Published November 14, 2014 WHAT IS QI? :: Qi is the term used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to describe your body’s vital life energy. Qi is necessary for all life processes: proper organ function, circulation of blood, metabolism of body fluid, growth and development, warming the body, defending against illness, and transforming food into energy. The Qi that is presently in your body is a combination of your genetic makeup at conception, how you have lived your life since birth (diet, habits, emotions, trauma), and your daily intake of food and air. Because of our polluted modern environment, many people are suffering from Qi deficiency. WHAT IS QI DEFICIENCY? :: Deficiency of Qi is primarily due to the malfunction of Spleen, Kidney or Lung. It can lead to a lowered body temperature, intolerance of cold, and cold hands and feet. Since Qi promotes the circulation of blood and function of all meridians, when it is deficient, your circulation will be poor, water retention will be high, and organ/meridian function will be blocked. Since Qi “defends” against “illness evils”, Qi would be considered the “immune system” in Western terms. When this is deficient you are more susceptible to pathogens, parasites, and other ailments. Finally, low Qi means your energy will be low. Your limbs will feel heavy, posture will be collapsed, you will bloat after meals and concentration will be poor. People with Qi deficiency also tend to crave sweet foods – especially “empty” sweet foods containing simple sugars (candy, etc). COMMON WESTERN DISORDERS WITH QI DEFICIENCY ROOT :: Hypothyroidism, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, “Adrenal Fatigue”, Diabetes, depression, PMS, menstrual cramps, headaches, indigestion, obesity, Pancreatitis, Edema, heart problems, Angina , etc. FOODS THAT TREAT QI DEFICIENCY :: Overall staples should be soup, stew, root vegetables (sweet potato for breakfast!), ginger tea every morning, warming spices such as black pepper, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. -Grains :: barley, millet, rice, sweet rice, oats, buckwheat -Vegetables :: asparagus, button mushroom, cabbage, eggplant, peas, pumpkin, shiitake mushroom, squash, sweet potato, tomato, yam -Fruit :: apple, cherry, red dates (available at Chinese markets), figs, grapes -Protein :: black beans, broad beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans, yellow lentils, anchovy, sturgeon, mackerel, herring, halibut, eel, duck, chicken, beef, liver, octopus, clams, organic fermented tofu -Nuts & Seeds :: almond, black sesame seeds, walnuts, coconut meat -Herbs/Supplements :: Bay leaves, bee pollen, royal jelly, licorice, ginseng (Korean, American), jujube dates, astragalus root, cinnamon, cloves, algae FOODS TO AVOID :: SUGAR and COLD food! Avoid excessive intake of juice, soda, and even fruit. No mint (too cold). We are looking for complex carbohydrates that slowly release Qi throughout the day. Fruit is very cooling and contains fructose, a simple carbohydrate that digests quickly and will not be as beneficial for Qi deficiency. Focus on sweet potato, high quality organic protein, nuts, beans, and seeds. Meals should be freshly cooked and very warming.