Ying Yang Xue

"If something is cold, heat it. If something is hot, cool it." –Huangdi Neijing

Archive for the month “September, 2011”

Foods to help boost Spleen Qi

D.R. created our inaugural spread, and what a spread it was!  She outdid herself, creating a calming, therapeutic environment in which to eat this healing food.  She even used yellow utensils and plates (yellow being the color of the Spleen in Five Element Chinese Medicine) and used LED tealights and sounds of nature MP3 for ambiance!  She requested that we do a 2 minute meditation before eating, and then we all ate in silence for 12 minutes (chewing our food very carefully).  What an experience!   Here are the details of D.R.’s project below, in her own words::
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TCM Pattern: Spleen Qi Xu (Spleen Qi Deficiency)

  • Western Diagnosis/ Correlation:: Diarrhea, gastroenteritis, anemia, gastric/duodenal ulcer
  • Signs & Symptoms:: poor appetite, fatigue, sallow complexion, abdominal distention, loose stools
  • Pulse:: weak
  • Tongue:: pale, thin white coat, possibly swollen, teeth marks as condition worsens
  • For Dietary Therapy Choose:  Foods that are warm, neutral and sweet, chewed well in small to moderate amounts, or congees or soups.
  • Avoid: Raw foods, salads, salsa, milk, cheese, and excesses of fruit, juices, and sugar.
Today’s Menu:
  • Sweet potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Brown Sugar (small amount)
  •  Black beans with Leeks and Black Pepper
  •  White Beans with Carrots
  •  Yellow squash with Black Pepper
  •  Brown rice
Cooking Methods chosen:
  • Baking  supplies yang energy
  • Boiling/Simmering Prolonged boiling at several hours at medium/high temperature adds yang energy to yin foods although vegetarian stews can decrease the energetic process over time so warming spices can be adds to increase yang energy.
  • Frying with little oil high heat/short time (similar to woking)- supplies food with yang energy.

Recipes::

Sweet potatoes: clean poke holes in to vent,
                          Bake at 325 degrees x 1 hour,
                          Peel put in mixing bowl
                          Add dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar to taste
                          Mash to soft consistency adding water as needed until desired consistency
Black beans:  canned or dry-cook beans in their own juice add water as needed
                      2 medium leeks cleaned and cut to desired size
                      Black pepper to taste
                      Boil over med heat until soft, decrease heat to low and simmer 3-6 + hours
White beans:  canned or dry beans
                       Cook beans per instructions in their own juices
                       Carrots cut into ¼ inch pieces
                       Black pepper to taste
                       Boil over med/ high heat until soft, decrease heat to low and simmer 3-6 + hours; add vegetable broth if desired
Yellow squash:  clean cut into ¼ inch pieces,
                            Heat pan to high with small amount oil and spices red/black pepper, dash sea salt, fry quickly until slightly browned and soft turning frequently.

In Chinese Medicine it is recommended to eat foods in a relaxed atmosphere, chewing each bite at least 10- 15 times before swallowing.  Positive emotions generally promote good qi flow and during meals allow free flow of spleen qi to support smooth transportation for transformation to begin.  Negative emotions may block smooth digestive qi flow for spleen and stomach.

Of note in dietary therapy for spleen, any strengthening of blood also will supplement the spleen.

 
The classic texts recommend:

“When angry, it is easy to swallow food, but hard to digest it.  When sad, it is hard to swallow and digest food.  When experiencing strong emotions, it is advisable to delay eating until they have disappeared.  Foods should always be ingested at the proper time, this makes it easier to digest them.  Delaying eating and being able to digest food is better  than eating too soon and not being able to digest.  Digestive problems are accompanied by trouble, while good digestion frees a person from worry.  It is not advisable to eat when strong emotions are brewing.”

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