Whether your perspective is Eastern or Western, your spleen has some very important jobs to do and is sensitive to your energy. Here are some tips about how to support your spleen, both physically and energetically.
From a Western perspective, the spleen regulates and filters our blood. It also helps with water and lymph metabolism and helps fight infections. The pancreas produces insulin to regulate our blood sugar.
Prolonged stress, cold weather, too much cold food and mental overwork can exhaust or weaken the spleen's Qi. Signs of weak spleen Qi can also include nausea, bloating, gas, frequent belching, swelling, excessive phlegm, loose stools, arthritis and joint problems.
In Eastern medicine, the spleen is responsible for digesting food and converting it into energy, similar to the way the pancreas releases insulin to allow the body's cells to absorb ingested glucose, providing the cells with energy. The spleen is also responsible for providing warmth and vitality to the body, providing physical energy for immune function and mental energy for work and creativity.
Flavor is also very important to send nutrition via the meridians to the correlated organs. Our internal organs are each affected differently by different flavors and the spleen favors sweet energy.
The spleen also correlates to the Earth element
, and its main season is late summer and early fall. So, earthy foods, scents and colors that carry the energy of this season is helpful to the spleen.
Here are some guidelines for keeping your spleen in optimal condition:
- Keep it warm: The spleen thrives on warm, easily digested foods. When working on building up a weakened spleen, minimize or avoid raw or cold foods as they are harder to digest. Precooked and warmed foods, such as soups, stews and curries are more easily absorbed and create less work for the spleen. A great way to get the power of raw greens without the cold is to supplement your meals with raw food powder.
- Promote digestive fire: Have some raw ginger before or during meals. Ginseng is good for supporting the immune system and regulating metabolism. Or add warm spices such as black pepper, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon to food to help increase your spleen's ability to digest food properly. Eating pungent foods such as onions, leeks, fennel and garlic also help increase the body's digestive fire.
- Eat the right sweet: Spleen energies thrive on sweet flavors. However, too much sweet, especially refined sugars can damage the spleen over time (consider how elevated blood sugar can cause insulin resistance). But selecting the right foods can tonify and cleanse your spleen. Take your sweets in small, energy rich doses and go for natural sugars found in vegetables, fruits, herbs like stevia, raw organic honey and syrups such as agave to nurture your Qi and fortify your spleen.
- Stimulate your Third Chakra: An exercise that both stimulates your Spleen Meridian and activates your third chakra is Third Chakra Tapping from Master Chungsuk's Spleen Meridian online course. By gently tapping two inches above your belly button with your fists 100 or more times, you will stimulate your Third Chakra and spleen's function.
- Strengthen Your Spleen Qi with Qigong: Yes, you can use Qigong for your internal organs! Begin with at least 3 sets of 12 deep, open-leg squats to move Qi to both your Stomach and Spleen meridians. Learn more and view the full course here.
Practice these nutrition and energy tips often to relax, warm up, reduce stress and replenish your spleen with sweet energy!
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychological condition.