Do you feel restless in the evening and have difficulties falling asleep? Do you maybe feel anxious, dizzy and get easily scared? Then it could be possible that you suffer from a heart blood deficiency.
Traditional Chinese medicine can help alleviate the symptoms through the use of acupuncture and herbal treatments. However, by examining our diets and eliminating some of the culprits whilst increasing the intake of foods that benefit the heart can lead to a renewed healthier physical state.
The heart is considered as the emperor of the body which hosts the spirit also called « Shen ». According to the “Yellow Emperor’s Classic”—the oldest known writings in Chinese medicine—the strength of the Shen is fundamental to good health: “If Shen is strong, the body will be strong; if we lose Shen, the body will perish.” Spirit and Shen are closely linked. For example the spirit can be disturbed by extreme emotions, negative and positive ones and then disturbs the Shen.
Besides treating this condition at my TCM practice with acupuncture and herbs, it is essential to change nutrition and life style habits to attain and maintain a healthy state again. What are the symptoms and reasons for this condition? Which foods can improve it?
The symptoms of a heart blood deficiency
- Palpitations (more pronounced in the evening)
- Problems to fall asleep
- Poor memory
- Mild anxiety
- Dream disturbed sleep
- Easily startled
- Tiredness, exhaustion
- Scanty or absent periods (amenorrhoea)
The reasons which lead to it
- Consuming spicy foods regularly
- Eating too less and nutrient-poor foods
- Having too much meat, especially deep-fried and grilled
- Constant stress and pressure of time
- Drinking too much alcohol and black tea
- Chronic diseases
- Severe blood loss e.g. childbirth, after an operation, etc.
- Chronic worry and anxiety disturbs the shen
- Dietary insufficiencies and over-thinking which causes spleen qi deficiency that can cause blood deficiency
The foods that help
For the successful treatment of a heart blood deficiency it is important to avoid everything what harms the heart (see above under reasons) and to eat the right foods.
Foods that benefit the heart
- Egg yellow
- All kinds of berries
- Black olives
- Black sesame seeds
- Octopus, oyster and sardines
- Flaxseed oil
- Mung beans
- Wheat berry
It takes some time to rebuild heart blood and it is necessary to eat these food regularly and adapted to the season. To strengthen your heart and to support the process you should focus on maintaining a positive outlook, practicing benevolence and compassion, getting enough rest, seeking peace and tranquility, meditating and going out in nature.
About the author
Carina Greweling is a state-approved naturopath from Germany who studied after her exam Chinese medicine and Bach flowers and deepened her knowledge of meditation and yoga while she was living in India. In regular workshops and yoga retreats she proposes to gain deeper knowledge and inspiration about a healthy body and mind. She also gives online consultations.