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We share traditional, scientific and practical insights written by experienced herbalists and health experts from the world of herbal medicine and natural health

There are a plethora of TCM bodily patterns for tiredness.

Fatigue: A traditional Chinese medicine perspective

Persistent tiredness has a multitude of expressions and aetiologies in both TCM and allopathic medicine.

Understanding fatigue in TCM

Fatigue A traditional Chinese medicine perspective

Persistent tiredness has a multitude of expressions and etiologies in both TCM and allopathic medicine. From post-exam weariness to post-viral fatigue (as is often seen in ME/CFS) where utter exhaustion renders one bedbound, fatigue is a complex and, seemingly, pervasive aspect of modern life. Owing to this, the chronic nature of the condition and the clinical challenge it presents modern medicine, fatigue is perhaps the most common complaint seen in TCM clinics.

“Sheng zhi lai, wei zhi jing”

That which comes with life is called the essence

“Fu jing zhe, shen zhi ben ye”

Essence is the root of the body. (1 p118)

TCM holds a sobering, yet wise, view of our individual capacity for vitality. Inherited from our parents at the moment of conception in the form of jing (vital essence), it is etched in stone before we have taken our first breath. Essence resides in the (TCM) Kidneys and is the basis of kidney qi – our body’s primary motive force and the source of all yin and yang energies in the body. The amount of essence we receive determines our lifelong constitution and is finite. If respected and protected for the gift that it is (in TCM it is called a ‘bao’ or ‘treasure’), it may be preserved and optimised to foster long, healthy and dynamic lives (1-3).

Many herbs are suitable for self-care. However if a health condition does not resolve with home remedies we recommend using the information in Herbal Reality along with your health advisors, especially herbal practitioners from the professional associations listed in our Resources page (‘If you want to find a herbalist”). When buying any herbal products, you should choose responsible manufacturers with independently assured quality standards and sustainability practices. Check the label carefully for the appropriate safety and sustainability information.

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