It may seem foreign that the Spleen is such an important organ since Western Medicine does not pay much attention to it, but it actually holds a lot of responsibility with how our bodies function. In Chinese medicine, there is a strong focus on Spleen health because the spleen is one of the most important organs for digestive function. The Spleen is also responsible for controlling blood circulation.

The Spleen has the job of transforming and transporting our food.  It is responsible for digesting and then sending out the nutrients and waste to their next stop.

Symptoms of imbalance

  • Lethargy
  • Bloating
  • Acid Reflux
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • IBS
  • Alternating bowel movements (constipation/diarrhea)

Foods to support the spleen

  • sesame
  • sunflower seeds
  • legumes
  • kidney beans
  • small amounts of lean meats
  • figs
  • coconuts
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • dates
  • brown rice
  • oats
  • rice
  • ginger
  • lightly cooked vegetables: give priority to earthy, sweet, seasonal, yellow and orange colored roots and vegetables like carrots, parsnips, squash, pumpkin, potatoes and sweet potatoes

The emotional connection to spleen deficiencies

Worry is the emotion of the spleen and the stomach, organs associated with the earth element. Too much pensiveness, worrying and insecurity can weaken our ability to digest. When we are anxious, we find it hard to digest and accept a situation or life event. Lack of trust and ease towards the experiences and the foods we take in to our lives will make it impossible for us to digest them. This can make us feel tired, lethargic, and unable to concentrate: a bit of a paradox, too much mental stimulation can actually cause mental heaviness.