Empty Heat (Yin deficiency)
To understand the concept of Empty Heat, you first have to understand the concept of Yin. Yin is deep, earthy, and moist. In Chinese medicine, Yin describes the fluid, and substantial aspects of our bodies. As we age, our Yin decreases. When our Yin is insufficient to balance our Yang, the Yang heat-generating aspects of our body predominate. This can account for symptoms such as night-sweats or restlessness.
The recommended diet consists of 5% white meat such as poultry or fish, 30% cooked vegetables, 40% grains, 20% fruit and salad, and 5% milk products. If you tolerate dairy well, you can try a bit more,
- Food preparation is important. Steaming foods, or making stews, is the best method. Steamed vegetables can also be mixed into raw salads, and Muesli can be made with raw, grated fruit.
- Some Yin-nourishing foods are honey (a small amount), walnuts, black sesame, tofu, seafood, and berries.
- Black tea, and especially coffee, should be avoided. Don’t drink more than a cup or two of green tea. If you feel dry, pear juice is moistening. Grape juice, fruit tea, or yoghurt drinks like Lassi are good.
- For night sweats and sleeping problems, you can prepare wheat water. Use two tablespoons wheat berries and cook them in ½ a Liter of water for 20 minutes. Sieve and drink cool.
- Exercising excessively to stay very thin contributes to Yin deficiency, as does sleeping too little. Contemplative exercises such as yoga or tai-chi are suggested instead.