Oftentimes the question comes up of "can I occasionally enjoy the wonderful flavors of fresh juices while being mindful of my body's need for being healthy?". From a Western point of view, many health problems can arise from weak blood circulation. Chinese medicine thinks of blood as having an "inherent energy" within the blood itself and that this blood is partially created from nutrients extracted in the digestive tract as a result of the action of the spleen. In other words, in Chinese medicine, "blood deficiencies" can be caused by an inadequate intake of nutrients.
The Middle Burner Concept
Keeping the Chinese medicine theory of the middle burner in mind (I explain the theory behind the middle burner diet in this article, and why favoring a "cold and raw diet" isn't all it's cracked-up to be) and the idea that the spleen extracts nutrients from the food we eat is essential to the good health of blood and its vessels.
In cases of stagnant blood, where your body's Qi energy is insufficient to push the blood through the vessels, regardless of its cause, proper eating habits such as thorough chewing and preparation of simple meals are essential. Furthermore, those foods and spices which disburse stagnant blood can be added to the diet.
Blood filled with toxins is more likely to become stagnant, therefore keeping your spleen and pancreas functions strong helps blood formation as well as improves the circulation of Qi energy. In Chinese medicine theory any excess or deficiency can cause imbalance within the body which in turn can block your Qi energy and cause poor blood circulation or organ disharmony. Chinese theory will tell you that overeating of raw fruits and vegetables especially chilled, iced or frozen will be deleterious to your "middle burner". But if we are thoughtful about how we go about it, a delicious vegetable juice could be acceptable from time to time.
A Middle Burner Juice for Blood Support
With this recipe, we are able to balance the ingredients appropriately to align with the middle burner. Even though we begin with raw vegetables, the overall post digestion temperature of the vegetables and ginger are warming. I like to make fresh juices just upon returning home from a farmers market when the vegetables are room temperature or warmer as opposed to them being in the refrigerator so that the physical temperature of the juice is not cold. Also the juicing process begins the digestive process by breaking down the solid food.
Beets have a neutral thermal temperature, are anti-inflammatory and help purify the blood. Red bell peppers are warming and support blood circulation. Carrots are neutral to slightly warming and are a nourishing Qi tonic that can dispel toxins and move energy, they can also relieve menstrual pain and premenstrual irritability. Ginger is warming and stimulates digestion while boosting circulation, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory that can alleviate menstrual discomfort.Incorporating carrots can assist with dispelling toxins, moving energy and relieving menstrual pain. Beets purify blood, support qi circulation and promote menstruation. While bell peppers support blood circulation.
Eating a balanced diet with simple combinations of food, combined with exercise, sunshine and emotional balance will go along way in supporting blood and qi.
Juice all ingredients and enjoy!
|Ingredients||Chinese Medicine Benefits|
|Carrot||Qi tonifying, promotes circulation, removes toxins|
|Beet||Blood tonifying, promotes circulation|
|Red bell pepper||Promotes blood circulation|