Kidney Yang Foods, ie those that boost Kidney Yang, are not the only way to help Kidney Yang. But diet – long-term – is really important.
Unfortunately, Losing Kidney Yang energy is all too easy! Please read about this under Kidney Yang deficiency! Deficiency implies – for example – adrenal exhaustion.
Recovering Kidney yang can take months. If you start when older, it may be impossible to regain the vigour you enjoyed when you were young, but even so, with time you may achieve much.
By the way, if all this yin-yang stuff makes little sense, try reading balancing yin and yang.
Kidney yang depends on Kidney Yin reserves so …
If fostering yang, be sure to keep warm, to keep moving, and to avoid getting over-tired. Physical exercise is vital, and our bodies reap long-term benefits if we start young.
Yang energy also appears at inspiration, enthusiasm and passion.
Do what you enjoy and turns you on! Keep up your spirits!
Join others with similar interests and benefit from the group’s energy and drive.
Kidney yang reserves depend on Kidney Yin reserves so usually you would start by dealing with the causes of Kidney yin deficiency.
Here are four broad categories to address:
These come under your Stomach and Spleen energies in Chinese medicine. Very important to preserve your Stomach Yin and Stomach Qi energies by avoiding cold and chilled foods and drinks. Read more about this under Nutrition.
Get in the habit of eating Clogstoun Congee regularly to preserve your Stomach Yin and keep you properly hydrated: much better than drinking lots of water.
Again … Ensure healthy Stomach/Spleen digestion: everything depends on that. Eat Warm not cold food and drink.
Remember! always take food and drink that is cooked and warm to the touch, even if it’s aim is to boost your Kidney Yin.
Later, as you stop showing signs of Kidney Yin deficiency, the following foods are more for Kidney Yang deficiency. However, being yang, they are also somewhat heating so may produce rashes, irritability or headaches in sensitive individuals if introduced too fast or if you have too much at a time.
Also, if you ignored my advice about first nourishing Kidney Yin, you may find that too many of these foods for Kidney yang deficiency will make you hot, restless and sweaty because they accentuate any remaining Kidney Yin deficiency:
… but they tend to be warming – particularly garlic. That’s why people take it to ward off disease – they find it boosts their yang energy. Cooking them usually increases this though it boils off the odours that make you cry.
If you ever get a cold which makes your eyes and nose stream and stings your eyes, in the very early stages you can often ward it off by soaking slices of raw onion in water and sipping it. This works on the homoeopathic principle of like cures like.
Try it! Of course, I realise that the mere mention of homoeopathy will immediately lose me half my audience! Well … Goodbye!
Indeed, I once had a university lecturer – in Economic History – who attributed his health in a Japanese Prisoner-of-War camp in WW2 to his daily consumption of a raw onion.
Most of his non-onion eating companions got ill but not he! However, perhaps none of them spent much time with him if they disliked the onion smell on his breath, so he wasn’t exposed to their bugs. Who knows!
To preserve balance, avoid very heating foods and herbs because these over-stimulate your body to resist them. For example, very hot curries might make you perspire, so would cool you down: counter-productive! The same goes for some kinds of strong garlic if you take too much.
Foods that help both Kidney Yin and Yang – but eat them cooked and warm if possible:
Get in the habit of adding them to the dishes you eat!
When you are back to balance continue to avoid Cold Foods and to avoid any food or drink that is Cold to the touch. It is vital to preserve the yang energy of your Stomach.
And, of course, keep moving, keep warm and don’t get cold.
Books on Chinese Dietary therapy
The two books by Andrew Sterman listed below give you a real feel for Chinese medicine and how it approaches food as a source of health and disease. I highly recommend them.
Each of the following books also has merits:
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