Deficient spleen with dampness and raw vegetable juice

topic posted Fri, June 20, 2008 - 11:37 PM by  BlackOrchid
When you have problems with your spleen, I know you're not supposed to eat raw vegetables. I was wondering, is raw vegetable juice is ok? You'd think vegetables in liquid form would not be a burden to the stomach as far as digestion goes. I notice that some vegetables make me feel more bloated and uncomfortable than others, even as a juice. What is the problem with raw vegetables, is it the water content or the hard, dense structure and coldness that the spleen doesn't like?
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  • I believe it is the amount of energy the system requires to break it down and bring up to temperature. I also have to be careful with that, and it is the coldness that is also a problem. Drinking the juices as a hot "soup" would be fine, just no cool things..

    but I am no practicioner,- just a beneficiary of treatment at times
    • The juice I make usually comes out at about room temperature. I take mangoes and cucumber because they are soft, and I put them in the blender with different kinds of sprouts and spinach and a little water. Radish sprouts are really warming for your spleen and stomach. It tastes like it's all fruit juice but has vegetables in it, and it's the consistency of baby food. It's the only way I can eat vegetables. Even cooked vegetables are too dense for me if I eat more than a very small amount.
      • My understanding is that most raw vegetables are cooling in nature. The spleen/stomach requires a certain amount of heat to complete it's processes in the Chinese medical viewpoint. Juicing does some to aid the spleen, as you have sort of pre-digested them, and the work of the digestive system is lessened, but it does not necessarily change the thermal nature of the foods in the way that cooking does.

        If the juiced veggies still give you problems you can try warming spices in the mix, take an herbal preparation to boost the Stomach/Spleen energy, try enzymes, and warm the beverage (as was mentioned before). Another option is pickling - if you like pickled foods like kimchi, sourkraut, etc.

        another issue is food combining, the body digests things like fruit and veggies differently, so if you are combining them that can cause some trouble in digestion/energy extraction. Mango's in particular are quite cool, as are cucumbers and spinach. You might try looking into some warmer natured vegetables and see if that doesn't improve the your Spleen's process.
        • I'd imagine that you'd want to avoid the cold food choices that you mentioned.
          Probably want to add spicey (warming) foods to dry out the dampness. With a spleen deficiency you're not getting the energy you need from food so you're probably tired and have little get-up and go. But still, the spleens job in the immune system to read pathogens and create antibodies like white blood cells could be a factor. A good immune enhancing and warming food could be garlic. Don't cook it too much, if at all. Add it to juice; mmmmmm garlic juice; and choke it down. Good luck with that. There are also some great indian spices like curies that could do wonders.
          But then we get to the why. What's going on with the spleen? What does your tongue look like? Is it a liver condition? Couldn't tell you over the internets unless you filled us in.

          • My deficient spleen is caused by Celiac Disease. It's an auto-immune disease that causes the body to identify wheat gluten as poison. It's not an allergy, it's an immune system disorder that causes permanent changes to the way your body functions and processes food. I'm not a scientist but it has something to do with an improper T-cell response. Gluten causes a reaction in the small intestine. If you don't get treated for it soon enough, the digestive/intestinal tract gets very damaged, which is what happened with me. Even foods that do not contain gluten are hard to digest. I could only eat baby food the first two years after I was diagnosed. My limited diet does not provide a wide variety of nutrients.

            Physical description & symptoms: My tongue is pale pink with a thick whitish to yellowish coating on the middle and back. The coating gets thicker towards the back. It has teeth marks on it that go along the length of the tongue near the center crease. The very tip has no marks on it, and it's a darker pink than the rest. I am always thirsty and feel like my mouth is dry, but it's hard to drink water because I always feel so full. I wake up each morning with thick yellow-green phlegm in my throat (sorry for the graphic details!). My arm and leg muscles are weak and thin, even though I eat 120 grams of protein a day and at least 2000 calories. I never have enough energy. My stomach has a sore spot at about belly button level that I've had for years. When it gets irritated, sometimes I get dizzy, sometimes it gets tense or cramped and it makes it hard to breathe. It feels better when pressure is applied or when I eat something soft and warm that has a balance of protein and carbs.

  • I have had that problem. I found out about it from a post on this tribe, and realized i had this condition, and had it bad. Vegetable broths seem fine for me, beneficial even, especially with some ginger, curry powder, and or pepper, but i have been cooking the vegetables and drinking the broth, pot liquor is what it is called in the southern u.s. where i'm from. Probably this is the most healthy component of the southern diet. Anyway, warming spices like these have proved very beneficial for me. No salad, although i can tolerate it pretty good now. I had been into raw foods for years, and i think this was a major contributing factor to my condition. I've found quinoa to be an excellent food for me, easy to digest and very nutritious. These changes in my diet seem to have cleared up the situation quickly.
    • I went on an all raw food diet about 6-7 years ago and my health started to go downhill from there. I will try the warming herbs and spices and see what happens. Thanks for your suggestions!
      • I've been thinking (and it keeps setting my hair on fire); obviously you should be working with the spleen meridian. Work with Spleen 21 and Liver 13 (spleen mu point). Rub frequently. You mentioned that holding/pressing the navel region felt good. Keep it up. Notice if the tissue feels soft around the navel.
        I wish there was a way to do the "spleen pump" on yourself. Do you know any bodyworkers? Find someone who knows "Chi Nei Tsang" in your area. There's a school in California, so there should be quite a few practitioners out that way.
        Any news of the warming foods?
        • Yes, I'm noticing a difference with ginger and garlic! My stomach feels warmer, more relaxed and comfortable. Basil and fennel seeds have a similar effect, but green chili, curry and black pepper left a burning sensation... maybe I used too much. I'm still learning how to use herbs and spices.

          I try to do pressure points regularly. I'm not sure if the navel tissue is softer than anywhere else... I can't tell. What's a spleen pump? I don't know anything about "Chi Nei Tsang" but I'll research it. Thanks. :) My knowledge about Chinese Medicine is pretty much limited to the herbs that were prescribed for me for my "yin" body constitution and the spleen problems.

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