Liver Blood Deficiency is a 'syndrome' in Chinese medicine. Once it arises it tends to be chronic. In other words, it is very hard to get rid of without treatment.
However, many people experience mild symptoms of it as they grow older or when they are tired.
The following symptoms may occur to a greater or lesser degree in people with this form of Blood deficiency. You might notice just one or two of them if you have the condition mildly: more as it progresses.
By the way! If having read this you think you have symptoms of this syndrome and would like to share them with us, or you would like to contribute to this page, please click here.
And what if you don't have Deficiency of Liver Blood? What if you have excellent levels of Liver Blood?
Then you probably have Bright Eyes and you're full of fun!
The following are common signs of this kind of deficiency but I wouldn't expect you to have all of them! In fact you might have only a few of them, with more developing as your deficiency deteriorates.
If any of these Organ energies is deficient, so eventually will be your Liver Blood. If food chosen and eaten is deficient in nutritive quality, this will affect Liver Blood.
The sort of food eaten matters too, even if otherwise nutritious: food lacking protein leads to Liver Blood deficiency and this is noticeable in
- teenage girls who go on diets and in
- people who don’t eat enough for their needs.
(I'm not sure whether the teenager in the picture is a girl, however.)
Whatever you eat, always take a little rest or go for a gentle walk after eating!
2/ Serious blood loss from haemorrhage from which it can be hard to recover. Because there is less Blood to store, the Liver cannot nourish the tendons and the eyes and cannot spare it to produce healthy periods.
3/ Kidney Qi deficiency can lead to deficient Liver Blood.
4/ In women, Liver Blood deficiency usually coexists with Liver Qi Stagnation. Trapped Qi easily transforms to Heat, especially before the monthly period, giving signs of Liver Fire or Liver Yang Rising. When Liver Qi stagnation interferes with the Spleen energy, the process of transforming food into proper nutrition for your body, and then transporting that nutrition to where it's needed, is weakened, leading to even more Liver Blood deficiency.
5/ This syndrome can combine with Liver Yin deficiency to create conditions for internal Wind to occur: trembling becomes extreme, embarrassing and very hard to control. (Some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, like the tremor, are often classified in Chinese medicine as being due to Liver Blood and Liver Yin deficiency, though the dementia that accompanies it, and other symptoms, are more due to Kidney deficiency.)
What your acupuncturist will do is Tonify Liver and Nourish Blood.
Acupuncture is often an excellent way of treating this. But you'll almost certainly need more than one treatment, and your acupuncturist may suggest some foods or supplements to help.
Of course, reduce actions that cause it or make it worse!
What can you do to help yourself?
Liver Blood is classified as a Yin substance, so when you have a Liver Blood deficiency, you need to increase Yin and decrease Yang.
To increase Yin, the two easiest ways are better nutrition, and more sleep. You can also do exercises for your eyes. Read more about ways to increase Yin at Yin Deficiency.
Better nutrition means not just more foods containing what's good for you and less foods containing what's bad, but time to choose the food, cook it, eat it properly (no rush, chew well, don't get stressed when eating,) and take time afterwards to digest before returning to work - perhaps a short walk in the open air?
In general, if your body is sick, avoid iced or cold foods or drinks. Instead eat food that is warm to the touch and don't worry about whether cooking it has destroyed all the vitamins. (In the long run vitamins are important, of course, but not in the short run unless you clearly have a major deficiency in one or more of them.)
Read our page on Nutrition.
Deep restful sleep renews your mind and body and is the next best thing for Liver Blood deficiency. We're preparing a page on sleep difficulties (and you can check on the diagnosis of insomnia here) but meantime, consider the following:
There are eye exercises you can learn which help your eyes refresh themselves. Even closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths can make a difference.
Many years ago, my father gave me a book to read when he realized that my sight was beginning to weaken. (He was right!)
I wish I'd read it back then! But you can be sure that I'm using it now. Click on the image on the left to find out more.
To reduce Yang, consider the following:
- Avoid stimulating drugs, such as caffeine, especially in the evening before bed.
Nowadays we use our eyes intensively for most of our activities. Electric power means we can read, write and view 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In the past, when it got dark, we went to bed, providing more time for sleep, and consequently, recovery of Liver Blood.
So we are over-using our eyes and this leads to Liver Blood deficiency.
It's important that if you work at a computer you make time to rest your eyes regularly: preferably every hour for a few minutes go and do something other than stare at your VDU.
If you can, surround your workspace with green plants, or have a window nearby with a view out to a garden or park.
At break-time, go for a walk outside and walk fast enough to get out of breath for twenty minutes. Or go to a gym and do a medium work-out. Or do some yoga: anything to move and work your body and lungs that doesn't put more strain on your eyes.
There are nutritional supplements that help. In Chinese medicine a traditional herbal mixture for eye conditions caused by Liver Blood deficiency contained bat droppings, because bats have good eyesight and eat insects that supply what you, and they, need.
However, you may have reservations about eating bat droppings, so consider other possibilities.
We favour a supplement that has piles of published independent clinical research about it - probably more than any other nutritional supplement available. It includes lots that's good for vision.
Derived from real vegetables and fruit it contains what you need in the right proportions for general nutritional needs: easily absorbed.
To read about it and the clinical research they've had done on it click here. (Opens in a new window.)
Liver Blood Deficiency is both a cause of stress, and can be caused by long-term stress, in the form of Liver Qi Stagnation. I've written a book about it. Find out more below.
3000 years! That's how long Chinese medicine has been dealing with Stress.
Full details? Click Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress.
NEWS! New (2nd) edition 9x6in size, ideal for tablets and laptops, is now available for immediate secure download - price almost 60% less than the original A4 Colour 1st edition (still available).
Kindle Edition now Available (Printed edition coming soon to Amazon):
If you think you have symptoms of this, and would like to share them with other readers, do please tell us about them!
Read about the main Liver syndromes by clicking on the following links. each of which opens in a new window:
Liver Functions in general including Liver Qi Stagnation