Feeling anxious, or ungrounded? Indecisive?
Unable to fall asleep, or not going into deep sleep?
You may be BLOOD DEFICIENT.
I’ve struggled a lot with Blood Deficiency over the years, with corresponding emotional instability and anxiety, and the Chinese Medicine understanding has helped me enormously. Firstly, it’s helped me realise the problem is not with me, but rather a culture that doesn’t support women to be women – so that’s helped me be less critical of myself for not ‘having it all together’.
Plus Chinese Medicine has given me a framework to know how to Nourish Blood and support my physical health to benefit my mental & emotional wellbeing.
So I wanted to share some of this wisdom with you, including a yummy Blood Nourishing recipe RED LENTIL DAHL WITH CHINESE HERBS.
BLOOD DEFICIENCY & EMOTIONAL WELLBEING
We often tend think about blood deficiency in terms of anaemia/ iron deficiency, but in Chinese Medicine Blood also refers to the nutritive substance that helps ground and anchor the Qi and Shen (spirit).
Blood is heavy and dense; Qi is light and insubstantial. When you have Blood Deficiency, there isn’t enough of the density or nutritive substance to ground your spirit to your body of blood and bone. Qi has a natural tendency to rise, so Blood provides the counterbalance – like a ballast that keeps your spirit anchored and stable.
Because of this, Blood Deficiency is frequently accompanied by mental & emotional instability. Rather than being strong and centred in your body, your Shen (spirit) can’t anchor to the Blood and tends to float.
This may leave you feeling ungrounded, unsupported, and disconnected from your sense of self. It also makes it harder to respond to the challenges of life because you’re not connected to the nourishment and resources available within the Blood.
Anxiety, insomnia, postnatal depression, emotional instability, easily teary, easily overwhelmed, panic sensations, indecisiveness, poor concentration, ‘baby brain’, inability to switch off, lack of direction, insecurity and generally feeling vague and unsure of yourself are all VERY commonly related to Blood Deficiency.
BLOOD DEFICIENCY IS SUPER COMMON IN MODERN WOMEN
If you identify with any of these, what I’d love you to know you’re not alone with this and please don’t think there’s something wrong with you.
Blood Deficiency is extremely common in modern women, mostly because of a cultural lack of understanding and respect for feminine intelligence. So, it’s not you, it’s the culture.
Growing up we don’t learn about the unique needs of women’s bodies to know how to avoid Blood Deficiency. This information is missing.
In Chinese Medicine, its recognised women have a special and sacred relationship with Blood through their menstrual cycle, physically losing Qi & Blood every month through menstruation, as well as during birth and postpartum. Plus in Chinese Medicine breastmilk is also considered a form of Blood so breastfeeding also uses blood reserves.
Because Blood is essential to ground Qi & Shen and because women’s lives are uniquely governed by blood loss, Chinese Medicine is rich in simple customs that support women to conserve Qi & Blood through the life phases unique to being a woman: menstruation, pregnancy, birth, postpartum & menopause.
A big part of this wisdom are RECIPES FOR MENSTRUATION & POSTPARTUM.
RED LENTIL DAHL TO NOURISH BLOOD
Blood Nourishing recipes are generally warming, nourishing, comforting and delicious. When you need it – especially during postpartum or menstruation – it feels like every cell dances with joy to receive the blood nourishment.
This is also perfect winter food!
I’m sharing the Red Lentil Dahl recipe to show how easy it is boost the Blood Nourishing properties of your cooking by adding Chinese Herbs.
This Red Lentil Dahl recipe includes Gou Qi Zi (Goji Berry) & Shan Yao (Mountain Yam). Both these herbs are tonic foods that together nourish Qi & Blood, Yin & Essence and are readily available from your local Asian Grocer, or buy online.