Good Blood for a Healthy Mind

 Decoding the Mysterious Language of TCM - Part III

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on a view of health and the human body that is radically different from what we are used to in western medicine and comprises a unique language to describe health, disease and healing. This blog series (Decoding the Mysterious Language of TCM) is dedicated to introducing various concepts of Chinese Medicine and offer a little glimpse of a fascinating paradigm.

There’s more to BLOOD than you would know

Chinese Medicine has some unique ideas about blood. One of them is that it is a form of Qi, which is produced when the Spleen (the main digestive organ in TCM) transforms food into ‘food-Qi’. With the aid of the ‘original Qi’ from the Kidneys, this ‘food-Qi’ is transformed into blood in the Heart. So, a healthy digestive system, healthy fuel/food and strong Kidneys are essential in producing sufficient blood.

The main function of blood is to nourish and moisten the body, which is explained by Giovanni Maciocia in The Foundations of Chinese Medicine (p.61).

The Blood ensures that body tissues do not dry out. For example, Liver-Blood moistens eyes and sinews, so that the eyes can see properly and the sinews are flexible and healthy. Liver-Blood also moistens the skin and the hair….

Blood is very important in another way: it provides the material foundation for the Mind. … Blood embraces the Mind providing the harbor within which the Mind can flourish. If the Blood is deficient, the Mind will lack its foundation and so become unhappy or uneasy. This is typically manifested by ….vague anxiety, slight irritability and a feeling of dissatisfaction. When someone is asleep at night Blood naturally embraces the Mind…but if Blood is deficient the Mind ‘floats’ and the person cannot sleep or dreams a lot.

Women’s health depends on healthy blood: Very often women’s gynecological issues are linked to the health of blood in their system and TCM shines at regulating menstrual health through the use of acupuncture as well as herbal medicine. If you or someone you know, is struggling with their period or other aspects of their reproductive health, consider trying acupuncture as a treatment. 

Foods to nourish and support blood:

  • Beets
  • Red meat
  • Peanuts
  • Goji berries
  • Cherries
  • Carrots
  • Red grapes
  • Spinach