Spiritual fluid: saliva

“The clear well of the mouth and the corolla of a flower of the jade in the body are the pathways of body fluid. Saliva is the spiritual fluid in the body” — Yellow Emperor This liquid connects to our brain function and entire nervous system. It allows us to taste our food and it even protects our teeth from decay. In TICM, the Spleen is the governing organ of saliva, which makes sense as it is the organ which transports and transmits the nutrients from our food. Saliva is the first step of that process. This complex liquid is composed of various enzymes, hormones, antibodies, antimicrobial constituents, and growth factors. It is also the first defence against bacteria and pathogens. Though it may seem arduous at first, chewing your food very well makes digestion much more efficient as it signals to the digestion to begin, and nutrient excretion becomes easier. Well chewed food is coated with digestive fluids in the Stomach, making digestion less taxing on the body. When food is kept in the mouth for enough time, the flavour of the food is recognised by the tongue and sends signals to the brain to release the correct digestive enzymes needed for that particular flavour or food. Qigong and salaah has been proven to increase salvation. More salvation equates to a stronger immune system. The ancient Chinese texts would say not to spit extra saliva out, but to swallow it in order to keep the Qi (energy). "If whenever the saliva swells up in the mouth, you gurgle, fill it with the saliva, and swallow it. And if you always have the seed of jujube in the mouth, you will keep your Qi". The next time you eat, try the following: Chew slowly and steadily, until the food has lost its texture, it should almost be liquid or it can be. Finish chewing completely before ingesting more food. Try not to drink any fluids while eating, unless they are hot liquids like broth as this interrupts the natural liquids released by the digestive system. Take a few deep breaths before you eat, thank your food. Enjoy it while you eat it. Try not to eat while watching television, read, be on the mobile, laptop etc. Always aim to stay healthy.

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