Alleviation of Sexual Dysfunction in Elderly
through Tonification of Kidney Yang

Dr. L. B. Hsia
2712 San Gabriel Boulevard
Rosemead, CA 91770 U.S.A.
Tel.: (626) 288-1199
Fax: (626) 288-4199


1. Carefully evaluate the conditions of patient by taking a medical history and conducting a physical examination.
2. Kidney yang deficiency is regarded as a cause of sexual dysfunction in elders in traditional Chinese medicine (T.C.M.). Tonification of kidney yang is the classic treatment for sexual dysfunction of older people, although it is not always effective. Some cases could be exacerbated by treatments to tonify kidney yang if large doses were given over long periods of time. Therefore, all cases must be treated and monitored according the TCM theory to analyze symptoms. Contraindicated are warm dryness medicines for patients with kidney yin conformations, and bitter cool medicines for patients with kidney yang conformations.
3. Select one or two effective herbal medicines to treat the sexual dysfunction which proven by scientific evaluation.
4. Acupuncture can be used as a supplement.


Many formulas are used for the treatment of sexual dysfunction in elders here, a few classic formulas will be discussed in this paper.
1. Classic formulas used for treating sexual dysfunction in elder male.
Most problems in attaining and maintaining erections belong to either kidney yang deficiency is applied for the Lycium Formula or Cuscuta Formula, and for heart and spleen deficiency while Longan and Bupleurum Combination or Ginseng Combination (Table 1) is used.

Table 1. Classic Formulas For Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Type A (Kidney Yang Deficiency): Dizziness, lassitude in loins and legs, weakness, aversion to cold, cold limbs
Tonification of kidney yang
Lycium Formula: rehmannia (cooked), lycium fruit, dioscorea, hoelen, cistanche, fennel, morinda, eucommia, achyranthes, schizandra, polygala, acorus, jujube, broussonetia, cornus
Cuscuta Formula: rehmannia (cooked), tang-kuei, eucommia, morinda, cistanche, epimedium, cnidium fruit, cinnamon, atractylodes (white), lycium fruit, curculigo cornus, leek, aconite

Type B (Heart and Spleen Deficiency): Fatigue, shortness of breath, isonia, loss of appetite Tonification of heart and spleen
Longan and Bupleurum Combination: tang-kuei, codonopsis, astragalus, atractylodes (white), fu-shen, zizyphus, longan, saussurea, licorice, polygala, ginger, jujube
Ginseng Combination: ginseng, licorice, tang-tuei, peony, rehmannia (cooked), cinnamon, jujube, astragalus, atractylodes, hoelen, schizandra, polygala, citrus, ginger.


These are mostly of two types, kidney yang deficiency and kidney yang and yin deficiency & Both of them involve in libido decline and dyspareunia, and are differentiated by other symptoms. The formulas used in treatment are listed on Table 2.

Table 2. Classic Formulas for Dyspareunia

Type A (Kidney Yang Deficiency)
Lassitude in loins and legs, aversion to cold, cold limbs, nocturia, paleness
Rehmannia (cooked), dioscorea, antler gelatin, cuscuta, eucommia, cornus, cinnamon, atractylodes (white), aconite, curculigo, epimedium, codonopsis, hoelen, licorice

Type B (Kidney Yin and Yang Deficiency)
Obscure face, headache, dizziness, lassitude in loins and legs, nocturia, tinnitus, poor hearing, loose teeth, dry hair, frequent micturition
Rehmannia (cooked), dioscorea, lycium fruit, eucommia, cornus, licorice, cinnamon, aconite (roasted), epimedium, ho-shou-wu

2. Experience formulas for male sexual dysfunction

Good results have been reported by using of experienced Formulas in treating of sexual dysfunction (Table 3).

Table 3. Experience Formulas for Erection Dysfunction

Potency Vivid Centipede, tang-tuei, peony, licorice (powder)

Strengthen Yang Mix. Centipede, rehmannia, epimedium (powder)

Tonification of Yang Mix Pilose antler, sea horse, ginseng, tang-kuei, rehmannia, salvia, hoelen, cnidium fruit, gelatin, forsythia

3. Laboratory research

Laboratory studies indicate that some Chinese herbal medicines strengthen sexual functions through pharmacological action on the pituitary-gonad axis (Table 4).

Table 4. Herbs Affecting the Pituitary-Gonad Axis

Function and Herbs: Increasing gonadotropic hormone-Ginseng;
Androgen like-Lycium fruit, epimedium, ginseng fruit, Chinese caterpillar fungus
Estrogen like: Curculigo, cuscuta, rubus, schizandra, lily, cyperus
Both androgen and estrogen like: Haima (sea horse), royal jelly, cnidium fruit

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be used to supplement herbal formulas for the treatment of sexual dysfunction: effective points are Zu San Li, Guan Yuan, Qi Hai, Qu Gu, Hua Tuo Jia Ji, Shen Shu (both sides), Qi Hai, Xiao Chang Shu, Guan Yuan, Pang Guang Shu (both sides), and Zhong Ji.

Case numbers in the record are insufficient for statistical analysis, so this paper will conclude with the statement that not every case will respond to the treatments discussed. Although some cases will improve after as little as two weeks of treatment, the safest application is the use of a small dose over a long period of time. to Journal of SOTCM General Edition Page