Understanding Kidney Function in Traditional Chinese Medicine

understanding kidney function in traditional Chinese medicine

Both Western and Chinese medicine philosophies acknowledge what an integral role kidney function plays in regulating bodily fluids and the excretion of wastes via the urine. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the kidney organ-meridian system is widely regarded as the foundation of good health and wellbeing.

In TCM, the kidney is also traditionally known to govern other body fluids. This includes your saliva, tears, perspiration and the fluids that lubricate the joints; and is vital for the function of all the organs and tissues in the body, especially your ears and bones. Your kidneys are also closely associated with your body’s growth and development from childhood right through to old age.

The Importance of Yin and Yang

The yin-yang philosophy says that the universe is composed of competing and complementary forces of dark and light, sun and moon, male and female.

From a TCM perspective, the complementary yet opposing forces of Yin and Yang exist everywhere in nature, including in the human body, where the kidney organ-meridian works to keep you in balance. It is believed that to be healthy, one needs to balance the yin and yang forces within one's own body.

Yin and Yang are in constant flux. In terms of the human body, yin is associated with the lower parts of the body, while yang is associated with the upper body and back. In TCM terms, diseases are not seen as entities separate from the body, but instead are understood as states of yin and yang imbalance.

What is Jing and Why it Relates to Your Kidneys

The Kidney organ-meridian system is also the storehouse for Jing, which is a form of life force energy that is stored in your body.

In times of need, your stored bank of Jing acts as a form of back-up energy for your primary power source, the life force energy called Qi, which is extracted from the air you breathe and the food and drink you consume. When another organ is low on energy, the kidney pumps extra Qi to give it a boost.

Your Kidneys are Related to Your Ears

The ears are the sensory organs related to the kidney. Any problems with your ears such as deafness, tinnitus, or ear infections are signs from your body that the kidney’s energy needs extra support.

And Your Bone Tissue

Bone tissue is associated with the kidney. If the kidney’s energy is low you could have bone-related problems such as osteoporosis, dental issues or bone development issues.

Kidney Health Tips using Traditional Chinese Medicine

Your kidneys and bladder are often sensitive to cold, so during cold weather take care to make sure your lower back is warm enough. A hot water bottle or heat pack is ideal for warming yourself up on chilly nights.

Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water and keeping coffee, soft drink and alcohol intake to a minimum.

Your kidneys love salt! If you’re craving something salty it’s probably your kidneys telling you to top up! Don’t go overboard with your salt intake though.

In TCM, kidney-friendly foods are often associated with being blue or black in colour. Make sure you include foods such as eggplant, black sesame seeds, black beans, wood ear mushrooms, plums and seaweed in your diet

Other foods that are traditionally known to nourish the kidneys include figs, brown rice and other whole grains, walnuts, raisins and hearty broths and soups.

For healthy functioning kidneys try taking TCM supplements. ThisHerb has developed 100% natural formulas using that help your kidney to make your body function well. So treat your kidneys at Melbourne’s best TCM store, ThisHerb. Our Waverley and online store is stocked with a range of herbal supplements to benefit your overall wellbeing.