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HoloSapiens - the TCM "Food as Medicine" Project


Heart  The Monarch


In traditional Chinese medicine the Heart governs the blood, controls the blood vessels, and governs all internal organs. Therefore the Heart is referred to as a monarch. A monarch is the supreme ruler of all estates but also of all conduct so besides ruling the organs the heart also “houses the mind”.

People with well-balanced hearts are friendly, warm and loving. Their consciousness is clear, their emotions are balanced, and they go effortlessly through problems. People with healthy hearts are dedicated, have strong memory, clear consciousness, and relaxed peaceful sleep.

People with unbalanced hearts are restless, laugh excessively (or do not laugh at all) and manifest an overall inappropriate behavior. Their minds are scattered, their spirit is weak and they are unable to focus. Severe manifestations of an unbalanced Heart are mental illnesses and unconsciousness.

If the Heart is deficient the mind has no residence and wanders “homeless” at night. Thus Heart problems always manifest in insomnia. People with unbalanced hearts experience difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is shallow, interrupted, unproductive, and dream-disturbed. (1)

Since the blood is responsible for supplying and nourishing all body tissues, and the Heart governs the blood, the complexion of a person depends on the condition of the Heart. Thus healthy Heart and abundant blood will manifest in radiant peach-like complexion while flushed or white-pale face indicate Heart-blood disharmony. (1)

The sense organ that the Heart opens to is the tongue. Therefore the Heart controls the speech. Any speech problems including impairment of language ability (aphasia), stuttering, excessive speaking or confused speaking, indicates Heart imbalance.

Last but not least the Heart controls the sweat. Spontaneous sweating or night sweats are commonly related to a deficient Heart.



(1) Maciocia, Giovanni (1989). The Foundations of Chinese Medicine. Nanjing: Harcourt Publishers Limited


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