Qi and the SpleenTraditional Chinese medicine views the spleen as one of the most important organs in the body. Practitioners say the spleen is responsible for all digestive movement from nutrient absorption to elimination. A sluggish or poorly functioning spleen results in a number of health problems. The spleen is the point in the body where qi is replenished, so fatigue from spleen problems is common. Digestive problems like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are also associated with the spleen. Anxiety and unclear thinking can result from energy blockages in the spleen.
The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, written around 1590, states, "When the spleen is healthy it can generate all living things. If it becomes depleted, it can bring about the hundred diseases." Keeping the energy of the spleen moving properly is important for the proper function of nearly every system within your body.
Chinese Herbs for Spleen QiThe spleen is important for overall health. Fortunately, there are many different Chinese herbs that can help to ease different problems with the spleen's qi. Some of the most common include astragalus, ginger, clove, licorice, lotus seed and ginseng.
Astragalus helps with decreased appetite, fatigue, bloating, diarrhea and weakness. Ginger helps with abdominal pain, loss of appetite and weakness. Clove helps with digestive problems that lead to poor circulation and cold extremities. Licorice helps with weakness and diarrhea, as does lotus seed. Lotus seed also helps with fatigue and low appetite. Ginseng acts as a supportive herb, helping other herbs like astragalus and ginger to function better.
How to Use Chinese HerbsChinese medicine relies on herbs both to cure and prevent diseases. To promote a healthier spleen you can take the herbs above on your own, or you can work with a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. A practitioner may be able to refine and tailor the herbal combinations you use for a better result.
Often Chinese herbs are delivered through a decoction (a very strong tea), a syrup or a salve. You may also find some preparations available in capsule or tablet forms.
Different people respond differently to herbal remedies, so some trial and error may be required to find the remedy that best relieves the symptoms of a sluggish spleen.