In the doctrine of the Five Elements, the spleen and stomach correspond to the center of the body or the element earth. The main function of the center is to absorb the essence of the food we eat, transform it to Qi, blood and juices, and then distribute them throughout the body. This is how the body is nourished. The center is therefore also considered the “source of postnatal Qi” (Strenghtening the center).
Kidney energy, on the other hand, is considered the “root of prenatal Qi” and is also called the “basic energy of our life”. It is the seat of primordial strength, willpower, sexual power and creativity. It is responsible for reproduction and growth, strengthens and warms the back, gives strength to the bones and hair and is also directly connected to the functions of the brain.
The kidneys are carriers of the “Jing” – the essence of life.
“Jing”, the essence of life which we have mostly inherited from our parents is stored in the kidneys. “Jing” can be likened to our constitution. If there is a lot of Jing, this shows in a strong body, vitality and a strong immune system.
From the point of view of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the kidneys – which actually correspond to the transformation phase water with its main organ kidney – differ from all other organs in that they are the basis for all energies of the body. The main goal of TCM and all Qigong practices is to foster our kidney energy”.
Typical symptoms of kidney weakness:
– fatigue, powerlessness, weakness of will
– lack of concentration, forgetfulness
– back pain, feeling cold
– feeling cold in the lower back, bottom and thighs
– prematurely grey hair or hair loss
– decrease of sexual energy
– impotence, infertility
– frequent urination, especially at night
– loose teeth
– diseases of the bones, arthrosis or congenital malformation
– states of anxiety
– deteriorating hearing and eye sight
Causes of kidney weakness:
for kidney-Yang weakness (weakness of function):
– cold in general, cold weather or air conditioning, cold food and cold beverages
– frequent mental and physical exertion
– sleep deprivation
– too much sexual activity and ejaculation
– long-term menstrual or menopausal symptoms
– no resting phase, no recuperation after childbirth
– too much salt
– inappropriate absorption of water
– chronic illnesses
In kidney-Yin-weakness (a weakness of the kidney substance) the following causes are added:
– too much hot food (coffee, red wine, fried foods, etc.)
– long-term use of chemical substances such as antibiotics, painkillers, drugs, etc.
Taking care of your kidney energy:
– keep a balanced rhythm of life with sufficient sleep
– protect yourself from the cold
– eat and drink warm food and drinks
– avoid the loss of too much sexual energy
– reduce coffee and alcohol
– take less salt
– drink kidney-building herbal tea regularly
– regular moxa treatment at the “gate of life” and stomach 36 (approx. 10-15 min. each)
Traditional Chinese herbs for building kidney energy:
(Here you will find examples of three well-known kidney-strengthening herbs used in TCM. In case of complaints we recommend to make an appointment with a health practitioner or doctor with knowledge of TCM).
Building up kidney Yang:
– Du Zhong (Cortex eucommiae): strengthens bones and tendons. Yang is lifted up, Qi and blood are moved in the meridians, and tendons and bones are better nourished. Very effective against impotence, tinnitus, weakness, pain and weakness in the loins or knees, also against bleeding during pregnancy or restless movements of the embryo and childlessness.
Building up kidney Yin:
– Polygoni mulitiflori (Heshouwu): builds up kidney Yin and substance, also strengthens blood, nourishes hair and moisturizes dryness. Indications: Tinnitus, libido weakness, fatigue, blood deficiency, early graying, hair loss, pale face, dizziness. In addition: chronic constipation.
Polygoni has a warming effect, but does not heat up. Since it primarily builds up renal Yin and blood, it is a good and neutral renal builder for kidney weakness, without generating internal heat or hot flashes.
– Sang Ji Sheng (Loranthi seu Taxilli ramulus): kidney-Yin building, strengthens bones, muscles and tendons, especially suitable for pain or weakness in muscle, lumbar or knee area. Also effective for bleeding during pregnancy, restlessness of the embryo and to support the uterus.
How do I boil my Chinese herbs?
As a rule, you take 8-10 grams of each herb of a herbal formula. For your kidney tea, take 8-10 grams each of the herbs Duzhong, Heshouwu and Sanjisheng.
Soak the herbs with 0.5-0.7 litres of cold water for approx. 5-10 minutes. Then bring to the boil briefly – this takes about 3-5 minutes – and then reduce the heat to a slight simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, keeping the pot half covered so that less of the content evaporates. After 20 minutes strain through a fine sieve. (If you like, you can drink part of it immediately. Typically, you would mix it with the brew of the second infusion so that both parts are of equal strength). Return the herbs to the pot and add fresh water – 0.5-0.7 litres as before. Then repeat the whole procedure – so first boil the herbs briefly, then simmer for about 20 minutes and strain. The second brew can now be mixed with the first.
Divide this herbal drink (approx. 0.8 -1 litre) into four portions and take it over two days. It is advisable to store the cooled brew in the refrigerator. Warm up briefly before drinking. Drink approx. 40 minutes before a meal or in the morning or evening 1-2 hours after eating).
As an intensive cure or therapy: take two cups daily for 10 days.
Strengthen the Centre
Building and nurturing the energy of the center, the element “earth” in the middle of the belly, is one of the most important principles in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Qigong and Taoism. The main function of the earth element, connected with the organs spleen and pancreas, is to transform the essence of food into blood, qi and juices and distribute them throughout the body. This is how the body is nourished.
Nurturing the Kidney Energy
The kidney energy is considered the “root of the prenatal Qi” and is also called the “basic energy of our life”. It is the seat of the elemental force, willpower, sexual power and creativity. It is responsible for reproduction and growth, strengthens and warms the back, and gives strength to the bones and hair.