Living a life of balance

Nearly everything in the known world is composed of and affected by two antagonistic but complimentary energies. “Yin” and “yang” energies are two opposing forces found in everything from food to physics.  Yang  is an energy that is electric and active in nature and its opposite, Yin energy has a passive nature that has a magnetic quality. These two forces have been operating behind the scenes from the beginning of time and are always in constant ebb and flow, always moving and continuously transforming each other and us in a number of ways.

The two energies affect our physical bodies and are essential to all life in our natural world. But this duality can be  a constant source of stress for us and our ability to balance the two energies can mean the difference between mental peace, physical health and spiritual harmony or spiritual disharmony,  physical stress or mental anguish. When these two forces are balanced in the body there is little or no stress and the body is in a state of healing.

A life of balance is a life worth living

It may seem like an impossible task balancing the forces of the universe as if we don’ balance chi wih aromatherapyt have enough to do already! But a life of balance is a life worth living because with a little effort it is possible to correct imbalances in your body by using whole foods and herbs as medicine which can lead to better physical health, mental focus and emotional calmness. The improper flow of yin and yang in the body leads to blocked energy in the organs which over time can lead to many health problems. Learning to correctly balance the body’s bio- energy or Chi with food and herbs will lead to a better functioning body and a peaceful mind.

Chi balancing and building principles can not only help you take control of the health but it can help you to manifest the positive flow of abundance from the universe which is always present and available to everyone and in your daily life. Our chi building information (as I have learned it from the orient) will help you understand how to balance the energies within the body and without. Blocked chi or energy in our environment can also affect us in a less than positive way. There are also easy but little known ways to correct the flow of energy or chi in your home, office, yard and help you to cultivate unobstructed energy and abundance flowing into your life. So please check back for all things chi.

Whole Food As Medicine- Nuts and Seeds

Here is partial list of nuts and seeds is presented as a part of the Whole Foods as Medicine Series. These tasty nuts and their rich oils can be used in cooking, salads, dressings, rice dishes etc. and offer amazing healing properties and health benefits.

Almonds

Almonds are prized above all nuts as for their chi building ability, strengthening intellect, reproductive chi and spirituality.  AlAssorted Nutsmonds are slightly warming with a sweet flavor and have a beneficial alkalizing effect on the blood.  Eaten raw they help remove stagnant chi in the lungs, alleviates cough and resolves phlegm.  Almonds have lubricating property and are beneficial in conditions of dryness of the lung or colon. This food is useful in treating constipation, dry cough, asthma or shortness of breath due to insufficient kidney yang.

Black Sesame Seeds

Black Sesame Seed are neutral in thermal nature and sweet in flavor and is used for fortifying the yin fluids of the liver and kidneys.  Eating them strengthens all five of the yin organs – heart, liver, kidney, spleen –pancreas and lungs.  This is a wonderful food and acts as tonic for the whole body.  Used to relieve rheumatism by relieving wind obstruction.  Relieves many symptoms including constipation, dry cough, and blurry vision, blood in urine, back ache, stiff joints, headache, numbness or stroke caused by deficient blood yin.  Noted to darken premature graying hair.  Beneficial to elderly individuals for treating wasting conditions and nutrient deficiency.

Coconut

The coconut meat and liquid or “milk” has a warming nature and a sweet flavor. It is a strengthening tonic for the heart. It is used for weakness and malnutrition. Coconut is a good source of saturated fat for vegetarians but less desirable for individuals that may already have a diet high in saturated animal fats, such as pork, eggs and dairy. Clears summer heat, relieves thirst and is useful in treating edema, fever, and diabetes or heart weakness.

Flax Seed

Neutral in heat a nature and sweet in flavor, the flax seed has mucilage properties which mean it helps reduce inflammation and pain. It balances the spleen- pancreas chi and colon chi.  Flax seed has the highest source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is valuable in strengthening the protective chi found in the immune system. Cleanses the heart and arteries and is useful in many degenerative conditions.

Peanuts

Peanuts have warming nature and a sweet flavor. Peanuts harmonize the stomach, lubricate the intestines and strengthen the lung and spleen- pancreas chi. Peanuts are said to increase mother’s milk by roasting and adding them to rice or millet.  Overweight individuals or individuals with damp conditions should avoid eating the peanut as it has a tendency to slow the metabolism.  Eaten moderately, peanuts can be most beneficial to people with a fast metabolism and can be eaten to build strength and endurance.  Commercially grown peanuts are sprayed with chemical pesticides and grown in soil laden with synthetic fertilizers. The unhealthy peanut can develop a fungus known as aflaxotoxin. This carcinogenic substance is responsible for many peanut allergies and not necessarily the peanut itself.  It is therefore best to use organic peanuts and peanut butter as this will reduce chemical residues which also increase the peanut’s resistance to the toxic fungus.  As we can see, it’s also extremely important in many cases, for our food to be in healthy condition before we eat it!

