What is the cause of your dark panda eyes?

I wouldn’t say I have severe dark eye circles but they’re apparent when I don’t use any face powder. Mine also have a somewhat bluish tint and look more obvious when I don’t get sufficient sleep. I’ve never really given much attention to them actually; I had thought they were just a normal part of my aging process since thinner skin do cause our blood vessels to become noticeable. However recently, a few people who knows something about TCM started telling me that my dark circles are due to a possible kidney imbalance.

Symptoms of kidney imbalance
I ran some quick check and I seem to suffer from many of the symptoms related to kidney deficiency listed on this TCM resource about kidney – amongst which – ailing memory, listless spirit, pale complexion, aversion to cold, weak hair and frequent urination are quite evident.

Kidney and adrenal connection
And interestingly, I found out that there is also a link between our kidneys and our adrenal glands that sit on top of our kidneys. According to this source, the kidney/adrenal connection is the foundation of the body’s energy expression. “Adrenal glands respond to pressure that comes into your life and how you respond to that pressure. The adrenals manufacture hormones, one of which is cortisol. Cortisol is important because it keeps your blood sugar levels stable while your body undergoes a stressful situation. This could be physical, emotional or psychological. When your adrenals are sluggish there could be a zinc deficiency and a copper overload in your system. When adrenal function decreases, it can cause symptoms like allergies, low blood pressure, PMS or menopausal symptoms, salt cravings, hypoglycemia or diabetes and/or sugar cravings”.

Anyway, I definitely need to head back to the TCM practitioner for a proper diagnosis.  I stopped going because I was feeling very good since my last detox. Unfortunately, the benefits associated with detox seem to be wearing out after three months and I’m beginning to feel lethargic again every day.

Reasons for your dark eye circles?
So do you have dark eye circles?  Do you think the reason for yours is related to kidney imbalance?  Or is it due to other reasons like genetics, iron deficiency or just purely a lack of sleep?

* By the way, I’m really fond of pandas.


  1. Sherry says:

    I don’t know but I know I not enough sleep

  2. Yuen Ling says:

    I have heavy dark eye circle and i always thought of lacking sleep and cause me that.. Somehow, after reading this article, I think I gotta be aware of my kidney.. I always have the sugar craving as well..

  3. Yvette says:

    I never thought about kidney imbalance! I think i get my dark circles from iron deficiency. I don’t really eat meat =/

  4. fwy says:

    I always thought my dark eye circles are due to the fact that I have very thin skin & is something generic. Come to think of it, I do experience some of the symtoms you listed for kidney deficiency. I am now a semi-vegetarian (I only comsumed meat for once or twice a week). I hope these can help improve my conditions.

  5. jo says:

    I think that everyone including me has it cos i see black circles…some are light..some are dark…

  6. Hazel says:

    my my.. i’ve very dark circles… and sad to say, it’s genetics… so there’s really nothing i can improve on to make it better. but then again on a good note, it probably means that i do not have problem with my kidneys since it’s genetics.

  7. sesame says:

    Then you should try to get more sleep. It’s also good for your health. Sleeping in the optimum time between 10pm – 3am is also important. That’s when our bodies can be fully rested and restored.

  8. sesame says:

    Anyway, it’s always good to take note of the health of our organs. Kidney is really important.

  9. sesame says:

    I see…maybe you can consider taking some supplements if you’re sure that it’s due to iron deficiency?

  10. sesame says:

    You’re semi-vegetarian? That should be rather healthy isn’t it? It’ll probably help to clear the toxins in your liver too and in turn, benefit your kidneys.

  11. sesame says:

    I think those with thicker skin don’t have. I’ve seen some without dark circles at all and not even when they don’t have enough sleep. Quite amazing.

  12. sesame says:

    So you had it since young? One of my nephews is like that too. Very very dark.

  13. loveless says:

    One of symptoms I show when I come into contact with something I’m allergic to is dark eye circles. My eyes get irritated and the entire eye area, including my eyelids will darken like panda eyes.

    My sinus problem and also the lack of quality sleep also contribute to my dark eye circles.

