Excessive Dampness: A Troublesome Issue! Have you ever woken up in the morning only to find your face puffy? Or felt uncomfortable due to swollen legs at the end of the day? Yes, it's the mischief of edema! Have you ever considered the close connection between excessive dampness and spleen-stomach weakness?
A damp environment can easily impair spleen-stomach function, and individuals with spleen-stomach weakness tend to accumulate excessive dampness in their bodies. When the spleen-stomach function is compromised, the digestive system may not work properly, leading to poor nutrient absorption and water retention in the body. Over time, the accumulated water can cause bodily swelling, resulting in edema.
People with spleen-stomach weakness and excessive dampness may experience the following conditions:
Spleen-stomach weakness can lead to a decline in digestive function, resulting in symptoms such as bloating, abdominal distension, nausea, and loss of appetite.
(2) Fatigue and Weakness
Spleen-stomach weakness can affect nutrient absorption and energy production, leading to feelings of fatigue, weakness, drowsiness, and lack of energy.
Excessive moisture accumulation can disrupt fluid metabolism in the body, resulting in edema, particularly in areas such as the ankles and wrists.
(4) Thick Coating on the Tongue
A thick and sticky coating on the tongue is a common manifestation of both a weak spleen and excessive moisture. This type of tongue coating is typically white or yellowish-white in color.
In traditional Chinese medicine theory, dampness is a pathological body fluid that is often caused by a weak spleen and excessive environmental humidity. Dampness tends to accumulate in the body's tissues, particularly in joints and areas prone to swelling. When the spleen is weak, it cannot properly break down and eliminate dampness, leading to its accumulation in the body. This is why individuals with weak spleen are more prone to experiencing edema and dampness-related issues.
Why does it lead to spleen weakness?
(1) Improper diet
Long-term imbalanced diet, overeating, excessive consumption of sweets, preference for spicy or cold foods, or excessive alcohol consumption can all burden the function of the spleen and stomach, leading to spleen weakness.
(2) Unhealthy lifestyle habits
Irregular eating habits, frequent staying up late, excessive fatigue, high levels of stress, and other unhealthy lifestyle habits can harm the spleen and stomach, impairing their function.
(3) Environmental factors
Environmental humidity, drastic weather changes, and other factors can also contribute to spleen and stomach damage, resulting in weakened function.
What are some foods that can help reduce water retention?
(1) Red beans
Red beans have blood-nourishing and diuretic properties. They are also rich in vitamin B complex, dietary fiber, and antioxidants, which help promote metabolism, improve gastrointestinal function, and enhance the immune system.
(2) Winter melon
Winter melon has a strong diuretic effect and is also known for its heat-clearing and detoxifying properties.
Ginger has a warm nature and can promote blood circulation and metabolism, helping to eliminate dampness.
(4) Green Tea
Green tea contains abundant antioxidants and has a diuretic effect, helping to eliminate dampness. Drinking green tea daily can promote metabolism and fluid balance in the body.
(5) Bitter Melon
Bitter melon has excellent diuretic and heat-clearing properties, which help regulate the body's heat and dampness balance, alleviating dampness-related discomfort.
(6) Coix Seed
Coix seed, documented for its "dampness-expelling" effect in the "Compendium of Materia Medica," is a commonly used Chinese medicinal herb. It possesses mild properties and a sweet and bland taste, classified in traditional Chinese medicine as a substance that can regulate the spleen, promote diuresis, and eliminate water. It helps eliminate dampness from the body and reduces discomfort caused by dampness-related issues.
Watermelon has excellent diuretic properties that help eliminate dampness from the body. However, it's important to note that watermelon also has a cooling nature. Excessive consumption may burden the spleen and stomach, so it's advisable to avoid overeating and consuming it on an empty stomach to minimize stimulation to the digestive system.
Here's an additional tip: When I want to quickly reduce water retention, I sometimes brew 1-2 sachets of Step 4 in 1 liter of room-temperature water and drink it throughout the day. This effectively activates the body's drainage system and accelerates the elimination of water retention!
So, besides eating more of the mentioned foods, what else can be done to improve spleen and stomach weakness?
Choose easily digestible foods, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. Avoid consuming overly salty, oily, or processed foods, as well as excessively cold or sweet foods, as they can impair spleen function.
Have a nutritious breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is essential to choose nutrient-rich foods and ensure an ample intake. This ensures that the body has sufficient energy and nutrients, while also maintaining a comfortable state for the spleen and stomach, aiding in the elimination of internal dampness.
Engage in moderate exercise
Engaging in light physical activities helps promote blood circulation and lymphatic detoxification, thereby reducing swelling issues. For instance, walking, yoga, or swimming are excellent choices.
Maintain a regular daily routine
Maintaining a consistent schedule for sleep and rest is crucial. Sufficient sleep and rest can help the spleen and stomach recover their functions and promote digestion and absorption.
Change your lifestyle habits
Avoid prolonged sitting or standing in one position as it can increase the risk of fluid retention.
Pay attention to the way you drink water
Drinking an adequate amount of water helps maintain hydration balance, but consuming excessive amounts of water before or during meals can dilute stomach acid and affect digestion. It is advisable to distribute water intake throughout the day and avoid excessive drinking during meal times.