Pistachios

The pistachio is neutral, that is, not cooling or warming in nature with a sweet, bitter and slightly sour flavor. The raw pistachio is considered to be an important tonic for the whole body.  They are commonly available in roasted and salted form; however they should not be eaten this way if used for healing.  Individuals that are overweight or have damp conditions should especially avoid the salted variety but can enjoy them raw or lightly toasted with no salt. Suitable as a healing food for most every type, this nut has healing benefits that purifies the blood strengthens the liver, kidney and colon chi.

Pumpkins and Squash Seeds

These seeds are also neutral in their thermal nature and both sweet and bittier in flavor. They are a valuable source of zinc, trace minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids. These seeds have diuretic properties that can help the body get rid of excess water and vermifuge properties that expel parasites.  Pumpkin seeds can be eaten for nausea,  difficulty or scant urination, strengthen prostate function,impotence and strengthen spleen – pancreas chi.

Walnuts

walnutsThe warming nature and sweet flavor of the walnut can b eaten to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.  Perhaps this is due to the large percentage of Omega 3 fatty acid in its oil. It is nourishing to brain and kidney chi. Relieves dry cough and constipation. Used to treat cold conditions, aversion to cold, weak knees, painful back and bladder imbalances. Walnuts nourishes the kidneys, enrich kidney yang which is important for a well balanced body and overall good health.

(Lu, 1986)

The Chi Vitality in Fall Foods

One of the main concepts found in Traditional Chinese medicine is the theory of Qi is pronounced Chi. A vital essence found in all living things. The chi concept gives us a way to understand and measure the chi or energy of people, plants, foods, objects or states of energy.  If the chi of a food is a good quality than the food will likely taste better and impart more Chi to the person who eats it. Whatever manifests in a person‘s body and life does so with the help of some type of Chi.

The Chi Vitality in Foods

All grown whole foods contain chi or vital energy. The chi in foods has five main energies or flavors. Sweet flavored foods are pleasing and their energy is directed to the stomach and spleen, pungent flavored food energy is directed to the lungs and large intestines, salty flavored food energy is directed to the kidney and bladder, bitter flavored food energy is sent to the heart and small intestines and sour flavored food energy is directed to the liver and gall bladder.  Food also has a yin or cooling nature that conducts chi vitality inward in the body or a yang or warming thermal nature which directs chi vitality outward.

Imbalances in chi can result in blockages which cause chi to accumulate which result in a multitude of physical imbalances and ailments. In our food chi series, you will learn to use foods therapeutically and improve your health by restoring balance of chi or vitality to blocked or “insulted” organs.

There are many good recipes out there just remember to keep recipes simple. When using whole food for their healing properties keep in mind that combining or using other foods such as honey for sweetener or so sauce for saltiness can also alter the use and property of a food.

The Winter or Wax Gourd has a yin or cooling nature and sweet light flavor. It acts as a tonic to the lungs, bladder, small and large intestines. This food can be used to detoxify the kidneys, promotes urination and eliminates congestion in the lungs. Boil cubed was gourd over low heat and drink as a soup or bake until skin appears a little charred. You can eat up to twice a day or ear on a regular bases is to promote urination to help cure edema and help balance weak kidney chi.

The Winter and Butternut Squash have a warming nature and sweet flavor that can be helpful in healing inflammation, relieve pain and strengthen the spleen and stomach. Cook squash with skifall foods gourds and squashn and eat to help relieve pulmonary conditions.

The Onion has a warm nature and pungent flavor is useful for inducing perspiration and is beneficial for the weakened lungs and stomach. Traditional uses are a diuretic which helps eliminate excess water and also has expectorant properties which helps break up congestion in lungs. White or yellow onions can be boiled or steamed over low heat. They can be eaten on a regular basis to lower and maintain blood pressure. Onion is also considered beneficial in the treatment of arteriosclerosis.

The Pumpkin is neutral, sweet and slightly bitter. Steamed pumpkin mixed with honey acts as a strengthening lung tonic so it is helpful to people with asthma, and helps to reduce cough. This food is also useful as a diuretic eliminating water retention from damp conditions such as edema.

The Potato has a neutral thermal nature with a sweet flavor. The potato heals inflammation and is used as an energy tonic and spleen tonic.  Prepare 5 medium sized potatoes, one onion, clove of garlic, 2 carrots and a stick of celery. Add four to six cups of water. Simmer over low heat until reduced to half.  This soup is good for hypertension, malnutrition, bronchial asthma, allergic skin, kidney disease and obesity.

The Sweet Potato also has a neutral thermal nature with a sweet flavor and is used as a spleen and energy tonic.  This terrific tuber is also used in china as a kidney yin tonic. Sweet potato can be baked or used in soup. Baked charred sweet potato can be used to induce perspiration and reduce fever.  It can also be used in soups to relieve the common cold and strengthens kidney chi.

 

(Lu H. C., 1986)