Insomnia Treated by Chinese Prescriptions
Insomnia - fire syndrome caused by yin deficiency
Sleep pattern: difficult falling asleep, restless sleep, or all-night wakefulness.
Accompanying signs: absent-mindedness, palpitations, feverish sensations in the chest, palms and soles, dizziness, ear ringing, night sweating, soreness in the waist and knees, nocturnal emission, menstrual problems and mouth dryness. The tongue is red and the pulse is thready.
Analysis: the insomnia usually occurs in those with chronic conditions. Physical weakness brings about kidney yin deficiency, when disruption between the heart and kidney develops, which makes the kidney fail to restrict the actions of the heart and liver, which create fire in these organs, disturbing the shen (spirit), resulting in restless sleep, palpitations and uneasy feelings. Exhaustion of kidney essence leads to inadequate marrow production for the brain, lead to dizziness, ear ringing and poor memory. Kidney weakness also leads to sexual dysfunction, as well as soreness in the waist and knees. The feverish sensations, mouth dryness, red tongue and typical pulse signs are all associated with yin deficiency and lack of nourishment in the body.
Therapeutic principle: to enrich yin, check the fire, nourish the heart and clam the spirit.
Sample prescription: Modified Golden Thread & Donkey Gelatin Decoction (huang lian e jiao tang)
||golden thread rhizome
||baical skullcap root
|| Radix Scutellariae
||Colla Corii Asini
||white peony root
||Radix Paeoniae Alba
|Ji zhi huang
|bai zi ren
||Chinese arborvitae kernel
|suan zao ren
||sour Jujube seed
||Semen Ziziphi Spinosae
||fresh rhemannia root
In the prescription, the thread rhizome and skullcap root clear away the fire in the heart and ease the feverish sensations; while the donkey-hide gelatin, rhemannia root, peony root, and eye yolk enrich yin and blood, and also calm the spirit; the two ingredient groups work together to resume the coordination between the heart and kidney. Others like magnetic stones, arborvitae kernel and jujube seed can further nourish the heart and calm the spirit; liquorice root acts as buffer.
For this type of individual, if they do not have any problems falling asleep but can't maintain a sound sleep for the whole night and if the heat syndrome is obvious, then Heaven King Heart-Nourish Pellets (Tian Wan Bu Xin Dan) is a suitable remedy for this condition.