep your body warm and covered especially the lower back and kidney area and avoid prolonged exposure to cold weather.


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