In TICM, there are three factors that are essential to sustaining human life. They are called of Jing (Essence), Qi (life force), and Shen/Ruh (Spirit). This trio is known as the Three Treasures, each one contributing to the overall health and wellbeing of the body. The first treasure is called Jing, which is translated to essence. Essence is seen as the basis of growth, development, and reproduction. Jing is responsible for nourishing cells, tissues and organs throughout the course of one's life. Because this essence is stored in the Kidneys, Jing relates to our hormones and it is this essence which can generate Qi.
The Kidney system controls the growth and development and reproductive system in the body, regulates our adrenals, responsible for our sex organs and fertility, bones, teeth, hair and hearing. The Kidney is also so important because it supplies reserve energy to any organ running low on Qi (energy). The reserve energy is much like a savings account, it is the energy you were born with, inherited by your parents. When hormones are imbalanced the Jing (essence) depletes and therefore, Jing is always coveted
Although there is no exact translation of Jing in Western medicine, it is similar to DNA, as each are inherited from birth, and makes you who you are, also known as the carrier of our heritage. If you lead a life of moderation and balance, you will keep a good amount of your reserve Jing energy saved up in your savings account. If over the years you take too many withdrawals, you may start to encounter problems associated with aging much earlier.
Signs Jing is draining: loss of hair or going grey prematurely, loss of life's purpose, trouble focusing, accelerated aging looking older than your real age, looking and feeling tired all day, low libido, infertility, hormonal imbalance, bone loss, weak back and legs, dullness in the face and skin, nocturnal and spontaneous emissions, low sperm count, frequent urination, osteoporosis, menopause syndrome.
Winter is the ultimate time to restore this essence and take care of your Kidney organ system as it is the season associated with the Kidneys. December 21 is officially the start of winter in the northern hemisphere.
What drains Jing? anger, chronic stress, poor diet, diet or environment high in toxins, drug and alcohol abuse, excessive sexual ejaculation, lack of sleep, loss of Kidney function, loss of Kidney, staying up late, draining your energy for example, working all day in a high stress environment followed by strenuous exercise and then drinking alcohol.
How can we help and restore our Jing?
Foods to help Jing: goji berries, eggs, fish eggs, grass-fed organ meats like beef liver, bone broth, bee pollen, kidney beans, black beans, seaweed, sesame seeds, wood ear mushroom, bone marrow, black rice, walnuts, nuts and seeds. Foods naturally rich in calcium (definitely not diary), sardines, mackerel, anchovies as they are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, warm soups and stews.
Actions to help Jing: acupuncture and herbal therapy, using herbs, Salaah, Qi-building therapeutic modalities such as Tai Chi, Qigong and meditation. Make sure to keep warm which includes ankles, neck and feet.
Actions to avoid in order to conserve Jing: living a lifestyle of burning the candle at both ends, excessive sexual ejaculation, drug and alcohol abuse, improper diet, improper restorative rest.
Herbs to restore Jing
Kidney strengthening formula's and Du Zhong. These formulas balance Kidney and Liver channels, nourish Jing and through strengthening the organs, eradicate symptoms through healing the root disharmony or imbalance.