Reducing blood Stagnation /stasis through nutrition
To visualize blood stasis, imagine a blockage in a river. Such a blockage can happen for can either happen if an object of some kind fell into the river and is blocking its flow, or if the stream wanes so much that obstacles that so far were not significant are now strong enough to stop the flow.
To “break” the stagnation we need to give the river some vigor, or strength to blast through the stagnation. We may need to add volume to the river, in which case we will need to nourish blood as well, or we may want to allow the river to run faster and more strongly by reducing dampness. In both cases, what we need to start with is to is to bolster the qi, which invariably comes from the energy we get from our nourishment. Hence, we start dealing with the blood stagnation by taking care of our spleen qi: our capacity to absorb nutrients from food and turning this energy into a heeling a force.
So added to the guidelines we have for nourishing qi and reducing dampness (see the corresponding articles) we add some that reduce energetic blockage and help move qi and blood.
· Avoid having big gaps between meals. Have frequent, smaller meals rather than big meals.
· Do not stuff yourself. If you have a doubt whether you had enough to eat- the answer is that you did
· Avoid being hungry. If you are- add a healthy snack, preferably one that helps disperse blood: a green vegetable, an apple etc.
· Reduce stress around the dining table. Eat slowly with minimal distraction
· Chew thoroughly and eat slowly
· 2 hours after big meals, moderate activity such as walking will help disperse the food energy throughout the body
· Do not eat steaming hot food (food that will burn your mouth)
· Avoid heavily spiced food like black pepper or chili peppers
What shall we eat?
Citrus peels are particularly helpful. They can be added to teas or infusions, or used to spice up different dishes (zest) such as salads, meats etc.
Beet, cabbage, fennel, cauliflower Broccoli, kale etc. – these vegetables should be lightly cooked steamed or blanched (highly recommended).
Lettuce, kale, baby leaves of all sorts, sprouts and seeds can be eaten raw
Berries (blueberry, raspberry blackberry etc.) Cranberries are particularly recommended
Apple, peach, fig pear- these fruits are particularly effective, yet all fresh fruit are good. However avoid excessive sugar intake. Fruits that are slightly sour are preferred over very sweet fruits such as water melon.
Spices and herbs
Due to their aromatic nature, the use of even the smallest amount of the following can have a significant effect:
dill, mustard leaves, shallots, melissa, turmeric, basil, cardamon. cumin, ginger rosarian, radish, all types of mint (spearmint, peppermint etc.)