Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) attribute anemia to be primarily caused by an imbalance known as Blood Deficiency. When referring to blood, TCM has a deeper meaning for it than the clinical definition of the term. Blood in TCM can also pertain to the inherent energy within the blood. TCM practitioners believe that Blood is made partly from the nutrients extracted in the digestive system that resulted from the action of the pancreas-spleen. Blood is created when jing or kidney essence combines with this extract. The bone marrow is where most of the body’ kidney essence is stored. This seems to jibe with conventional Western medicine’s knowledge that the bone marrow is where blood is created.
-Pain in the chest
-Shortness of breath (especially with activity or when standing)
-Light headedness or dizziness (especially with activity or when standing)
-Lack of energy/fatigue
Certain forms of anemia may come with symptoms such as:
These symptoms and signs are reflections of the TCM hallmarks of blood deficiency although Blood deficiency may come with extra symptoms like dry hair, pale complexions, tongue, nailbeds, and lips; dry skin; dry, thin, and premature graying hair; spots in the vision of the person; and premature hair loss.
Blood deficiency may be the result of:
-Stagnant blood and chronic diseases that slow down the generation of new blood
-Lack of nutrients in the body
-Blood loss because of severe menstruation, or gastrointestinal hemorrhage
-The body’s inability to absorb nutrients
The good news is that there are several natural ways you can utilize to build blood. They include proper nutrition, Chinese herbs, and acupuncture just to mention a few.
To build and nourish blood through nutrition, two approaches can be used:
-Add certain nutrients that create new healthy blood
-Improve the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract
To boost absorption, mucus and damp conditions need to be reduced and the qi energy of the pancreas-spleen needs to be built. You need to restrict yourself or totally avoid the consumption of damp and phlegm producing foods if you have a damp condition in your body.
Blood Deficiency Diet
Greater consumption of protein-rich foods is required to help build blood. Chicken and other types of animal protein are some of the best sources of blood building protein. It is possible to be on a vegetarian diet and still build blood; however, the process is not as fast as an animal protein diet. Besides animal protein that has the highest concentration of jing among foods, soups and stocks made from beef bones and chicken (preferably organic) can be others sources for jing.
Plants that are loaded with chlorophyll and leafy green vegetables are highly nutritious since they not only contain iron, but also posses other factors that aid in the utilization and absorption of iron, and produce Blood.
The quality of blood quality may also be affected by the amount of additives in foods, especially if the food has too much salt, sugar, and hormones. You should always strive to eat chemical-free foods or organic foods. The liver you consume needs to be organic and free of chemical additives.
Grains – bran, barley, wheat, corn, sweet rice, oats, and rice
Common supplements – algae, chlorella, seaweeds, chlorella, and spirulina
Vegetables – button mushroom, wheatgrass, watercress, dark leafy vegetables, wheatgrass, spinach, shitake mushroom, cabbage, kelp, celery, artichoke, dandelion leaf
Beverages – guiness beer, soya milk, smoothies, miso, spirulina
Fruits – apple, mulberry, apricot, longan, avocado, grape, date, fig
Condiments, oils – molasses
Beans – tempeh, aduki, fermented bean products, kidney beans, black soya
Spices, herbs – parsley, nettle
Seeds and nuts – black sesame, lightly roasted almonds
Fish – tuna, sardine, oyster, octopus, and mussel
Meat – liver of pork, beef, or sheep, chicken, red meat especially bone marrow
Western foods that can be eaten every day western that aid in the building of Blood:
-Chicken and red meat
-Rice porridges with almonds, soya milk, rice milk, apricots
-Mushroom lasagna and kidney bean with spinach salad
-Leafy dark green vegetable salad with grated beetroot and avocado
-Snacks of dried almonds and apricots
-Warm chicken salad with grapes and artichokes
-Calamari with mussel chowder
-Parsley with scrambled eggs with parsley
If you have anemia, these are the foods to best avoid:
Damp generating and congesting foods: dairy and ice cream (except a little yogurt and butter, nuts, and chocolate).
Raw uncooked foods that is uncooked and cold natured, concentrated sweeteners, sweet foods, salt, tomato, raw vegetable, and sprouts.
Damp causing foods and congesting foods such as dairy and ice cream, nuts, chocolate, and sugar
Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture
An important component of Chinese medicine is Chinese herbal medicine. If blood deficiency is prolonged, herbal formulas may help resolve severe the problem. Also herbal formulas can help, address the underlying disharmony/imbalance, tonify Spleen and supplement blood.
Acupuncture can improve the function of an anemic person. It also helps make the absorption of nutrients spleen-pancreas function more efficient. The development of healthy bone marrow and red blood cells can be supported with this therapy as well as disharmonies and other underlying problem that may disrupt the building of blood.