    Do you have a good TCM practitioner to recommend? Would like to consult one to see if my poor health is due any imbalance in my body. TCM is usually better for chronic problems and sometimes it’s hard to find a good and reliable TCM physician, so I rely on word of mouth.

    recently, i borrowed a kundalini yoga dvd from the library. the routine for detox and destress is supposed to help clear and strengthen the kidneys and adrenal glands. i won’t recommend it for beginners as it may be quite intense and I usually sweat some during the 1 hr workout. it’s by maya fiennes, if you’re interested. =)

  14. Rinka says:

    ive had dark circles since i was 13 and i would have confidence in my face without makeup… if my circles werent so noticeable. i do have pretty irregular sleeping patterns but even when i am getting good sleep for months on end, i still have them. i dont know if its genetic because no one else in my family seems to have them (quite the opposite in fact, my mum and grandma and aunties all have bright sparkly eye areas).

    out of the kidney deficiency symptoms, i would say i have the aversion to cold (i tend to feel the cold earlier than others) and sometimes i feel listless.

    great article!

  15. yay says:

    i’m not sure whether it’s kidney imbalance but i do have dark circles… it tend to be more puffy under the eyes… sometimes i do put ice under the eyes to see if that help not so much..concealer are not helpful not matter what brand i use…

  16. sesame says:

    I don’t have one to recommend cos I’m still not sure if the one I go is good or consistent. However, another reader Ann left a comment in this entry about one she consults – SK Lim at Telok Blangah.


    I’ll take a look at the Yoga DVD you mentioned but I doubt I can handle it if it’s too intense. I’m quite lazy. ?

  17. sesame says:

    The reasons may also not be entirely straightforward. Sometimes, it could be a combination? My son is 7 and I already noticed he has slight dark circles on some days but it could be related to his runny nose.

  18. sesame says:

    I heard that if it’s puffy, it’s due to water retention and kidney deficiency can cause that too.

  19. toh88 says:

    oh man! didnt know it can imply some issues on kidneys. I had dark rings since young. all my siblings had them so I had thought it is herited!

    thanks for the info really…..informative

  20. fwy says:

    There’s a vegan organic cafe near my workplace. I try to dine over there from Mon-Fri. As for weekends, I will just have to settle for food court or hawker centre food.

  21. Zephyrlite says:

    Yes, I have very dark circles which nothing seems to help. I’ve pretty much exhausted all avenues. Trying TCM now because the physician told me exactly the same thing and diagnosed that it was my kidney and my allergic rhinitis that was to blame.

  22. loveless says:

    when i said tt it may be intense, i’m comparing it to hatha yoga which is more of holding asana postures. there are more body movements involved, and some chanting. it can be a bit vigorous if you have not exercising regularly or your body is very stiff. all of the postures are done sitting or lying down and it’s a full one hour workout including some meditation.
    for beginners, the routine may be a bit too long but you don’t have to do it at full intensity the first few times. For me, I do it once a week.

  23. Dr Nitasha Buldeo says:


    This is a great post. And useful as so many people have dark circles. It seems to be very common with Asian woman, don’t know if there is a genetic link there. We’ve recently put up a blog including some tips to reduce dark circles. http://www.organicapoteke.com/blog/2010/06/organic-eye-cream-treat-dark-under-eye-circles/

    Hope your readers find this useful

  24. sesame says:

    Thanks Dr Buldeo! Those are useful tips!

  25. sesame says:

    I see…I’ll have a look and see if I am up to this. About two months ago, I borrowed some books on Yoga and tried some of the poses…but never got round to sustaining them.

  26. sesame says:

    Oh…I would love to hear how it goes for you after sometime. Hope the physician will help sort out your issue soon.

  27. sesame says:

    That’s nice. I always find it hard to maintain a healthy diet when working. Either got to pay a lot to eat better or settle with the “trash” out there. I try to eat more fruits. The only healthier lunch for me is from Subway.

  28. sesame says:

    Can’t say for sure unless you get yours diagnosed. I need mine confirmed too.

  29. Hayashi says:

    I have brownish dark circles. No eye bags though. Mine is due to anaemia which doctor strictly dis-allow me to take any iron supplementary as it will worsen the case. In fact, I have to rely on natural food instead. So I have more or less given up on my eye dark circles.

  30. sesame says:

    Ah I see…internal problems are most difficult to resolve. They’ll take awhile.

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