TCM Organs

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The concept of organs in TCM is entirely different from that of contemporary western medicine.

Category of Organs

The organs in TCM are grouped into two categories they are Zang and Fu. 

  • Zang – are otherwise call as Yin organs, they are generally more physically solid in nature. 
  • Fu – are otherwise call as Yang organs, they are generally hallow in nature. 

Zang & Fu Organs

Zang organ with Yin energy are generally more solid nature involve in regulation, manufacture and storage of fundamental substances. The organs come under this category are kidney, liver, heart (pericardium), spleen and lungs.

Zang fu organs

Fu organs with Yang energy are generally hallow in nature involve in receiving, separating, distributing, and excreting substances. The organs come under this category are stomach, gall bladder, large intestine, small intestine, bladder and san jiao.

  1. Zang organ Liver & Fu organ Gallbladder - Element: Wood, Sense: Eye, Manifest: Nails, Emotion: Anger, and Functions: Maintaining potency of Qi, Blood Storage & Maintain Qi flow. Emotional disturbances such as depression or anxiety cause liver dysfunction and liver problem causes emotional disturbances. Symptoms of liver hyperactive are insomnia, dizziness, and vertigo. Sign and symptoms of liver Qi stagnation are distending chest, hypochondria pain, depression, getting anger easily and indigestion. Symptoms of liver deficiency are numbness of the limbs and joints. Symptoms of liver heat are convulsion of the four limbs, and clenching of the teeth. Symptoms of liver yin & blood deficiency are eye dryness, blurred vision (or night blindness) and nail become soft, thin, crack and even deformed. Symptoms of liver wind heat are red, painful and swollen eyes.
  2. Zang organ Heart & Fu organ Small Intestine - Element: Fire, Sense: Tongue, Manifest: Face, Tissue: Vessel, Emotion: Joy, and Functions: Dominate the vessels, blood circulation & house the mind. If the heart is strong, the pulse is regular & strong and the face will be rosy. When the heart Qi and blood is deficient, the pulse is weak and thread-pulse and again the face will be pale.
  3. Zang organ Spleen & Fu organ Stomach - Element: Earth, Sense: Mouth, Manifest: Lips, Tissue: Muscle, Emotion: Anxiety, and Functions: Govern digestion, absorb nutrients and produce Qi & blood. With normal Spleen function, there is a good appetite and taste. Symptoms of spleen Qi deficiency are anemia, abdominal distension, poor appetite, lassitude, loose stools, blood in stool, emaciation, uterine bleeding, malnutrition, weakness of muscles & limbs, pale lips, sticky tongue and poor taste. 
  4. Zang organ Lungs & Fu organ Large Intestine - Element: Metal, Sense: Nose, Manifest: Throat, Tissue: Skin, Emotion: Sorrow, and Functions: Control Qi, respiration and distribution of blood & body fluid. Symptoms of lung Qi deficient are feeble speech, weak respiration, shortness of breath and general lassitude. If lung qi fails to descend and instead ascends, then the signs of stuffy chest, cough asthma, etc.
  5. Zang organ Kidney & Fu organ Urinary Bladder - Element: Water, Sense: Ears, Manifest: Head hair, Tissue: Bone, Emotion: Fear, and Functions: Stores essence, control reproduction & development, govern water metabolism, receive Qi, produce marrow, and produce blood. Kidney houses both yin (fluid - essence) and yang (warm - Qi) considering as the house of water and fire. Symptoms of kidney yin deficiency are 5-palm heat (heat in chest, palms and soles), afternoon fever, night sweats, male seminal emission and female sexual dysfunction. Symptoms of kidney yang deficiency are coldness, lumbar region pain, knee pain, cold limbs, male impotence and female infertility. Symptoms of kidney qi deficiency are tinnitus and or deafness. The blood and kidney Qi nourish the hair. Its luster or withering, density or scarcity, color and grasping are directly relate to the health of the kidney Qi.
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