In our previous blog post - What is Jing? - we discussed Jing as being the primal energy of our individual life force. Jing is the deep foundational energy reserves of the body. It is held within the Kidneys (adrenals), and it is this energy that determines one's ultimate vitality and the length and quality of one’s lifespan. Jing is considered a highly valuable and precious substance that needs to be protected, nourished and preserved.
When we feel run down, tired and exhausted, experience muscle soreness, frequent battles with recurring illnesses, and lack vitality, these unbalanced manifestations can all be signs that we are "leaking" Jing.
One of the most important tools of health we can learn for our overall well-being and longevity is to understand how we "leak" our energy, or how we are "leaking" Jing.
The five primary organs in Chinese “organ theory" - Kidneys, Liver, Lungs, Heart, and Spleen - are considered the bodies major functional systems.
An abundance of Yin Jing stored within the tissues of all the organs allows these systems to function optimally and prevent any “leaks.” However, there are many factors that can cause our organs to “leak” and become unbalanced.
"Leaking" in this context is defined as any loss of energy that should be stored. If we want to lengthen our lives and improve the quality of our overall health we need to discover where our energy is being leaked, determine why it is being leaked, plug the leak, and to reestablish energy and functional balance in the area that has become depleted.
Excessive loss of Jing can affect the body in many ways and manifest as symptoms such as- back pain, knee pain, signs of premature aging- grey hair, wearing of the teeth and joints, weight gain, poor eyesight, and loss of memory.
Whenever we experience any kind of discomfort in the body, it is a sign of imbalance. There are many causes of leaks and factors that we can consider to bring our systems back into a harmonious state.
Common ways that an individual tends to leak their Jing energy is over emotionalism– chronic fear, anxiety, depression, stress, or even too much joy and bliss can also drain our energy.
Lifestyle choices that tend to compromise our health can leak our Jing– overwork and study, reckless behaviour, all night parties, drug use, poor diet, caffeine and artificial stimulants, lack of sleep, being inactive or exercising too much, excessive sexual activity, especially for men, ejaculating too much, and for women, childbirth expends a lot of Jing and vital energy.
There may be other factors leaking our Jing that are less noticeable: chronic inflammation, candida overgrowth, parasites, virus loads, and low-grade infections in the body all subtly zap our energy over time. We may not even be aware of it happening at times. Pollution in the air, in our water and food supply, can put extra pressure on our systems and leak our precious Jing too.
Some of these factors can be very challenging to avoid in today’s modern lifestyle. Life and health are sustained by maintaining balance and it’s important to work at being in balance if we want to live in good health and prolong our life.
It can be easy to fall out of balance but if we focus on the aspects of our lives that allow us to thrive and sustain good health– having a balanced diet, proper elimination, detox regime, moderate exercise and work activities, a healthy love life, regular meditation practices, and by avoiding doing anything to an extreme we can enjoy radiant health and help plug our “leaks."
Almost every person who begins to incorporate tonic herbs into their diet for an extended period of time will experience many profound benefits.
In many cases, like my own, the effects are instantaneous. Others may experience subtle influences at first with cumulative effects developing over time. Incredible things start happening when you begin taking these herbs. Your systems start to balance out, you feel stronger inside, more relaxed and at peace, your energy increases, and you become more adaptive to the changing environment and you can do more things than ever before.
Tonic herbs help to replenish and restore Jing and nurture individual health at its most vital root.
We mentioned that an abundance of Yin Jing in the tissues of the organs is highly beneficial for our systems to function correctly. Yin is defined as the cyclic rhythm of nature in which energy is being accumulated, assimilated and stored for later use. Those herbs that replenish spent energy are referred to as the Yin Jing herbs. They have a nourishing, moistening, cooling and anti-inflammatory nature and are famed for their longevity and rejuvenating qualities.
He Shou Wu is one of the most popular and highly revered tonic herbs in tonic herbalism. It’s youthfulness, healthy aging and longevity agents are simply unsurpassed by any other herb.
He Shou Wu is one of the most powerful and effective Yin restorative herbs that replenishes and stores vitality and provides deep, primordial Jing energy to the cells of the body.
He Shou Wu is highly therapeutic as a battery charger for the kidneys. Its remarkable strength comes from its ability to efficiently clean the kidney and liver, which in turn cleans the blood and cleanses the whole body.
It's great blood building abilities helps feed the skin, it contains high amounts of iron and zinc and is also a primary fertility-enhancing herb. When consumed regularly it can enhance sexual drive, increase sperm count, strengthen the lower back, the knees and the ankles, and stimulate the thymus gland, the endocrine gland responsible for producing the super antioxidant - SOD (superoxide dismutase).
