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Adjust Diet to Nourish Spleen and Kidneys as First Stage to Prevent Premature Aging

When a person passes middle age, his/her yang qi starts to decline, and the body begins to age from then onward. Coupled with the effects of modern-day diets, abnormal daily routines, lack of exercise, and high tension from life and work, together with air and environmental pollution, all contributors to accelerated damage of the internal organs, resulting in premature aging. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes that the prevention of aging should start with the maintenance of the viscera (internal organs). Among them, the spleen and kidney are the most closely related to aging, and maintenance of them should best start with the daily diet.

According to the general theory of TCM, the kidneys are the basic innate foundation of the body, while the spleen determines the body’s performance after birth. They work in unison so that the state and function of the spleen and kidney determine whether a person is healthy or not, affecting the onset of premature aging.

People with kidney deficiencies will suffer from a sore back, weak knees, fatigue, and maybe poor memory; spleen deficiency will lead to body weakness, lack of energy, and blood deficiency. When the spleen is weak, the blood supply to the brain becomes less efficient. When this happens, it will result in dizziness, unclear thinking, walking less briskly, and the like, which are all signs of aging.

Most of the anti-aging methods in ancient literature are mainly based on nourishing the kidneys. “The Biography of Chinese Medicine,” dated 1515, says, “When the kidney function is strong, it will prolong longevity, and when it is weak, longevity is curtailed.” In an interview with The Epoch Times, Ke Xiao, a Chinese physician living in Japan, said that black, dark purple, and dark red herbs generally find their way into the kidneys, and once there, they help the generic process of “replenishing the kidney essence, nourishing the yin and reactivating the blood,” and achieves the anti-aging effect.

Commonly used medicinal parts include Polygoni Multiflora Radix, Radix Rehmannia Preparata, Poria, Astragali Radix, Polygonati Rhizoma, Codonopsis Pilosulae Radix, black fungus, seaweed, berries, sea cucumber, kelp, black sesame and the like. Among them, Polygonati Rhizoma is regarded as a double tonic for both the qi and the yin, effective in nourishing the yin and soothing the lung, replenishing the spleen, and activating the qi, as well as refreshing the kidney function and refilling the stamina. Modern pharmacological studies have also found that Polygonati Rhizoma is effective in anti-fatigue and thus realizes its anti-aging effects.

As for those with spleen deficiency, it is advisable to take foods that nourish the spleen and qi, which also serves to enhance appetite and digestion. These include red dates, Atractylodis Ovalae Rhizoma, cooked lotus root, chestnuts, yam, lentils, hawthorn, Lycii Fructus, sweet potato, longan, grapes, carrots, mushrooms, amongst others.

Ke Xiao is of the opinion that TCM advocates the overall concept of harmony between man and nature; that is why changes in climate with the four seasons can lead to physical discomfort, and inner emotions can also disrupt bodily functions. Therefore, anti-aging is not only about nourishing the spleen and kidneys but also about nourishing the heart. Usually, you should keep yourself in a relaxed mood and be happy and take things easy.

Avoid harboring any feelings of depression, and go to bed before 11 p.m., which gives the added benefits of keeping your face looking bright and reducing the formation of spots.

Ke also said that TCM emphasizes the importance of maintaining health in daily life and integrates health maintenance into the cycle of daily diet and taking rest. He recommends the following beverages and cuisine recipes, which can be easily prepared at home and are effective in preventing aging.


1. Longan and Polygoni Multiflora Radix thick soup

Ingredients: 20 pieces of longan pulp, 15 grams (0.53 ounces) of fried Polygoni Multiflora Radix, 6 grams (0.2 ounces) of Angelicae Sinensis Radix, 6 red dates, 50 grams (1.76 ounces) of rock sugar, 700 grams (24.7 ounces) of water.

(1) Wash the Polygoni Multiflora Radix and Angelicae Sinensis Radix, dry and grind them into powder, and put all in a medicinal bag and put them on standby.

(2) Remove the core of the red dates, wash and cut them into small pieces, mince the longan to a pulp, and put on standby.

(3) Add 700 grams (24.7 ounces) of water to a pot, put in the medicinal bag from (1), cook at medium flame for 10 minutes, add the longan pulp from (2), add the red dates, rock sugar, and boil until it becomes a thick soup of about 300 grams (10.6 ounces). It is then ready to consume.

