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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 945901, 8 pages
Review Article

Yang/Qi Invigoration: An Herbal Therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Yang Deficiency?

Division of Life Science, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong

Received 5 September 2014; Accepted 10 December 2014

Academic Editor: Yong C. Boo

Copyright © 2015 Pou Kuan Leong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory, Yang and Qi are driving forces of biological activities in the human body. Based on the crucial role of the mitochondrion in energy metabolism, we propose an extended view of Yang and Qi in the context of mitochondrion-driven cellular and body function. It is of interest that the clinical manifestations of Yang/Qi deficiencies in TCM resemble those of chronic fatigue syndrome in Western medicine, which is pathologically associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. By virtue of their ability to enhance mitochondrial function and its regulation, Yang- and Qi-invigorating tonic herbs, such as Cistanches Herba and Schisandrae Fructus, may therefore prove to be beneficial in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome with Yang deficiency.