Pattern Diagnosis: Yin Deficiency

In terms of pattern diagnosis, yin deficiency generally refers to a lack fluids in the body. The yin fluids are responsible for lubricating and moistening the skin, muscles, organs, and joints.

Therefore, a yin deficient patient exhibits signs of dryness, such as a dry throat, dry cough, dry skin, dry eyes, dry mouth, constipation, or stiff joints.

Specific organs prone to developing yin deficiency are the Lungs, Stomach, and Kidneys.

This pattern is often, but not always, accompanied by heat.

Since blood is a yin fluid, many of the same foods are helpful in replenishing both.  

Beneficial foods for generalized yin deficiency include:

  • Adzuki beans
  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Barley
  • Beets
  • Black beans
  • Bone marrow
  • Butter (grass-fed, organic)
  • Cheese (small amounts, grass-fed, organic)
  • Chicken
  • Clam
  • Coconut
  • Duck
  • Egg (especially the yolk)
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Kelp
  • Mackerel
  • Mango
  • Meats (organic)
  • Melon
  • Milk (small amounts, organic)
  • Millet
  • Mulberries
  • Mung beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Mussels
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Oats
  • Olive oil
  • Oysters
  • Peanut
  • Pork
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Sardines
  • Spirulina
  • Squash
  • Squid
  • String beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Wheat
  • Wood ear mushrooms
  • Yogurt 
  • Zucchini

Foods to avoid:

  • Alcohol
  • Basil
  • Chilies
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Clove
  • Coffee
  • Corticosteroids
  • Curry
  • Game birds
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lamb
  • Leek
  • NSAIDs
  • Onion
  • Pickles
  • Prawn
  • Shallots
  • Spicy foods
  • Tea
  • Veal
  • Vinegar
  • Wasabi

Beneficial specifically for Lung yin deficiency:

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Figs
  • Kelp
  • Milk
  • Oysters
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pine nuts
  • Pork
  • Seaweed
  • Soy milk
  • Spirulina
  • Strawberries
  • String beans
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Tomatoes
  • Wood ear mushrooms

Beneficial specifically for Stomach yin deficiency:

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Barley
  • Butter
  • Lychee
  • Milk
  • Millet
  • Mung beans
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Slippery elm
  • Sweet potato
  • Tofu
  • White wood ear mushrooms

Beneficial specifically for Kidney yin deficiency:

  • Barley
  • Black beans
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Black soy beans
  • Black wood ear mushrooms
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Duck
  • Millet
  • Pork
  • Seaweed
  • String beans
  • Tofu