Nourish the Blood using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Dietary Therapy: discover what blood deficiency is in TCM and what foods and recipes can tonify (strengthen) blood.
What is Blood Deficiency in Chinese Medicine and why tonify it?
Blood deficiency in Chinese medicine means there is a depletion of blood in your body. This may be due to a problem in production of blood through your digestive system or from loss of blood such as trauma and child birth.
Blood in Chinese medicine philosophy is a vital substance, formed in the digestive system when the energy (qi) from food and air combine. Blood circulates throughout the body’s vessels to the organs and tissues (especially the muscles, tendons and eyes) to provide nourishment and moisture. A classic Chinese medicine text “Miraculous Pivot” states: “when the blood is in harmony the tendons and bones will be strong and will function smoothly”.
Blood is also important for maintaining a calm happy mind. After blood is produced in the digestive system (spleen and stomach in Chinese medicine philosophy), blood has the special function of housing the mind. It is said to anchor the mind in the body
Depletion of blood manifests as:
- muscle and tendon problems
- dry eyes and vision impairment
- irregular menstruation
- poor self esteem
- dry skin
- poor memory
To strengthen your muscles, tendons, eyes and keeping a calm mind, here are some Chinese dietary suggestions to nourish the blood:
beef, black soybean skin, chicken eggs, grapes, ham, cuttlefish,lychee, longan, oyster & shell, pork liver, sea cucumber, spinach, mulberry, beetroot, molasses, parsley, dates, fig, black soy bean, ham, kale, red meat such as beef and lamb.
Blood Deficiency Diet Recipes
1. Rice and Soybean Congee
100g brown rice
30g black soy beans
30g Chinese red dates
Add rice and soybeans to boiling water, simmer till half cooked. Add 30g red dates and continue cooking until well done. Add brown sugar to taste. Eat once a day
2. Beef Soup
10g of Black pepper
5g orange peel powder (buy from Asian grocer, great for regulating digestion)
1 cup of fresh ginger juice (grate ginger & boil in water to make)
Mix together & Marinate for 2 hours, then either cook the beef in a frying pan or make into soup with some beef stock. Eat small portions of the fried beef or soup with meals several times per week.