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The Different Types of ‘Heatiness’ – Heat Deficiency

Heatiness (Shu), TCM Treatments & Theory


Heat Deficiency

There are many factors for feeling feverish or ‘heaty’ (发热/上火) during the Spring Festival.
Getting ‘heaty’ is the layman understanding for having ‘excessive internal heat’ symptoms in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
‘Heatiness’ can be divided into Excessive Heat and Heat Deficiency.


Symptoms of heat deficiency include:


  • Poor or imbalanced body constitution
  • Frequently disrupted work and rest cycles
  • Frequent staying up late or even worse, staying up overnight
  • Often feeling lethargic and overworked
  • Excessive brain usage during work without adequate rest or breaks


In the case of patients with chronic diseases, in certain cases, the prescribed drugs by a Western doctor can bring about imbalance to the Yin essence of the human body and promote Heat Deficiency.


These symptoms of heat deficiency usually manifest as:


  • Low fever
  • Hot hands, feet and heart
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating at night
  • Dry tongue and a thinner than usual white coating



Treat Heat Deficiency by replenishing Yin Energy and clearing Heat

It is vital to treat the root cause Heat Deficiency by replenishing Yin and clearing heat. Suitable Chinese ready-made medicine to address Heat Deficiency includes Liuwei Dihuang pills, Zhibai Dihuang pills, Qiju Dihuang pills, Erzhi pills, Shengmaiyin and so on.



Chinese herbs to replenish Yin Energy and treat Heat Deficiency

Consuming the active ingredients contained within the above mentioned medicine will also have the same effects too. Such herbs and ingredients include:



Lifestyle Tips to address Heat Deficiency

In addition to consuming Traditional Chinese Medicine and herbs to address Heat Deficiency, we can also:


  • Avoid fever by adjusting our diet
  • Pay attention to food hygiene
  • Eat less, quit smoking, and avoid drinking strong tea & coffee
  • Eat lighter food and less fatty and spicy. coarse food
  • Eat small meals regularly, do not overeat to reduce the burden on the stomach
  • The diet should be a combination of meat and vegetables, eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Do not stay up late, go to bed early and get up early



This post is a part of a three-part series, you can read the other parts here:

Heatiness Part 1 – What is Heatiness & What Causes Heatiness

Heatiness Part 2 – What is Excessive Heat & How to Treat it

Heatiness Part 3 – What is Heat Deficiency & How to Treat it


We hope the tips shared in this series help to explain how to diagnose and treat ‘Heatiness’ from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective. If you notice these small methods above do not improve your condition, it may be due to more complex factors not addressed in these articles. You may need to consult a TCM physician so that you can properly diagnose the root cause.