The Heart In Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, the human organs are more than just physical realities; they also have elemental, spiritual, emotional, and mental characteristics that align with the seasons and with nature. This article will focus on the organ known as the heart.

The Heart in Chinese Medicine

According to Chinese medicine in Cleveland, heart is related to the season of summer and the energetic force of yang, which is hot, abundant, and lavish. Yang has a property that is loud, external, moving, and bright. Yin has cool, dark, still, and internal qualities. The heart is related to the color red, its flavor is bitter, its climate is heat, and its associated organ is the small intestine (a lot of urinary conditions are the result of descending “heart fire” heat). The tongue is the sensory organ that’s aligned with the heart, while the tissues are the vessels related to the heart. Joy is the emotion of the heart and laughing is its sound. The spirit or shen (which is also the mind) is housed in the heart. The shen of a person can be manifested in his or her clear and bright radiant eyes and in a clear and healthy complexion. The heart’s function is to maintain the nourishment of the tissues and in the circulation of blood throughout the body. It is also connected to strength, memory, and mental clarity. Upward is the natural direction of this fire heart element. Several individuals having this element dominant in their personality possess red hair that spikes upward or is curly. The heart is also associated with speech and any disharmony in heart energy can lead to talking too much, speaking excitedly, or stuttering.

If your heart energy is healthy, you tend to radiate fun, charisma, warmth, action, enthusiasm, fun, and joy. People with a healthy heart energy are the “life of the party,” and fond of being the center of attention of having a good time with friends. When your heart is balanced, you tend to be well rested and sleep soundly.

However, when you have an excess amount of fire energy, this can lead to excitability, profuse sweating, anxiety, and restlessness and can develop symptoms such as dryness, constipation, a red face, frequent thirst, mouth sores, disturbing dreams, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, and palpitations. You may constantly seek attention and pursue activities that generate a lot of excitement. You might find introspection a hard thing to do and can’t stand being alone. Too much joy can represent heart energy imbalance and may be mistaken as manic behavior. Too much fire energy can also make you hypersensitive to heat.

On the other hand, fire element deficiency can lead to a weak libido, coldness, depression, inertia, low energy, a dull complexion, and a cold personality. A weak fire can make you susceptible to addiction and make you seem cold, lack drive, and frigid.

Things That Can Keep Your Heart in Balance and Harmony

Red foods have qualities that can help the heart biochemically. Foods such as goji berries, peppers, watermelon, tomatoes, raspeberries, cherries, strawberries, and hawthorn berries along with beneficial vitamins, antioxidants, anthocyanin, and lycopene can keep your heart strong, healthy, and cheerful. Other beneficial foods include green tea, magnesium (found in soy, nuts, and leafy greens) basil, cilantro, and garlic as well as schizandra berries, seaweed, dong quai, reishi mushrooms, jujube dates, and ginseng. Relaxing exercises that can help calm the shen include qigong, tai chi, and walking.

We do not recommend self-diagnosis to determine what foods are appropriate for you. It is always wise to consult with your healthcare provider. Don’t second guess your health by assuming you have an excess amount of a particular element and end up eating the wrong foods. As far as the Five Element theory is concerned, a qualified practitioner of Chinese medicine can give you a correct diagnosis to see which element is dominant in your body. They can then balance your health with Chinese nutritional therapy, lifestyle and diet recommendations, herbal medicine, and/or acupuncture.

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