As we now know that emotions can manifest into a lack of appetite, I talked about how feelings of worry, stress and even anger can result in little to no appetite. This is due to emotions using up the vital energy needed to digest food, the body is so smart, it knows it can't handle both. In TICM, the overarching imbalance is referred to as Spleen Qi deficiency.
Spleen Qi deficiency can look like loss of appetite, fatigue, heaviness, loose stools, weak tender muscles and bruising easily. It can cause weight gain or weight loss depending on the constitutional makeup of the individual.
Physically the Spleen organ system craves simplicity. It thrives in warmth, a good amount of moisture, seeking consistency and calmness. After all, it is the organ system related to the Earth element. The Earth represents health, stability, grounding, centering, warmth and comfort. When we abuse the Spleen (the Spleen refers to the Stomach and the entire digestive system) and it becomes weak, a loss of appetite is a common symptom.
What are some physical ways we lose our appetite?
Eating at irregular times every day burdens the digestive system. The Spleen craves consistency, meaning meals at the same time every day as close as you can. When the body expects food, it uses Qi to begin and make the chemicals needed for digestion and absorption. When the expected food doesn't arrive, the energy is wasted. When food does arrive, the process has to begin again. If done consistently, this pattern can waste a lot of vital Qi.
Drug and alcohol use whether prescribed or not, can overburden the Liver because it has to process them. A weak Liver attacks the Spleen with symptoms like IBS, belching and even Stomach ulcers.
Refined sugar and grains, crisps, crackers, fizzy drinks, fried or salty foods, iced or refrigerated foods or drinks, dairy products, yeasty foods, such as beer or dough.
Make tea with ginger powder or have ginger extract daily. Cook with ginger, spring onions, turmeric and garlic. Focus on fresh and warm foods.
Eat meals at consistent times every day, don't skip meals.
Try congee, oatmeal or baked sweet potato for breakfast.
Eat seasonally and locally from the farmers market.
Eat your last meal at least 3-4 hours before bedtime.
Enjoy your food. Be happy when you eat, don't rush or talk negatively during your meal.
Digestive herbals formula's helps digestion, improves fatigue, dampness and deficiency.
Spleen formula's helps with emotional issues like anxiety and depression, while strengthening the Spleen and Blood.
Liver herbal formula's helps the body deal with stress, naturally detoxes the Liver, and in women helps menstrual imbalances.
Hawthorn tonic (Shan Zha): hawthorn berry invigorates the appetite while also aiding in digestion and the health of the Blood and Heart.