Greetings Dear Readers,
One of the great things about Traditional Chinese Medicine is the explicit detail on the healing properties of various foods and the way foods can be used according to their Yin/Yang properties to treat various conditions. The ancient system of TCM Food Cures is based on the idea that everything we put in our mouth can serve a meaningful healing purpose in our body. Goji berries are a known medicinal superfood with many benefits such as increasing longevity and immunity, improving strength, energy, and sleep quality, and strengthening the Yin of the Kidney, Liver and Lung systems.
Everything in life has Yin and Yang qualities. Yin and Yang are relative opposite energies which balance each other. Yin is slow, cool, dark, liquid, substantial, quiet and calm. Yin energy is so needed now-a–days to balance the overly Yang (fast, loud, stimulating, aggressive and ungrounded) energies of modern life. We are multi-taskers. We are sensory-overloaded. This way of life can be balanced by strengthening the calm, relaxing Yin energy in the body through Yin-building food and drink, as well as mental practices such as meditation. Goji berries provide Yin energy to the Kidney, Liver and Lung systems.
Goji berries are a longevity tonic because they strengthen Kidney Yin which helps maintain our life force and hence our longevity. The Kidney system in TCM has the function of “housing the Essence”. Essence is the vital life force of the body, the bodys’ reserves or savings account that comes in to play when other body systems are depleted. Kidney Essence is closely related to Kidney Yin. When Kidney Yin starts running out, the body starts borrowing from Kidney Essence. When Kidney Essence is low there will be signs such as fertility issues, scanty menses, early greying of hair, low back ache, softening of the bones, mental dullness and poor memory.
Kidney Yin deficiency and Liver Yin deficiency often go together. The Kidneys are the “mother” of the Liver system in the TCM creation cycle. Strong Kidney Qi supports a healthy Liver and Kidney Yin supplies Yin to the Liver. Kidneys belongs to the Water element which is the mother of the Wood element (Liver). Insufficient Yin of the Kidneys can lead to insufficient Yin of the Liver. Signs of Kidney and Liver Yin deficiency include dizziness, dry eyes and floaters, brittle nails, dry stools, numbness and tingling of limbs, very dry hair and skin, insomnia, scanty menstruation, delayed or absent cycle, dull-pale complexion with red cheekbones, depression, dry vagina, nocturnal emissions, and dry throat.
Goji berries also strengthen Lung Yin. Lung Yin deficiency signs are weak or hoarse voice, dislike of speaking, fatigue, night sweating, dry cough with sticky sputum, and a dry throat and mouth. Lung energy embodies our spiritual essence, also known as the “Po” in TCM. Although the body and mind are separate entities, they share a very close relationship. For this reason Lung Yin is an important energy to maintain for those on spiritual paths. Smoking dries out the Yin of the Lungs. For help quitting smoking, ask your acupuncturist for “NADA” (National Acupuncture Detox Association) treatment (5 needles in each ear) which is highly effective and scientifically proven for quitting smoking.
Goji berries are especially indicated for the eyes. They are said to “brighten the eyes”. One special recipe for dry, red, itchy eyes is a tea made from chrysanthemum flowers and goji berries. Chrysanthemum flowers are inexpensive and easily available in Asian herbal stores and grocers along with goji berries. Goji berries can also be used for tired eyes from too much reading or computer use, blurred vision, eye pain, dullness or ache.
**Caution for pregnant women: Goji berries stimulate uterine contractions.
Have you tried goji berries yet? What have you noticed?
Love to hear your comments and questions.
Yours in health,