In Chinese medicine, the Kidney stores the Jing, the source of reproduction, development and maturation. Kidney disharmonies are therefore often the cause of reproductive problems, developmental disorders and premature aging. Jing produces Marrow; the Kidney energy field includes the anatomical kidneys and the bones and is responsible for creating and supporting the bones and teeth. The body can never have too much Jing, so patterns of Kidney disharmony tend to be ones of Deficiency. In addition, because the Kidney is considered the root of the Yin and Yang of all the Organs, disharmonies of the Kidney are most often linked to those of other Organs.
Kidneys rule the 'grasping of the Qi'. The Kidney acts together with the Lung in enabling the deep penetration of inhaled air and energy into the body. Hence the Kidney is also called the "root of Qi". Kidney disharmony may result in respiratory problems, notably chronic asthma.
The Kidney is the Yin Organ of the element Water. It is paired with the Yang Organ of Water, the Bladder. The functioning of Kidney are therefore vital to the Water cycle of the body; in this role it works together with the Spleen and Lung. The specific role of the Kidney is to purify the Water it receives from the Lung, Small Intestine and Large Intestine and excrete the impure. Dissonance in the Kidney may also show up as respiratory problems of the asthma type, hearing difficulties (the sense organ of the Kidney is the ear) and hair conditions.
Because the Kidney is responsible for the ionic balance of the Blood, there is also a close connection between the functioning of the Kidney and the nervous system. Here Water and Fire act together, the latter in the coordination of electrical impulses. Ancient texts distinguish Yin-Kidney and Yang-Kidney. The Yin-Kidney is also called the Water-Kidney and the Yang-Kidney the Fire-Kidney. The Water-Kidney filters the Blood and produces urine, corresponding to the functions of the anatomical kidneys. The Fire-Kidney corresponds to the endocrine system: the adrenal glands, sex glands, islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, thyroid and thymus glands and the pituitary gland.