Efficacy: Polygoni Multiflora Radix is a blood-tonifying medicine. It enters the liver and kidney, nourishes the blood, qi, and maintains black hair with luster—it prolongs longevity when taken regularly. Angelicae Sinensis Radix nourishes and maintains the right mix of blood content. Longan pulp nourishes the blood and, calms the nerves, moistens the skin. Red dates nourish and keep the blood in good shape, and also activate the spleen, and improve digestion. Taking it on a regular basis will have the benefits of slimming the body and prolonging life. However, it is not suitable for those with loose stools and phlegm dampness.

Note: Raw Polygoni Multiflora Radix is poisonous and must be fried or baked to rid of the poison before use.

2. Polygoni Multiflora Radix, Polygonati Odorati Rhizoma mixed tea for anti-aging cum beauty

Ingredients: 6 grams (0.2 ounces) of Polygoni Multiflora Radix, 4.5 grams (0.16 ounces) of Polygonati Odorati Rhizoma, 6 grams (0.2 ounces) of rose, 6 grams (0.2 ounces) of Astragali Radix, 2 red dates with seeds removed.

Directions: Wash all the medicinal ingredients and put them in a medicinal bag. Then put the medicinal bag into a jar, pour 800 ml (28 fl. ounces) of boiling water, and simmer for 20 minutes before drinking it as a tea substitute.

Efficacy: It has the functions of toning the kidneys and is anti-aging, regulating the qi and the blood. Additional benefits include whitening the skin and anti-acne. But it is not suitable for those with phlegm dampness and damp heat.

Food to Serve With the Meal

1. Pig blood with tofu soup

Ingredients: 300 grams (21.2 ounces) of freshly clotted pig blood, 300 grams (10.6 ounces) of tofu, and an appropriate amount of seasoning.
Directions: Wash the coagulated pig’s blood. Cut it into pieces and fry it with oil. Then add an appropriate amount of water, seasoning, and tofu. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Take it regularly, once a day.

Efficacy: When taken regularly, it is good for blood replenishment and beauty. Added benefits include detoxification and bowel cleansing, cleansing toxins, good for beauty outlook, improving immunity, and, again, delaying aging.

2. Longan and red dates congee

Ingredients: 12 grams (0.4 ounces) of longan pulp, 15 red dates, 60 grams (2.1 ounces) of glutinous rice, and an appropriate amount of brown sugar.
Directions: Wash the glutinous rice, put it in a pot, and boil it after putting in an appropriate amount of water. Then add the longan pulp and red dates, and turn down to low flame until it turns into a congee. Add some brown sugar as seasoning. Take once a day on a regular basis.

Efficacy: Regular consumption has the benefits of nourishing the blood and helping digestion. Added benefits include nourishing the heart and calming the nerves, enhancing the body’s immune system, helping to fight body weakness, and strengthening the body.

There is an incisive discussion on anti-aging in the traditional Chinese medical book “Yellow Emperor’s Indoor Canon,” It mentioned in this context, “The ancient people, who were knowledgeable, knew how to stay in harmony between the yin and the yang, and were also competent in evaluating and working with numbers. Those who properly understood would start to practice moderate eating and drinking. appropriately divide the day into work and rest, take things lightly, and be able to optimize body and spirit. At the end of the day, these people could enjoy longevity until an old age before passing away.” This passage describes, in modern language, the health preservation methods adopted by wise men in ancient days. They imitated the law of yin and yang, followed the method of health preservation, controlled their diet, lived a regular life, and did not overwork themselves. Therefore, they were always both physically and mentally sound and often lived until one hundred years old before passing away in their twilight years.

Ke Xiao emphasized that people’s lifespan varies due to their innate genes, constitution, personality, and even emotional changes. However, if you can regulate your emotions, maintain a cheerful and optimistic mood, take in balanced nutrition, and maintain a regular daily life, it will also play a role in resisting and delaying the onset of aging.

In addition, Sun Simiao, a medical scientist in the Tang Dynasty, recorded the legend of Peng Zu (who is said to have lived over 800 years) and his face-rubbing method as set out in the “Thousand Golden Prescriptions.” It said to get up in the morning and rub the ears with your hands to make the ears feel warm, and then gently pull the ears down several times; separate fingers to comb the hair, rub the scalp 14 times; rub the hands until they are hot, and then rub the face from top to bottom 14 times. Regularly doing the Peng Zu face bathing method can enhance the blood circulation on the face, help the skin become smooth, avoid sickness, strengthen the brain, and keep the hair black.

Ellen Wan


Ellen Wan has worked for the Japanese edition of The Epoch Times since 2007.

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