The Student’s Formula and Keeping your Spleen Happy this Fall

iStock_000013420532XSmallNow that the school year is underway and students are hard at study, we have to make sure that we are properly nourishing and supporting ourselves with all that thinking. There is a formula that has been referred to as ‘The Students Formula,’ or in pin yin, Gui Pi Wan. This was often what was prescribed to us while we were busy learning all those acupuncture points and herbs!

What Gui Pi Wan really translates to is ‘Restore the Spleen Decoction,’ because in Chinese theory, when the brain is working really hard, this tends to overwork the Spleen, leading to what we refer to as Spleen Qi Deficiency. When the Spleen is weak, blood becomes deficient and is unable to properly nourish the heart. When the Heart and Spleen become deficient, you start to lose your ability to concentrate and become forgetful. This does not lend itself to learning very well!

This formula is not just for students, of course. Overthinking, excessive deliberation, obsessive behaviors and stress can all contribute to manifesting this pattern of Spleen and Heart deficiency.

This pattern can present as: forgetfulness, insomnia or dream disturbed sleep, dizziness, anxiety and decreased appetite. Another sign is pale lips or complexion (also your tongue, if you feel like checking it out in the mirror!)

If you feel like this describes you, you should check out Gui Pi Wan. Remember to give back to your brain; you might need it come finals.

Don’t forget the importance of food in keeping the body balanced! 

Foods to Nourish the Blood and Keep the Spleen Happy:

Generally, deep greens and deep red or dark colored fruits and vegetables are good for nourishing blood.

Fruits: raspberries, blackberries, cherries, dates and goji berries.

Veggies/Greens: Beets, carrots, broccoli, kale, spinach and the blue green algae supplement Spirulina.

Meats, particularly red meats and eggs help to nourish the blood. Of course red meats in moderation is always a good policy.

The Spleen likes to be warm and moist and likes foods that are easy to digest. Some foods that really help the spleen to function well are: root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots. Other foods to make your spleen happy: rice, barley, squash, pumpkin, apples, ginger, garlic and cardamom. These coincide nicely with the fall weather- as they are more readily available and warming as the weather gets cooler.

Here’s to a Healthy and Happy Fall Semester!

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Dr. Izold, ND
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