Reishi mushroom is known as the "Supreme Protector.” Its ancient wisdom works to protect us on every level - physically, immunologically, mentally, spiritually.
This supreme anti-aging herb has double-direction activity is a premier herb that helps us adapt to the world and provide additional power for us to achieve a superior level of life.
Reishi’s health benefits are broad– improves and modulates the functioning of the immune system, improves oxygen utilisation and liver function, reduces stress, stabilises the emotions, calms the mind, eases tension, strengthen the nerves, improves memory, sharpens concentration, builds willpower and emotional intelligence.
Taking Reishi empowers us. We can adapt to life stresses more successfully with more confidence and less self-conscious.
The Goji berry (Lycium) is a Yin Jing and blood tonic herb. Very popular in the superfood community, it is a small, tasty, red berry that is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
Goji nourishes and tonifies the Yin Jing functions of the kidneys and helps to build blood and is also a great tonic for the liver. It is believed to fortify the system against disease and has the highest source of carotenoids of any foods known.
Goji is high in Vitamin C, B-vitamins, and contains 18 kinds of amino acids and numerous trace minerals - Zinc, iron, and copper. Goji cleanses the liver, brightens the eyes, improves vision, strengthens the legs, the lower back, and the sexual functions. It is widely believed to increase sexual fluids and enhance fertility.
Goji has long been famed as a longevity and anti-aging herb. It is high in Polysaccharides which are powerful cellular antioxidants that provide increased immune support and effectively slow down aging.
Cordyceps mushroom is one of the superstars in tonic herbalism. It has a powerful balance of both Yin and Yang energy and is used to strengthen the body and mind at a fundamental level.
It is a great rejuvenating tonic that restores the deep energy that we expend through excessive exertion of life's activities, stressful circumstances and aging.
It also nourishes the Chi, our Vitality, which keeps us strong and gives us the energy to be creative and active.
Cordyceps is a potent Kidney Jing tonic that is known to strengthen and increase the sexual functions, brain power, and the structural integrity and healing abilities of the body. Consistent use helps to strengthen the skeletal structure, the lower back, the knees, and the ankles.
Gynostemma is widely believed to be an anti-aging and longevity tonic herb. It promotes broad overall health benefits and is known as a “cure-all” herb.
It’s double-directional activity and powerful adaptogenic qualities work to bring all systems of the body into balance. Regular use of this "Magical Grass" provides increasing levels of protection to a person by increasing the adaptive capacity of the body.
Gynostemma’s array of health benefits include– slows aging, reduces fatigue, increases vigour, improves digestion, strengthens the mind, improves sex functions, calms the nerves and eases pain. Gynostemma treats inflammation and accelerates the body’s metabolism earning a great reputation in Asia for aiding in weight loss programs.
Schizandra berry builds the primary energies of our life force and is highly beneficial to anyone who consumes it.
Schizandra nourishes all five organ systems enters all twelve meridians and provides extensive support to the mind-body systems.
Schizandra is known to strengthen the whole body and is one of the most famous astringent herbs which helps to lock in energy and plug up leaks to prevent leaking Jing.
Schizandra is one of the premier adaptogenic herbs, it modulates our stress hormones and is very calming to our nervous system while being very stimulating at the same time. Studies have shown that it enhances human intellectual activity on all levels and provide increased mental power and alertness.
Schizandra increases vitality, purifies the blood, detoxifies and cleanses the Liver, sharpens the mind, improves memory, increases sexual fluids, sexual endurance, and sensitivities, protects and beautifies the skin and is overall life strengthening.
"As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you."
~ Jon Kabat Zinn
I will be the first to admit that I am not a saint when it comes to making the right decisions and lifestyle choices for my own health.
We all have our moments, good and bad, and no one is perfect all the time. But “as long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you.”
No matter what stage of health we are in, it is never too late to start winding back the clock. Tonic herbs can help us.
If you are experiencing an unbalanced state of health, with the right herbs, you can replenish your energy levels rather quickly. Once we relieve ourselves of stress and fear, the Kidney adrenals (the house of Jing) will recuperate, our life force begins to get stronger and our light shines brighter.
If we can practice examining ourselves and cultivate a conscious mindset to understand how, why and where our energy is being leaked, it will go a long way to help us plug up our leaks and restore balance to our systems. We can then work to change those habits and lifestyle patterns that do not serve us and learn to use our energy more wisely in the future. This conscious awareness will do a lot to improve the length and quality of our life.