In both Eastern and Western Medicine, a healthy functioning circulatory system is very important in the maintenance of good health. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a unique theory called “Blood Deficiency” that can be viewed as a lowered capacity of the Blood to furnish the entire body with proper and adequate nourishment.

Blood Deficiency seems to be the same as anemia; however, a Blood Deficiency condition embraces a much wider scope of symptoms. Eastern Medicine practices its own procedures of diagnosis instead of Western medicine’s way of blood examinations to assess and rectify this condition.

Blood Deficiency-related symptoms can include:

-Difficulty falling asleep, insomnia
-Poor memory
-“Floaters” in the eyes and blurred vision
-Brittle nails
-Dry skin and hair
-Pale complexion
-Chronic tiredness and fatigue

Other less occurring symptoms associated with Blood Deficiency include:

-Vertigo and dizziness
-Numbness in the limbs
-Muscle cramps and spasms

Women with a Blood Deficiency condition may experience:

-Miscarriage or infertility
-Irregular or scanty menstruation

A person’s digestive system (known also as the Pancreas-Spleen system), based on the physiology of TCM is the organ system responsible for the creation of Blood. The Liver system, on the other hand, is the system that holds, distributes, and normalizes the flow of Blood throughout the body.  Blood Deficiency treatment then is geared towards the restoration of health of these systems.

A Blood Deficient condition can be caused by several different factors.

Prolonged bleeding – this is especially true when it involves gastrointestinal or menstrual bleeding conditions although the underlying reason for these conditions should be determined and treated first

Overuse of the eyes and tendons – According to TCM theory, the overuse of these body organs and parts can affect the function of the Liver. This is a common cause of Blood Deficiency and is often found in students who do a lot of reading or computer work and in athletes who over train.

Poor diet – one other common cause of Blood Deficiency. Most susceptible to this condition are vegetarians. They need to include enough amounts of Blood-nourishing foods to their meals.

Some Helpful Recommendations to Properly Nourish the Blood

Green protein – for people and vegetarians who perform a lot of physical activity, green protein can be important in the proper nourishment of their Blood. Chlorella and spirulina can be integrated into the diet. Chlorophyll, is known as the “plant hemoglobin” since its composition closely resembles that of blood. Also, in order to strengthen and rebuild blood, protein is required since it is one important component in the building of blood.

Blackstrap molasses – rich in minerals and iron. Daily intake of 1 tablespoon a day can boost blood flow.

Berries – Goji berry or Gou Chi Hsi, is one of the most popular herbs that can be used to nourish the Blood. Dark berries such as blackberries and blueberries are beneficial, as well.

Amy-Sui Qun Lui is a board certified and licensed acupuncturist in Cleveland, OH and the founder of Asian Health Center.