In traditional Chinese medicine the Spleen is referred to as the collective work of some organs and systems participating in the digestion rather than the anatomical organ spleen. One of the Spleen's responsibilities is the transformation and transportation of fluids. A deficient Spleen, manifesting with symptoms such as lack of energy, poor digestion, feeling tired after meals, gas, bloating, etc. won't be able to keep up with this important task which will eventually lead to water retention (the body's fluids are not properly distributed). In Chinese medicine this water retention is called “internal dampness”.
When we combine “internal dampness” with “internal heat” we get what is called “damp-heat”. "Internal heat" can generate in different ways – improper diet, overconsumption of heating substances (such as hot spices, alcohol and coffee), living in a hot climate, experiencing, expressing and suppressing negative emotions.
“Internal damp-heat” resembles “external damp-heat”. It is more difficult to move, function even breathe in hot and damp environment than in hot and dry one for example. Thus damp-heat manifests in overall feeling of tiredness, heaviness, sluggishness. On the other hand germs and parasites thrive in a damp-heat environment – external and internal. It is also the fittest environment for viruses, bacteria, yeasts and cancer cells.
Some compare “internal damp-heat” to acidity. Cancer cells and yeasts, a lot of viruses and bacteria fancy acidic environment. Healthy cells fancy alkaline. So from the perspective of modern science besides we also want to alkalise the internal body environment to remain healthy and fight the above pathogens. From the perspective of TCM we want to clear heat and drain dampness to get the same results.
There is one simple and amazing natural remedy that does exactly that! Grapefruit seed extract. It is effective for so many different viral, bacterial and fungal infections that a lot of people are skeptic about it being trustworthy wondering how one single substance can address so many different pathologies. It is actually very simple.
Being extremely bitter grapefruit seed extract is very acidic. There are two types of alkaline foods – 1. foods that are actually alkaline and 2. foods that are alkaline – forming after being digested. Lemon, for example, which we think of as being acidic is alkaline forming food. Therefore a lot of yogic practices recommend to start the day with half lemon squeezed in warm water – to daily alkalise the body.
Grapefruit seed extract being extremely acidic is one of the strongest alkaline-forming substances. How does it address so many pathologies? By changing the environment in which viruses, bacteria, yeasts and cancer cells thrive. If we take away the oxygen from our atmosphere all people, animals and plants will die. The same thing happens with viruses, bacteria, yeasts and cancer cells - we simply change the environment they live in (our internal environment) from acidic to alkaline.
There is plenty of information on the Internet about grapefruit seed extract’s content and properties so we will not talk about it here. We only wanted to clarify the logic behind this great remedy and help people overcome their skepticism. From the perspective of Chinese medicine very bitter substances clear heat and drain dampness. So this remedy makes sense not only from one but from two perspectives. Aside from Chinese herbs I do not know a more effective way to clear damp-heat/alkalise the body.
P.S. Grapefruit is known to interact with a large amount of drugs often causing adverse effects. If you are taking medication consult a doctor before giving grapefruit seed extract a try.