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HoloSapiens - the TCM "Food as Medicine" Project

In Chinese medicine the Kidney owns the most essential life defining and life cultivating properties. It is referred to as the “root organ”. The same way the root of the plant is responsible for the growth, nurturing, and life span of the plant the Kidney is responsible for the growth, development and life span of the human.


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Just like the Heart houses the mind, the Kidney houses the Essence. The Essence determines the growth, development and maturation, and is responsible for the vitality and longevity in every person. Essence deficiency leads to poor physical and mental growth, slow development, incomplete maturation, and short life span. In Chinese medicine the Kidney governs the urinary system but also the reproductive system meaning that any urinary, reproductive and sexual problems are assigned to the Kidney. Thus Kidney Essence deficiency also manifests in weak sexual activity, and impotence.

Being the lowest solid organ the Kidney acts like a “stove” that sends warmth and essentials to the remaining upper organs. If some aspects of the Kidney are deficient those aspects would not ascent/be send up to the other organs and eventually will become deficient within these organs as well.

If the Yang – the warming principle - of the Kidney is deficient one will develop chronic coldness throughout the whole body. As the Kidney governs the reproductive system Kidney Yang deficiency also leads to lack of sexual desire (low libido) and sterility.

If the Yin (the material aspect of the human body, including body fluids) of the Kidney is deficient one will develop chronic dryness – dry mouth, dry lips, dry throat, dry skin, constipation (not enough fluids to nourish the intestines).

If the Qi (the energy) of the Kidney is deficient there will not be enough energy to contain (withhold) liquids so there will be fluid leakage of any kind – frequent urination, premature ejaculation/nocturnal emission in men, chronic vaginal discharge in women, profuse mucus in different parts of the body.


In all instances the different aspects of the Kidney need to be nourished with different Kidney-tonifying foods and herbs. The color that has a nurturing effect on the Kidney is black. All foods and herbs with black color will boost up the Kidney and be especially beneficial to tonify Kidney Essence and Kidney Yin. Kidney Yang is tonified with spicy, warm and hot foods, Kidney Qi with astringent herbs and foods. Throughout the next month we will offer different foods, recipes and herbal formulas that tonify the different Kidney aspects. Stay tuned!


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Being the deepest most hidden body organ the Kidney is associated with the deepest and most hidden emotion – fear. There will be a thorough discussion about fear, what fear is, how it manifests, and how we can use the Kidney to transform fear.



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