by Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, MS
The Yin Tonic herbal formulas are used for the treatment of Yin Deficiency Patterns. Common signs of Yin Deficiency are cool-seeking behavior, panting, hot ears/nose, restlessness or hyperactivity, irritability, low fever, a red, dry tongue, and a thin, fast pulse. The King ingredients of these formulas include Sheng Di Huang (Rehmannia), Mai Men Dong (Ophiopogon), Bai He (Lily), and Shan Zhu Yu (Cornus). Yin Deficiency often leads to generation of false Heat or Fire in the Interior. Therefore, the herbal formulas to tonify Yin are often supplemented by the herbs to clear Heat such as Zhi Mu (Anemarrhena) and Huang Bai (Phellodendron). Yin tonic herbs are sweet, cold, enriching and tend to cause stagnation, and therefore are inappropriate to use as individual herbs in certain clinical conditions. Contraindications for Yin tonic herbs include: 1) Spleen Qi Deficiency, 2) Internal Phlegm or Damp, 3) Abdominal distension, and 4) Diarrhea, unless additional herbs are added to balance the primary characteristics of the Yin tonics.